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Information for Students

Participation in chapter activities at ESA meetings

Our chapter invites full involvement in our business meetings (your vote counts!), and other organized events during the meeting. This is a great opportunity to meet leading researchers in the Southwest.


ESA 2022 Annual Meeting Information!

Visit our booth at the 2022 Annual Meeting in Montréal, Québec, Canada! 

We will be in Exhibit Hall room 220 on the 2nd floor of the convention center on:

Sunday, August 14 from 6:30-8:00 and
Monday, August 15 through Wednesday, August 17 from 9:30 – 6:30

Take this opportunity to meet some of our members and get some ESA South West chapter merch. We will have free stickers and t-shirts for $20.




Congratulations to our Awardees!

2022 Awardees


2019 Courtney Currier

I am a Ph.D. student with Dr. Osvaldo Sala at Arizona State University. I am broadly interested in long-term patterns in plant-ecosystem interactions with precipitation extremes and other global change drivers. These interactions include phenology patterns and biogeochemical cycling. My research focuses on phenological controls of productivity and plant-soil nutrient cycling as a result of long-term extremes in precipitation in drylands. At the 2018 ESA Annual Meeting, I presented results of 4 years of rainfall manipulation (+80% precipitation addition, ambient, -80% rainfall interception) at the Jornada Basin LTER on plant phenology and addresses multiple hypotheses. Complementary to long-term NPP data within the same experimental plots, my results lend compelling insight on differential responses of plant functional group to treatments where drought had an overall stronger effect on plant phenology than increased precipitation, and shrubs and grasses respond differently to treatment type.

2019 Katie Young


2018 Christina Lupoli:

Christina Lupoli’s award winning abstract; “Does hydropower affect food web connectivity in an arid large-river system?”

Christina’s main interests lie in the field of community ecology at the terrestrial-aquatic interface. In particular, she hope to understand how members of these communities interact with one another and the strength of these interactions. Right now, she is interested in studying how inter-annual changes in aquatic insect emergences in the Colorado River affect the composition of their surrounding terrestrial communities. This question is based on the USGS’s findings that differences in river flow-management, such as spring floods, can strong alter aquatic emergency production which, in turn, affects rainbow trout populations. For further information or to contact Christina, see here.


2018 Gordon Smith:


Gordon Smith’s award winning abstract; “Sex differences in pollinator behavior: patterns across species and consequences for plants.”


2017 Alessandro (Alex) Filazzola:

Alex Filazzola’s award winning abstract; “The inclusion of positive interactions in modeling the niche space of desert annuals”

Alessandro (Alex) Filazzola is a community ecologist and conservation biologist. His current research is in California studying desert systems with a particular focus on plant-plant interactions. His previous research includes studying alpine systems, insect physiology, and using phyto-indicators to estimate deer browsing. Outside of field research, Alex is also a strong supporter of open science, particularly R project, and involved in extending environmentalism to the youth community. For further information or to contact Alex, see his website at:

2017 Brian Smithers:

Brian Smithers’ award winning abstract; “Upslope treeline shifts point to life stage climate envelope differences in Great Basin bristlecone pine forests”

Brian is interested in how tree communities assemble at and above treeline using climate change as a human-timescale proxy for changing environmental conditions. His work focuses on the “sky island” Basin and Range Mountains of the North American west such as the White Mountains in California where he uses plot sampling, experimental common gardens, dendrochronology, and population genetics to study the range dynamics of limber pine and Great Basin bristlecone pine, some of which are the oldest individual living organisms on earth.

2017 Tara Bishop:

Tara Bishop’s award winning abstract; “Rodents disrupt invasive grass fire cycles”

2016 Julia Bettinelli:

2015 – Eva Robinson:

ESA travel grant awardee 2015

Eva Robinson’s winning abstract title; “Soil fungi benefit both plants and biocrusts in arid lands: a test of the fungal loop hypothesis”

Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA

2015 – Anny Chung:

Anny Chung 2015 Awardee

Anny Chung’s winning abstract title: “Plant-soil feedbacks and long-term coexistence dynamics in the field”

Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA

2014 – Kristen DaVanon:

Kristen DaVanon

Kristen DaVanon, New Mexico State University, “The effects of urbanization on state change mediated by predator-prey interactions”

2014 – Heather Kropp:

Heather Kropp

Heather Kropp, Arizona State University, “The effect of plant neighbors on root profiles of a common desert shrub, Larrea tridentata