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2015 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 will host its annual Mixer and Business Meeting, joint with the Statistical Ecology Section, on Monday, August 10, at 6:30pm at the ESA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD, USA (Camden Lobby, Baltimore Convention Center).

Awards. 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 2014 Lotka award for the best poster was Sean Hayes (UC Riverside) for his poster, “Dispersal Network Structure Predicts Metacommunity Dynamics”, co-authored with Kurt Anderson. The winner of the 2014 Volterra award for the best presentation was Holly Moeller (Stanford University) for her talk, “Optimal investment in a multi-mutualist system: Tree maintenance of ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity”, co-authored with Michael Neubert. 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 2015 award is “How individual movement response to habitat edges affects population persistence and spatial spread” (American Naturalist 182:42-52) written by Gabriel Maciel and Frithjof Lutscher.

Officers. Marissa Baskett will step down as Chair at the conclusion of the Section’s business meeting in Baltimore, MD. David Vassuer (the current Vice-Chair) will serve as the Section Chair for 2015-2016, and Annette Ostling was elected as Vice-Chair for 2015-2016. Masami Fujiwara will step down from his two-year service as Secretary, and Karen Abbott was elected as Secretary for 2015-2017. Emily Moberg will step down from her two-year service as liaison to the Student Section of ESA, and Diana Rypkema will serve as the Student Section Liaison for 2015-2017. Students interested in getting involved should meet with Diana or Emily at the 2015 Mixer and Business Meeting.

Sponsorship: The Section thanks Elsevier and Sinauer for donating journal subscriptions and books as prizes for the Lotka and Volterra awards as well as Springer for a donation in sponsorship of the joint Theoretical and Statistical Ecology section mixer at the 2015 ESA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD.

Submitted by Marissa Baskett