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George Mercer Award


The George Mercer Award is given for an outstanding ecological research paper published within the past two years by a younger researcher (the lead author of the paper must be 40 years of age or younger at the time of publication). If the award is given for a paper with multiple authors, all authors will receive a certificate, and those 40 years of age or younger at the time of publication will share the monetary prize. Nominees may be from any country and need not be ESA members.

YearFull NameLast NameESA BulletinCitationAuthors
2022Brian C. WeeksWeeksLinkShared morphological consequences of global warming in North American migratory birds. Ecology Letters, 23(2): 316-325. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13434Brian C. Weeks, David E. Willard, Marketa Zimova, Aspen A. Ellis, Max L. Witynski, Mary Hennen, Benjamin M. Winger
2021Bethany A. BradleyBradleyLinkDisentangling the abundance–impact relationship for invasive species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(20), 9919-9924. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818081116
Bethany A. Bradley, Brit B. Laginhas, Raj Whitlock, Jenica M. Allen, Amanda E. Bates, Genevieve Bernatchez, Jeff Diez, Regan Early, Jonathan Lenoir, Montserrat Vilà, Cascade J. B. Sorte
2020J. Mason HeberlingHeberlingLinkPhenological mismatch with trees reduces wildflower carbon budgets.” Ecology Letters 22: 616-623. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13224
J. Mason Heberling, Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie, Jason D. Fridley, Susan Kalisz, Richard B. Primack
2019Brett R. JesmerJesmerLinkIs ungulate migration culturally transmitted? Evidence of social learning from translocated animals. Science 361:1023-1025. doi: 10.1126/science.aat0985
Brett R. Jesmer, Jerod A. Merkle, Jacob R. Goheen, Ellen O. Aikens, Jeffrey L. Beck, Alyson B. Courtemanch, Mark A. Hurley, Douglas E. McWhirter, Hollie M. Miyasaki, Kevin L. Monteith, Matthew. J. Kauffman
2018Rachel M. GermainGermainLink Experimental dispersal reveals characteristic scales of biodiversity in a natural landscape. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114:4447–4452.Germain, R. M., Sharon Y. Strauss, Benjamin Gilbert
2017Jennifer WilliamsWilliamsLinkRapid evolution accelerates plant population spread in fragmented experimental landscapes. Science 353(6298), pp. 482-485. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf6268Jennifer Williams, Bruce Kendall, Jonathan Levine
2016Jennifer R. GremerGremerLinkBet hedging in desert winter annual plants: optimal germination strategies in a variable environment. Ecology Letters 17: 380–387 (2014)Jennifer R. Gremer, D. Lawrence Venable
2015Marcelo ArdónArdónLinkDrought-induced saltwater incursion leads to increased wetland nitrogen export. Global Change Biology 19:2976-2985Marcelo Ardón, Jennifer L. Morse, Benjamin P. Colman, Emily S. Bernhardt
2014Douglas RasherRasherLinkConsumer diversity interacts with prey defenses to drive ecosystem function. Ecology 94:1347-1358.Douglas Rasher, Andrew S. Hoey, and Mark E. Hay
2013Pieter T. J. JohnsonJohnsonLinkParasite diversity and coinfection determine pathogen infection success and host fitness. PNAS 109:9006–9011.Pieter T. J. Johnson; Jason T. Hoverman
2012A. Carla StaverStaverLinkTree cover in sub-Saharan Africa: Rainfall and fire constrain forest and savanna as alternative stable states. Ecology 92:1063-1072A. Carla Staver; Sally Archibald; Simon A. Levin
2011Tracy LangkildeLangkildeLinkInvasive fire ants alter behavior and morphology of native lizards. Ecology 90:208-217Tracy Langkilde
2010Meghan A. DuffyDuffyLinkSelective predation and rapid evolution can jointly dampen effects of parasites on Daphnia populations. American Naturalist 171: 499-510.Meghan A. Duffy; Spencer R. Hall
