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2014 Theoretical Ecology Section Report

The Theoretical Ecology Section of the ESA 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.

Mixer and Business Meeting

The Section hosted its annual Mixer and Business Meeting on Monday, August 11, 2014, from 6:30 PM-8:00 PM at the ESA Annual Meeting in Sacramento, CA, USA (Magnolia, Sheraton Hotel).


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. Prizes are awarded on the basis of merit, originality, and clarity of presentation. The winner of the 2013 Lotka award for the best poster was Jaime Ashander from the University of California, Davis, CA for his poster “Understanding the joint effects of plastic and evolutionary change on demography from time series data” (coauthored by Marissa Baskett). The winner of the 2013 Volterra award for the best talk was Julie Rushmore from the University of Georgia, Athens for her talk “Network-based vaccination improves prospects for disease control in wild chimpanzee” (coauthored by Damien Caillaud, Richard J. Hall, Rebecca M. Stumpf, Lauren Ancel Meyers, Sonia Altizer). Thank you to all section members who evaluated presentations for this competition.

The Section also sponsors an annual award for an outstanding recent published paper in ecological theory. The recipient of the 2014 award is “Strong species-environment feedback shapes plant community assembly along environmental gradients” by Jiang Jiang and Don DeAngelis. This paper appears in Ecology and Evolution (3: 4119–4128).


At the 2014 ESA Annual Meeting, the Theoretical Ecology Section is not sponsoring a symposium. No sponsorship was requested.


Bruce Kendall will step down as Chair at the conclusion of the Section’s business meeting in Sacramento, CA. Marissa Baskett (the current Vice Chair) will serve as the Section Chair for 2014-2015. David Vasseur will serve as the Section Vice Chair for 2014-2015. Masami Fujiwara continues as Secretary until 2015. Emily Moberg continues as Student Section Liaison until 2015. Students interested in getting involved should meet with Emily at the 2015 Mixer and Business Meeting.

Other Announcements

Marissa Baskett is planning to create a web page for theoretical ecologists to post teaching resources. Emily Moberg will organize a mentoring program for 2015 Annual meeting. Anyone who are interested in these activities should contact Marissa and Emily.