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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 2019 winners Emily Kiehnau and Patrick Milligan!

Emily Kiehnau, award winner

Emily Kiehnau

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

Emily is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program at the University of Oklahoma where she studies the response of the keystone herbivore Daphnia to the exotic introduced zooplanktivore Bythotrephes longimanus (spiny waterflea). Emily is interested in the plastic and evolutionary responses of native prey species to exotic introduced predators and in identifying how these responses influence community level processes. In her dissertation, Emily is addressing these questions by examining a variety of behavioral and morphological anti-predator responses in resurrected pre- and post-invasion Daphnia populations.

Most inspiring Simberloff publication:

Vázquez, D.P., and D. Simberloff. 2003. Changes in interaction biodiversity induced by an introduced ungulate. Ecology Letters 6(12):1077-1083.

Using a plant-pollinator and cattle system, Vázquez and Simberloff (2003) demonstrate that introduced species can significantly affect the interaction network of coexisting native species. Reading this paper opened my eyes to the many ways introduced species alter the communities they invade and fostered my interest in the impacts that non-native species can have on the interactions between native species. This line of thinking has been critical to my dissertation research because it inspired me to look at how interactions among native species are altered by the invasion of a non-native predator.

Patrick Milligan, award winner

Patrick Milligan

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

Patrick is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida. He studies how native and invasive species influence ecosystem processes in East African savannas. His research is motivated by an interest in understanding the relationships between biological invasions, biodiversity decline and ecosystem multi-functionality. He uses plant physiology and chemical ecology techniques in greenhouse and field experiments to assess the impacts of native and invasive ants on water stress, photosynthesis, and carbon sequestration in a foundational East African plant species. He is now researching a targeted suppression method for invasive ants at two conservancies in Laikipia, Kenya.

Most inspiring Simberloff publication:

Simberloff, D. 2011. How common are invasion-induced ecosystem impacts? Biological Invasions 13(5):1255-1268.

In my first year of graduate school, my research was heavily influenced by this [(Simberloff 2011)] paper that summarized the varied ways an invasive species can alter an ecosystem. Invasive species can change nutrient cycles, fire regimes, even the physical structure of the environment. This paper is especially important to me now because of its discussion of lag times in biological invasions. Our experiments are nearly always limited by not only funding, but also time. Some invasions can take 150 years or more to truly manifest their ecological effects. This paper instilled a resolve in me to effectively collaborate and train future scientists in multi-generational projects to monitor and respond to invasions.

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.

Past Winners

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