2009Richard A. LankauLankauLinkMutual feedbacks maintain both genetic and species diversity in a plant community, Science 317:1561-1563.Richard A. Lankau
2009Sharon Y. StraussStraussLinkMutual feedbacks maintain both genetic and species diversity in a plant community, Science 317:1561-1563.Richard A. Lankau
2008Jonathan M. ChaseChaseLinkDrought mediates the importance of stochastic community assembly. PNAS 104:17430-17434.Jonathan M. Chase
2007Jordi BascompteBascompteLinkAsymmetric coevolutionary networks facilitate biodiversity maintenance. Science 312:431–433.Jordi Bascompte; Pedro Jordano; Jens M. Olesen
2006Anurag AgrawalAgrawalLinkResistance and susceptibility of milk-weed: competition, root herbivory and plant genetic variation. Ecology 82:2118-2133Anurag Agrawal
2005Daniel BolnickBolnickLinkThe ecology of individuals: incidence and implications of individual specialization. American Naturalist 161:1-28.Daniel Bolnick; Richard Svanback; James A. Fordyce; Louis Yang; John H. Davis; Darrin Hulsey; Matthew Forister
2004John J. StachowiczStachowiczLinkBiodiversity, Invasion Resistance, and Marine Ecosystem Function: Reconciling Pattern and Process. Ecology 83:2575-2590.John J. Stachowicz; Heather Fried; Richard Osman; Robert Whitlatch
2003Jean M.L. RichardsonRichardsonLinkThe relative roles of adaptation and phylogeny in determination of larval traits in diversifying Anuran lineages. American Naturalist 157: 282-299.Jean M.L. Richardson
2002Jonathan LevineLevineLinkSpecies Diversity and Biological Invasions: Relating Local Process to Community Pattern. Science 288: 852-854.Jonathan Levine
2001Brian EnquistEnquistLinkAllometric scaling of production and life-history variation in vascular plants. Nature 401:907-911Brian Enquist; Geoffrey B. West; Eric L. Charnov; James H. Brown
2000David HooperHooperLinkEffects of plant composition and diversity on nutrient cycling. Ecological Monographs 68:121-149.David Hooper; Peter Vitousek
1999Mark A. McPeekMcPeekLinkThe consequences of changing the top predator in a food web: a comparative experimental approach. Ecological Monographs 68:1-23.Mark A. McPeek
1998Greg DwyerDwyerLinkHost heterogeneity in susceptibility and disease dynamics: tests of a mathematical model. American Naturalist 150:685-707.Greg Dwyer; Joseph S. Elkinton; John P. Buonaccorsi
1997Stephen W. PacalaPacalaLinkForest models defined by field measurements: estimation, error analysis, and dynamics. Ecological Monographs 66:1-44.Stephen W. Pacala; Charles D. Canham; John Saponara; John Silander; Richard K. Kobe; Eric Ribbens
1996Lars HedinHedinLinkPatterns of nutrient loss from unpolluted, old-growth temperate forests: evaluation of biogeochemical theory. Ecology 76:493-509.Lars Hedin
1995Shahid NaeemNaeemLinkDeclining biodiversity can alter the performance of ecosystems. Nature 368:734-737.Shahid Naeem
1994J. Timothy WoottonWoottonLinkIndirect effects and habitat use in an intertidal community: interaction chains and interaction modification. American Naturalist 141:71-89. 1991J. Timothy Wootton
1993Naomi CappuccinoCappuccinoLinkThe nature of population stability in Eurosta solidaginis , a nonoutbreaking herbivore of goldenrod. Ecology 73:1792-1801.Naomi Cappuccino
1992Kirk O. WinemillerWinemillerLinkSpatial and temporal variation in tropical fish trophic networks. Ecological Monographs 60:331-367.Kirk O. Winemiller
1991James Samuel ClarkClarkLinkFire and climate change during the last 750 yr in northwestern Minnesota. Ecological Monographs 60:135-159.James Samuel Clark
1990Richard KarbanKarbanLinkCommunity organization of Erigeron glaucus folivores: effects of competition, predation, and host plant. Ecology 70:1028-1039.Richard Karban
