Ecological Society of America announces 2022 Fellows

April 12, 2022
For Immediate Release

Contact: Heidi Swanson, (202) 833-8773 ext. 211, gro.asenull@idieh


The Ecological Society of America is pleased to announce its 2022 Fellows. The Society’s fellowship program recognizes the many ways in which its members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, education and pedagogy, and management and policy.

Fellows are members who have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA, including, but not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations, and the broader society. They are elected for life.

Early Career Fellows are members within eight years of completing their doctoral training (or other terminal degree) who have advanced ecological knowledge and applications and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. They are elected for five years.

ESA established its Fellows program in 2012 with the goal of honoring its members and supporting their competitiveness and advancement to leadership positions in the Society, at their institutions, and in broader society. Past ESA Fellows and Early Career Fellows are listed on the ESA Fellows page.


Fellows elected in 2022 in recognition of their contributions to the science of ecology:


Sara C. Hotchkiss, Professor, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Botany

Elected for bringing to ecology a unique blend of thoughtfulness, insight and originality. She has made important contributions at the intersection of paleoecology, ecosystem ecology and landscape ecology.  Her career has been uniquely enriched by commitment to empathic understanding, not only of students and colleagues, but also of ecosystems and landscapes.


Julian D. Olden, Professor, University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Elected for pushing the frontiers of invasion ecology and deepening the understanding of freshwater sustainability through environmental flows management, for tireless science communication and for his dedication to training the next generation of freshwater ecologists and conservation biologists.


Erika Marín-Spiotta, Professor, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Geography

Elected for advancing knowledge of soil carbon stability and its response to land use change, particularly in tropical ecosystems, while serving as a global leader who promotes diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the biogeosciences and other scientific fields.


Hanqin Tian, Solon & Martha Dixon Professor, Auburn University, College of Forestry and Wildlife Science

Elected for groundbreaking research on ecosystem patterns and processes at multiple scales that provides a predictive understanding of how anthropogenic disturbances alter global carbon and nitrogen cycles.


Matthew D. Wallenstein, Professor and Department Head, Colorado State University, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Elected for advancing our ability to link microbial community composition to function, unraveling the role of microbial adaptation in ecosystem responses to climate change, applying ecological understanding to developing and commercializing sustainable technologies as an entrepreneur and for leadership in orienting team-based research towards equitable solutions.


Early Career Fellows (2022 – 2026) elected for advancing the science of ecology and showing promise for continuing contributions:


Laura E. Dee, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Elected for her innovative and interdisciplinary contributions to the fields of ecology and conservation science through application of cutting-edge, statistical and mathematical approaches to answer general questions in basic and applied ecology.


Graziella V. DiRenzo, Assistant Unit Leader of Wildlife, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Elected for her exceptional leadership in research in evaluating direct and indirect impacts of disease on host populations and community dynamics; teaching and mentorship engaging in several diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; and application of ecology to management through collaborative relationships with state and federal agencies to address urgent conservation needs.


Brian J. Harvey, Assistant Professor, University of Washington, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Elected for deepening understanding of the effects of natural disturbances, especially fire and insect outbreaks, on resilience and management of forests in the US West; for excellence in science communication and outreach; and for outstanding teaching and mentoring at all levels from undergraduate to advanced graduate.


Matthew A. McCary, Assistant Professor, Rice University, Department of Biosciences

Elected for his work examining how global change affects the structure of below- and above-ground food webs and their ecosystem function using experiments, observational studies, meta-analyses and mathematical models. He is a leader in community and ecosystem ecology and a champion of diversity in ecology.


Nick Smith, Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University, Department of Biological Sciences

Elected for his outstanding contributions to plant physiological ecology, particularly his work on photosynthetic and respiratory acclimation responses to changing environments. Nick was also elected for his commitment to openly available science and for prioritizing an equitable and inclusive learning environment for his students.


Ying Sun, Assistant Professor, Cornell University, School of Integrative Plant Science

Elected for her pioneering research in plant ecophysiology and sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence from leaf to global scales, and for her innovative contribution in land surface modeling and remote sensing.


Anna T. Trugman, Assistant Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Geography

Elected for making major contributions to our understanding of how ecosystems respond to climate change. She uses theoretical, computational and experimental tools to tackle exciting questions in terrestrial ecology, carbon cycling and climate change, including the mechanisms of drought mortality and recovery, plant allocation and forest disturbance dynamics.


Fernanda S. Valdovinos, Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis, Department of Environmental Science and Policy

Elected for major contributions to the ecological theory of food webs, particularly the role of mutualisms, and the study of networks in ecology more generally.  She has also made major contributions in promoting underrepresented groups in ecology.


Grace M. Wilkinson, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Limnology

Elected for making significant contributions to our understanding of the role of lakes in landscape and regional carbon cycling, ecosystem resilience and the dynamics of algal blooms, and for being committed to translating science to a diverse group of stakeholders and early-career scientists.



Learn more about the upcoming ESA Annual Meeting, August 14–19, on the meeting website.

ESA invites press and institutional public information officers to attend for free. To register, please contact ESA Public Information Manager Heidi Swanson at gro.asenull@idieh.



The Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, is the worlds largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 9,000 member Society publishes five journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives. The Society’s Annual Meeting attracts 4,000 attendees and features the most recent advances in ecological science. Visit the ESA website at