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Simberloff Award for Outstanding Presentation

The Invasion Ecology Section, along with Biological Invasions and Springer International Publishers, is pleased to sponsor the annual Simberloff Award for Outstanding Presentation. The award’s name is in recognition of the contributions of the Editor-in-Chief of Biological Invasions, Daniel Simberloff, to the study of nonnative species. The award will be given to two student presenters at ESA’s annual meeting who embody Simberloff’s creativity, intelligence, and passion for studying and understanding the biology of nonnative organisms. Entrants are judged on the rigor, creativity, importance, and quality of their research and its presentation. Each winner will receive a $250 cash award and will have their achievements published in Biological Invasions.

To learn more about this award and its namesake, see the following publication in Biological Invasions:

Kuebbing, S.E., and L.A. Meyerson. Honoring Daniel Simberloff: An unwavering champion of invasion biology. Biological Invasions 20:3379–3383.

Congratulations to our 2020 winners Rebecca Mostow and Eve Beaury!

Rebecca Mostow, Oregon State University
Oral, Evolution: Genetic Isolation And Differentiation
Discovery of a novel, dune-building grass: Hybridization of non-native beachgrasses (Ammophila arenaria × breviligulata) along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast

What is your year of study at your university? What lab do you belong to?

I am a 5th year PhD candidate working with Dr. Sally Hacker at Oregon State University.

What is your over-arching research topic?

I study the ecology and population genetics of two invasive, closely-related, dune-building beachgrasses. These two grasses densely invaded the US Pacific Coast leading to habitat loss for native flora and fauna but also dramatically increasing the coastal protection provided by dunes to nearby towns and cities. The discovery of a novel hybrid between the two species (as described in my ESA talk) has pushed me to complete a truly interdisciplinary PhD, integrating genomic tools with models and theory from invasion ecology.

What Simberloff publication is most inspiring to you and why?

Rhymer, J. M., and D. Simberloff. 1996. Extinction by Hybridization and Introgression. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 27:83–109.

Although it is hard to pick just one Simberloff paper, I think I have to go with Rhymer and Simberloff (1996). I became fascinated with invasive plants during a year working on plant conservation in the Great Basin. Every day I saw the immense ecological consequences of biological invasions and decided to go to grad school to study evolution in invasive plants, hoping to understand how these organisms were able to thrive in environments in which they did not originally evolve. This paper opened my eyes to the potential impact of hybridization, introgression, and gene flow between the species in my study system and helped me to understand the potential implications of our recent discovery. Additionally, as someone interested in science communication, I have always admired the clear, thorough, and well-reasoned style with which Dr. Simberloff always writes, this being no exception.

Evelyn “Eve” Beaury, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Oral, Invasion: Prevention And Management 1
Invaders for sale: The ongoing spread of invasive species by the plant trade industry

What is your year of study at your university? What lab do you belong to?

I am beginning my fourth year of my PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I am part of Dr. Bethany Bradley’s spatial ecology lab.

What is your over-arching research topic?

I study the macroecology and biogeography of invasive plant presence, abundance, and impact. I’m particularly interested in research that intersects invasive species’ ecology, policy, and management, as well as interactions between invasive species and global change.

What Simberloff publication is most inspiring to you and why?

Simberloff, D., I.M. Parker, and P.N. Windle. 2005. Introduced species policy, management, and future research needs. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 3(1):12-20.[0012:ISPMAF]2.0.CO;2

It is hard to choose just one, but I’m currently most inspired by Simberloff et al. (2005). This study reviews major issues in invasive species research, policy, and management, as well as advocates for why these three domains need to be better integrated. I am inspired by this review because I am most passionate about projects that connect science to real-world problems. Although published 15 years ago, Simberloff et al. 2005 highlights a disconnect between research and implementation that is still prevalent today and which is exemplified by the work on ornamental invasive plants that I presented at ESA. This publication, and many others by Simberloff, motivates me to work on projects that impact the way we study and manage invasions in the United States.

To learn more about the 2020 winners, see Biological Invasions.

Past Winners


Emily Kiehnau, University of Oklahoma
Oral, Invasion: Species Interactions
Morphological changes of native Daphnia species in response to the invasive predator Bythotrephes longimanus

Patrick Milligan, University of Florida
Oral, Invasion: Ecosystem Processes
Short-term gains and long-term losses for an East African myrmecophyte, triggered by a biological invasion

To learn more about the 2019 winners, see the following publication in Biological Invasions:

Smith-Ramesh, L.M., and S. Kuebbing. 2020. Announcing the winners of the second annual Simberloff Award for outstanding presentation. Biological Invasions 22:851–852.

2018 | Inaugural

Amanda Carr, Western Washington University
Oral, Invasion: Invasibility, Stability, And Diversity
Propagule pressure, not diversity or disturbance, drove long-term invader success in a serpentine grassland

Carmela Buono, SUNY Binghamton
Poster, Invasion: Prevention And Management
Are ecological systems resilient to invasions? A systematic review of ecological response post-invasive species Management

To learn more about the 2018 winners, see the following publication in Biological Invasions:

Kuebbing, S.E., and L.A. Meyerson. 2018. Announcing the inaugural winners of the Simberloff Award for Outstanding Presentation. Biological Invasions 20:3377-3378.

2017 | Prior to Award Dedication

Chris Bowman-Prideaux, University of Idaho
Oral, Ecosystem Management I
Working together: Fire and post-fire rehabilitation create homogeneous plant communities

Rafael Valentin, Rutgers University
Oral, Genetics And Molecular Techniques
Utility of eDNA as a surveillance framework in terrestrial systems