1989Russell J. SchmittSchmittLinkIndirect interactions between prey; apparent competition, predator aggregation, and habitat segregation. Ecology 68:1887-1897.Russell J. Schmitt
1988May Roberta BerenbaumBerenbaumLinkConstraints on chemical coevolution: wild parsnips and the parsnip webworm. Evolution 40:1215-1228 .May Roberta Berenbaum; A.R. Zangerl; J.K. Nitao
1987Curtis M. LivelyLivelyLinkCompetition, comparative life histories, and maintenance of shell dimorphism in a barnacle. Ecology 67:858-864. & Predator-induced shell dimorphism in the acorn barnacle Chthamalus anisopoma. Evolution 40:232–242.Curtis M. Lively
1986Douglas William SchemskeSchemskeLinkPopulation structure and local selection in Impatiens pallida (Balsaminaceae), a selfing annual. Evolution 38:817-832.Douglas William Schemske
1985Peter J. MorinMorinLinkPredation, competition, and the composition of larval anuran guilds. Ecological Monographs 53:119-138.Peter J. Morin
1984Phyllis D. ColeyColeyLinkHerbivory and defensive characteristics of tree species in low-land tropical forest. Ecological Monographs 53:209-233.Phyllis D. Coley
1983Kenneth P. SebensSebensLinkLimits to indeterminate growth: an optimal size model applied to passive suspension feeders. Ecology 63:209-222Kenneth P. Sebens
1982Svata M. LoudaLoudaLinkDistribution ecology: variation in plant recruitment over a gradient in relation to insect seed predation. Ecological Monographs 52:25-41.Svata M. Louda
1981Wayne P. SousaSousaLinkExperimental investigations of disturbance and ecological succession in a rocky intertidal algal community. Ecological Monographs 49:227-254.Wayne P. Sousa
1980Thomas G. WhithamWhithamLinkHabitat selection by Pemphigus aphids in response to resource limitation and competition. Ecology 59:1164-1176.Thomas G. Whitham
1979Jane LubchencoLubchencoLinkCommunity development and persistence in a low rocky intertidal zone. Ecological Monographs 48:67-94.Jane Lubchenco; Bruce Allen Menge
1978Earl Edward WernerWernerLinkSpecies packing and niche complementarity in three sunfishes. American Naturalist 111:553-578.Earl Edward Werner
1977Douglas G. SprugelSprugelLinkDynamic structure of wave-regenerated Abies balsamea forests in the north-eastern United States. Journal of Ecology 64:889-911.Douglas George Sprugel
1976William E. NeillNeillLinkExperimental studies of microcrustacean competition, community composition and efficiency of resource utilization. Ecology 56:809-826.William E. Neill
1975Peter L. MarksMarksLinkThe role of pin cherry ( Prunus pensylvanica L.) in the maintenance of stability in northern hardwood ecosystems. Ecological Monographs 44:73-88.Peter L. Marks
1974Paul K DaytonDaytonLinkCompetition, disturbance, and community organization: the provi­sion and subsequent utilization of space in a rocky intertidal community. Ecological Monographs 41:351-389.Paul K Dayton
1973Carl Frederick JordanJordanLinkRelative stability of mineral cycles in forest ecosystems. American Naturalist 106:237-253.Carl Frederick Jordan
1972Joel Ephraim CohenCohenno citation publishedA Markov contingency-table model for replicated Lotka-Volterra systems near equilibrium. American Naturalist 104:547-560.Joel Ephraim Cohen
1971Daniel S. SimberloffSimberloffno citation publishedExperimental zoogeography of islands: defaunation and monitoring techniques. Ecology 50:267-278. & Experimental zoogeography of islands: the colonization of empty islands. Ecology 50:278-296. & Experimental zoogeography of islands: a two-year record of colonization. Ecology 51:934-937.Daniel S. Simberloff; Edward Osborne Wilson
1969Lynn WhiteWhiteLinkThe historical roots of our ecological crisis. Science 155:1203-1207.Lynn White
1968Edward BroadheadBroadheadLinkMesopsocus populations on larch in England -- the distribution and dynamics of two closely-related coexisting species of Psocoptera sharing the same food resource. Ecological Monographs 36:327-388.Edward Broadhead; Anthony Wapshere
