All about Eminent Ecologists on Twitter

Enjoy our Twitter series on Eminent Ecologists without signing up for Twitter! If you do have a Twitter account, be sure to follow us @ESAhistory, and check here to make sure you didn’t miss anything in this set. For more of our posts on Twitter, see Romping through the Records.

You can see the full list of honorees on our Eminent Ecologist Award page, or check it out on Wikipedia, to see which Eminents still need Wikipedia pages.


  • 1992 #EminentEcologist Frank Pitelka “trained virtually the entire branch of behavioral ecology” NY Times obituary Photo
  • #EminentEcologist Nelson Hairston was also @RELenski’s advisor, per interview here.
  • 1991 #EminentEcologist Nelson Hairston connected disease prevention & ecology. Landed him a position advising the WHO. His obituary here.
  • 1991 #EminentEcologist Dwight Billings discovered a great deal about plant ecophysiology by working in severe surroundings.
  • 1988, 1991, and 1995 all had 2 #EminentEcologists. Usually only one award is given each year.
  • 1990 #Eminent Ecologist William Edwin Ricker has a writeup in Sports Illustrated because of applications of his research.
  • Despite being pretty famous & really important, 1990 #EminentEcologist William Ricker doesn’t have a Wikipedia page.
  • Great scientists change their minds thru argument and lots of data. 1989 #EminentEcologist George Williams was a great example of this.
  • 2 #EminentEcologists in 1988, Herbert Andrewartha and Charles Birch, wrote a book together on the animal distributions.
  • 1987 #EminentEcologist Archie Carr loved turtles and was an important figure in their conservation. His photo here
  • 1986 #EminentEcologist Chris Pielou invented mathematical ecology and writes natural hist. And she’s an arctic explorer!
  • 1985 #EminentEcologist Connell introd’d Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis; now called a zombie idea.
  • 1984 #EminentEcologist John L. Harper did some early eco-evo work. That and some delightful writing here.
  • 1983 #EminentEcologist Tommy Edmondson named a rotifer after a high school teacher & hung out in Hutchinson’s lab in HS; obituary here.
  • 1982 #EminentEcologist Edward Smith Deevey, Jr. left one of his jobs because it made him feel like God.
  • Whittaker studied under two other #EminentEcologists, Shelford and Kendeigh. Great bio by @NAS_news
  • 1981 #EminentEcologist Robert H. Whittaker shot down some of Fredric Clements ideas – one of founding members of @ESA_org
  • 1980 #EminentEcologist D.W.Tinkle discovered and shared a great deal about reptiles before his tragically early death
  • “you can’t live a day without diatoms,” Ruth Patrick, 1972 #eminentecologist, cited in Resol’n of Respect, Jan 2014 ESA Bull.
  • 1979 #EminentEcologist Daubenmire intro’d influential land classification strategy of “habitat types” adopted by @USFS
  • Want to know what an #EminentEcologist ‘s undergrad lab notes from the 1920s look like? Kendaigh’s are in the archives @Illinois_Alma
  • Charles Kendaigh received #EminentEcologist award in 1978 – 10 years after his PhD advisor Victor Shelford did, too.
  • 1977 #EminentEcologist Walter McDougall was writing about forest mycorrhizae back in 1914 Also worked @MuseumofNAZ
  • 1976 #eminentecologist Alton Lindsey wrote ecological limericks under the pen name Windan Waters Obit at New York Times
  • 1976 #eminentecologist Alton Lindsey was biologist on Byrd’s 1930s Antarctic expedition. Got some islands named after him.
  • Ruth Patrick, 1972 #eminentecologist, died today at age 105 Obit at Washington Post [23 Sept 2013]
  • Neil [Cornelius] Muller collected a lot of specimens while advancing oak systematics. See some of them here. 1975 #eminentecologist
  • E.O. Wilson and Hutchinson (his PhD advisor) reflect on MacArthur’s contributions to ecology [pdf] #eminentecologist
  • The Patrick Principle: diversity is a measure of environmental health. Named after 1972 #eminentecologist Ruth Patrick.
  • Thomas Park helped move ecology from obs to experiments. Taught math for a bit @UCBerkeley, too! Obit at New York Times 1971 #eminentecologist
  • Murray Buell was an incredible mentor and pioneer in considering land use Obit at ESA [pdf] 1971 #eminentecologist
  • Victor E. Shelford, #eminentecologist and first @ESA_org president, got married the day after he finished PhD on beetles & succssn @UChicago [His papers are at Univ Chicago]
  • A.E. Emerson’s letters & grant proposals @ Univ of Chicago Termite expert almost became a musician #eminentecologist
  • Excellent guide to 1966 #eminentecologist Alfred Redfield’s papers @WHOImedia, including letters about an alleged murderer
  • “But so far as possible, inference must be checked by direct evidence in the form of organic remains whose sequence and identity can be verified. In this connection pollen preserved in peat and related deposits is especially useful” 1965 #eminentecologist Paul Sears writing in 1935 in The Botanical Review.
  • Lee Raymond Dice, 1964 #eminentecologist, took a 1000 mi trip down the Kuskokwim River in a tiny boat in 1912
  • 1963 #eminentecologist [W.S.] Cooper asked President Coolidge to protect Glacier Bay. Great picture of him revisiting the bay
  • A delightful paper on a fundamental ecological question by 1962 #eminentecologist G.E. Hutchinson: Homage to Santa Rosalia
  • Charles Elton, founder of invasion ecology—perhaps unsurprising given his nationality? 1st non-US #eminentecologist, 1961
  • Walter Cottam was a co-founder of the Nature Conservatory & started the Red Butte Garden 1960 #eminentecologist
  • Arthur Sampson was a lifesaving applied ecologist who set up an early long term field experiment 1958 #eminentecologist
  • Karl Schmidt, herpetologist & @ESA_org’s 4th #eminentecologist (1957), was killed by Boomslang bite while working @FieldMuseum
  • George Burton Rigg 3rd #eminentecologist. Online info scarce, but found his book about soil toxins Know more? More about 1956 #eminentecologist Rigg in the @ESA_org Bulletin
  • Gleason named “Distinguished Ecologist” a yr before @ESA_org started #eminentecologist award. Check out 1930s paper; see also some of the plants collected by Gleason on trips to Puerto Rico and South America #eminentecologist
  • Albert Wright was 2nd @ESA_org #eminentecologist in 1955. Cornell has his papers – I’d love to read his letters #getscanning
  • Henry Shoemaker Conard was @ESA_org’s first Eminent Ecologist and a botanical illustrator
  • Ruth Patrick, @ESA_org ‘s first woman Eminent Ecologist, worked 10 years w/ no pay at the Academy of Natural Sciences

In related tweets, we found this one; not ours, but thought-provoking:

@algaebarnacle: Things I’ve noticed about women in ecology: only 3 female winners of ESA’s Eminent Ecologist Award since 1953

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  1. […] Our Twitter series of little known facts about award recipients is presented here. […]

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