Students! Nominate yourselves for the Lotka and Volterra awards for theoretical ecology at #ESA2013

Act fast! Entry is easy, but must be done by Monday, 15 July.

Lotka-Volterra predator-prey equations. In 1910, Alfred Lotka developed a set of differential equations to model the oscillating population dynamics of two reacting chemical species*, in which a product formed by the reaction is also one of the starting species, creating a self-sustaining feedback loop. A decade later, it occurred to him to apply the same math to living populations of predator and prey species (or plant and consumer pairs). Vito Volterra, analyzing the Italian fishing industry, arrived at the same model independently.If you are an undergraduate or graduate student presenting your application of conceptual and graphical models, mathematical analysis, or computer simulation to ecological phenomena at this year’s annual meeting in Minneapolis, ESA’s Theoretical Ecology section invites you to compete for their 14th annual Alfred J. Lotka prize for best poster and Vito Volterra prize for best talk.

The call:

The Theoretical Ecology Section of the ESA is proud to announce the fourteenth annual Alfred J. Lotka prize for the best poster and Vito Volterra prize for the best talk given by students during the ESA annual meeting. The award is open to undergraduate and graduate students who, as sole or first author, present a talk or poster at the 2013 ESA annual meeting on original research in theoretical ecology.  All suitable approaches that yield theoretical insight to ecological phenomena will be considered.  Prizes will be awarded on the basis of merit, originality, and clarity of presentation.

To be considered for either the Lotka award or the Volterra award, students (or their advisors) should notify Bruce Kendall by 15 July 2013, providing the following information:

  • Applicant’s name:
  • Co-authors:
  • Title:
  • Talk or Poster:
  • Session:
  • Time/Date/Place of presentation/poster:
Lotka and Volterra

Alfred J. Lotka (1880-1949) and Vito Volterra (1860-1940). “While not the very first to write mathematical models in ecology, they were early pioneers, and Lotka in particular was effective, through his many articles and books, at spreading the idea that mathematical models could help ecologists understand the patterns we see in nature. The Lotka-Volterra model is still a staple of undergraduate ecology courses,” said Bruce Kendall, Vice-Chair of ESA’s Theoretical Ecology Section.

Please provide this information by email to, and include ‘Lotka-Volterra Award’ in the subject line.



*In chemistry, “species” is a catch-all phrase for molecular entities, be they atoms, ions, or molecules.