1967William Albert NieringNieringLinkVegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona:A gradient analysis of the south slope. Ecology 46:429-452.Robert Harding Whittaker; William Albert Niering;
1967Robert Harding WhittakerWhittakerLinkVegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona:A gradient analysis of the south slope. Ecology 46:429-452.Robert Harding Whittaker; William Albert Niering;
1966Crawford Stanley HollingHollingLinkThe functional response of predators to prey density and its role in mimicry and population regulation. Memoirs, Entomological Society of Canada 45:3-60.Crawford Stanley Holling
1965Kenneth Stafford NorrisNorrisLinkThe functions of temperature in the ecology of the percoid fish Girella nigricans (Ayres). Ecological Monographs 33:23-62.Kenneth Stafford Norris
1964Orie Lipton LoucksLoucksLinkOrdinating forest communities by means of environmental scalars and phytosociological indices. Ecological Monographs 32:137-166.Orie Lipton Loucks
1963Joseph H. ConnellConnellLinkEffects of competition, predation by Thais lapillus, and other factors on natural populations of the barnacle Balanus balanoides. Ecological Monographs 31:61-104.Joseph H. Connell
1962Harold A. MooneyMooneyLinkComparative physiological ecology of arctic and alpine populations of Oxyria digyna. Ecological Monographs 31:1-29.Harold A. Mooney; William Dwight Billings
1961Robert Allen NorrisNorrisLinkDensity, racial composition, sociality, and selective predation in nonbreeding populations of Savannah sparrows. Bird Banding 31(4):173-216.Robert Allen Norris
1960Calvin McMillanMcMillanLinkThe role of ecotypic variation in the distribution of the central grassland of North America. Ecological Monographs 29:285-308.Calvin McMillan
1959Robert Helmer MacArthurMacArthurLinkPoulation ecology of some warblers of northeastern coniferous forests. Ecology 39:599-619.Robert Helmer MacArthur
1958Jerry S. OlsonOlsonLinkRates of succession and soil changes on southern Lake Michigan sand dunes. Botanical Gazette 119:125-170.Jerry S. Olson
1957John Jermyn ChristianChristianLinkA drenal and reproductive responses to population size in mice from freely growing populations. Ecology 37:258-273.John Jermyn Christian
1956Eugene Pleasants OdumOdumLinkTrophic structure and productivity of a windward coral reef community on Eniwetok Atoll. Ecological Monographs 25:291-320.Howard Thomas Odum; Eugene Pleasants Odum
1955Shelby Delos GerkingGerkingLinkThe food turnover of a bluegill population. Ecology 35:490-498.Shelby Delos Gerking
1954Frederick Herbert BormannBormannLinkFactors determining the role of loblolly pine and sweetgum in early old-field succession in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Ecological Monographs 23:339-358.Frederick Herbert Bormann
1953Frank Alois PitelkaPitelkaLinkEcological overlap and interspecific strife in breeding populations of Anna and Allen hummingbirds. Ecology 32:641-661.Frank Alois Pitelka
1952Robert Baxter PlattPlattLinkAn ecological study of the Mid-Appalachian shale barrens and of the plants endemic to them. Ecological Monographs 21:269-300.Robert Baxter Platt
1951Helmut Karl BuechnerBuechnerLinkLife history, ecology, and range use in the pronghorn antelope in Trans-Pecos Texas. American Midland Naturalist 43:257-354Helmut Karl Buechner
1950Henry Sheldon FitchFitchLinkOutline for ecological life history studies of reptiles. Ecology 30:520-532.Henry Sheldon Fitch
1949Edsko Jerry DyksterhuisDyksterhuisLinkThe vegetation of the western Cross Timbers. Ecological Monographs 18:325-376.Edsko Jerry Dyksterhuis
1948Henry P. HansenHansonLinkPostglacial forest succession, climate and chronology in the Pacific Northwest.Transactions, American Philosophical Society 37:1-30.Herbert Christian Hansen