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2010 Theoretical Ecology Section Report   July 16, 2010

Robin Snyder

The Section was formed in 1993 to (1) foster theoretical research in all areas of ecology; (2) sponsor meetings for the presentation of results; (3) foster communication and research collaboration between theoreticians and experimental/field ecologists; (4) encourage the application of ecological theory to the resolution of societal problems.


Robin Snyder will be stepping down as Chair at the end of the Section’s business meeting in Pittsburgh. Kevin Gross (the current Vice Chair) will take his place. Colin Kremer will continue as Secretary for the second half of his 2-year term. The election for next year’s Vice Chair is in progress; the winner will be announced at the business meeting in Pittsburgh.

Addendum (8/21/10): Elizabeth Crone was elected as the incoming Vice Chair.


The Theoretical Ecology Section awards the Alfred J. Lotka and Vito Volterra prizes for the best presentations given by students during the Annual Meeting of the ESA. The award is open to graduate or undergraduate student members of the ESA who, as sole or first author, present a talk or poster at the ESA Annual Meeting on original research in theoretical ecology. All suitable approaches that yield theoretical insight to ecological phenomena are considered. Prizes are awarded on the basis of merit, originality, and clarity of presentation. The winner of the Lotka award for the best poster in 2009 was Andres Baeza, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, for his poster “On the emergence of conservation behavior in a simple model of land-use with ecosystem services” (with coauthors Mercedes Pascual and Andy Dobson). The winner of the Volterra award for the best presentation was Alex Perkins, a graduate student the University of California, Davis, for his talk “Evolutionarily labile species interactions and spatial spread dynamics of invasions” (with coauthor Alan Hastings).


This year the Section is sponsoring an Organized Oral Session at the Annual Meeting, “Extending Dynamic Food Web Models to Address Environmental Problems,” organized by Tony Golubski. The session brings together speakers who have extended traditional food webs by adding mutualism and parasitism, dynamic traits such as behavior and life history, spatial structure, and externally imposed temporal variability. We look forward to hearing how these have been applied to conservation and management questions. The section is also offering secondary sponsorship to two symposia: “All You Need to Know is…: Advice from Theorists on Managing Ecosystems in a Changing Climate,” organized by Alan Hastings and “The Invasion Ecology of Disease: Understanding the Drivers of Microbial Community Assembly and Host-Microbe Dynamics in the Human Body,” organized by Vanja Klepac-Ceraj.

We would like to thank Springer for assisting with funding for the mixer, and Elsevier and Sinauer for donating journal subscriptions and books as prizes for the Lotka and Volterra awards.