Skip to main content

Ton Damman Award

The Ton Damman Award is given to a graduate student or very recent post-graduate scientist for the best oral presentation in vegetation science at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. This award recognizes the lifetime dedication of Ton Damman to the advancement of vegetation science. While his professional career revolved around his research on peatland ecology, biogeography, plant community classification and ecology, his teaching focused on broader plant ecological issues. Working with his students and other colleagues, he approached his research with unparalleled commitment and untiring zeal. He was an ardent conservationist of wildlands and biological diversity. His love for the out-of-doors served as a model for the many students and professionals with whom he came into contact. A candidate for this award does not need to be a member of the Vegetation Section, but does need to participate in the Annual Meeting by submitting, as first author, an abstract in the field of vegetation science and giving an oral presentation. All candidate abstracts and presentations are evaluated by judges from the Vegetation Section who determine the winner based on criteria described below. The winner receives a certificate and cash award ($400).
Eligibility: Current graduate students, and those graduated after  April 15 of the year prior to their presentation at the ESA Annual Meeting, are eligible as long as they (1) are the lead author, and (2) give an oral presentation in vegetation ecology (posters are not eligible).
Evaluation process and criteria: Vegetation Section judges select up to 17 candidate abstracts to compete as finalists for the award at the ESA Annual Meeting. Each of the finalists receives a registration grant to attend the Annual Meeting where Vegetation Section judges attend and evaluate their talks to select the winner based on the following criteria (each assessed on a 1-5 scale): (1) Significance of ideas for the field of vegetation ecology, (2) Creativity, (3) Quality of methodology, (4) Validity of conclusions drawn from results, and (5) Clarity of presentation. The presented paper with the lowest (best) score summed across all judges is selected as the winner. In the event of a tie, Vegetation Section membership determines the winner by first considering the lead author’s and then (if needed) co-authors’ memberships.
When and how to apply: Apply once your abstract was accepted by ESA Annual Meeting organizers and by May 1 for ideal consideration. The application should include the following (all in a single pdf file): (1) a copy of your ESA abstract with the title of your presentation and  author names and affiliations, (2) a succinct paragraph describing how the paper to be presented relates to the objectives of the Ton Damman Award, and (3) information on your section membership and status as a current graduate student or recent postgraduate (see eligibility above). The details on how to submit your application electronically (via conference website or email) will be forthcoming.