Communications > Press Releases
Cape Cod, Massachusetts has a problem. The iconic salt marshes of the famous summer retreat are melting away at the edges, dying back from the most popular recreational areas. The erosion is a consequence of an unexpected synergy between recreational over-fishing and Great Depression-era ditches constructed by Works Progress Administration (WPA) in an effort to control mosquitoes. The cascade of ecological cause and effect is described by Tyler Coverdale and colleagues at Brown University in a paper published online this month in ESA's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.Read more...
Josh Miller likes to call himself a conservation paleobiologist. The label makes sense when he explains how he uses bones as up-to-last-season information on contemporary animal populations.
Bones, he says, provide baseline ecological data on animals complementary to aerial counts, adding a historical component to live observation. In his November cover article for the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecology, he assesses elk habitat use in Yellowstone National Park by their bones and antlers, testing his method against several decades of the Park Service's meticulous observations.Read more...
The pressures of global trade may heighten disease incidence by dictating changes in land use. A boom in disease-carrying ticks and chiggers has followed the abandonment of rice cultivation in Taiwanese paddies, say ecologist Chi-Chien Kuo and colleagues, demonstrating the potential for global commodities pricing to drive the spread of infections. Their work appears in the September issue of ESA's journal Ecological Applications.Read more...
Scott Collins, Regent's Professor of Biology and Loren Potter Chair of Plant Ecology at the University of New Mexico became President of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) on August 10, 2012. Elected by the members of ESA for a one-year term, Collins will chair the ESA Governing Board, the elected governing body of the Society, which provides vision and guidance on ESA initiatives and future direction.Read more...
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its fifth annual Regional Policy Award to Ken Bierly of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board during the Society's upcoming conference in Portland, Oregon. The ESA award recognizes an elected or appointed local policymaker who has an outstanding record of informing political decision-making with ecological science.Read more...
Though public participation in scientific research has deep roots in the history of science, in the last few years it has taken off spectacularly from launch pads across the disciplines of science and education, fueled by advances in communications technology and a sea change in a scientific culture now eager to welcome outsiders as collaborators.Read more...
July 12, 2012 - The Ecology of Natural Gas
"Fracking" stories about shale gas extraction hit the news daily, fueling a growing conflagration between environmental protectionism and economic interests. Otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing, fracking has become a profitable venture thanks to advances in horizontal drilling technology, opening up large US reservoirs and vastly changing the natural gas market. Touted as a clean energy source and a bridge fuel to transition from fossil fuels, natural gas via fracking is also frought with public health and environmental concerns. A session at the upcoming annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America will look at the natural gas process chain, from extraction and processing to transport and distribution.Read more...
June 28, 2012 - Ecological Society of America announces 2012 award recipients
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present eight societal awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology during ESA's 97th annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. The meeting, which will be held from August 5 - 10, is expected to draw over 4,500 scientists from around the globe to share their research and ideas.Read more...
June 21, 2012 - Risks and rewards of quantifying nature's "ecosystem services"
How much is a stream worth? Can we put a dollar value on a wetland? Some conservation proponents have moved to establish the economic value of "ecosystem services," the benefits that nature provides to people. The approach translates the beauty and utility of a wetland into pounds of phosphorus removed from agricultural runoff, Joules of heat pulled out of urban wastewater, and inches of floodwater absorbed upstream of riverside communities.Read more...
May 7, 2012 - Dry rivers, vibrant with culture and life
WASHINGTON-'When the River Runs Dry' is a familiar song in Australia. Some rivers in the arid center of the continent flow only after a stiff monsoon season, and smaller tributaries all over the country commonly shrink to puddled potholes and dry river beds during the dry season. But rivers also run dry in more temperate climes. Much of the upper reaches and feeder streams of the great rivers of North America, and even the mighty Amazon, dry out seasonally.Read more...
Washington, DC-Representatives Chaka Fattah (D-PA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) are the recipients of the 2012 Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) Award. The award is given to recognize congressional leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing science policy and research.Read more...
WASHINGTON, DC - The Ecological Society of America (ESA), a professional organization of 10,000 ecological scientists, will join 500 other scientific societies for the second annual USA Science & Engineering Festival on April 28 and 29 in Washington, DC. Hosted by Lockheed Martin, the free public event is expected to draw thousands of school children and their families. Its primary goal is to raise awareness and appreciation of science and engineering and encourage students to explore careers in those fields.Read more...
Registration is now open for the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) 97th Annual Meeting on August 5-10, 2012, in Portland, Oregon. The meeting is expected to draw more than 4,300 scientists, policy makers, educators and concerned citizens to share emerging research.Read more...
During peak migration days in the early 1900s, tens of thousands of canvasback ducks could be seen floating and diving on Minnesota's Lake Christina. Since midcentury, changes to the lake have diminished this grand, iconic spectacle. Restoring it will require both top-down control of life in the lake, and bottom-up management of the surrounding landscape. So says a team of Minnesota scientists calling on extensive modern records and 200 years of history trapped in sediment, in a report released online last week in the journal Ecological Applications.Read more...
Ecosystems are shifting under pressure from human activities, invasive species, and a changing climate, presenting us with hard philosophical and practical choices on conservation strategy. Should we preserve parkland as time capsules of past and current wilderness, or embrace changing species ranges and demographics to encourage new diversity as new ecosystems form? Eighty scientists, policy makers and resource managers will meet this month to challenge assumptions and explore potential solutions at the Ecological Society of America's second conference on Emerging Issues, Developing Ecologically-Based Conservation Targets under Global Change.Read more...
Feb. 9, 2012 - ESA Announces 2012 Graduate Student Policy Award Winners
WASHINGTON, DC - The Ecological Society of America (ESA), a professional organization of 10,000 ecological scientists, is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2012 Graduate Student Policy Award. The award affords ESA graduate student members the opportunity to participate in two days of science policy activities, including meetings with congressional offices. This year's winners are: Matthew Schuler (Washington University in St. Louis), Sara Kuebbing (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), and Adam Rosenblatt (Florida International University).Read more...
Nitrogen is both an essential nutrient and a pollutant, a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion and a fertilizer that feeds billions, a benefit and a hazard, depending on form, location, and quantity. Agriculture, industry and transportation have spread nitrogen liberally around the planet, say sixteen scientists in the latest edition of ESA's Issues in Ecology series, "Excess Nitrogen in the U.S. Environment: Trends, Risks, and Solutions," with complex and interrelated consequences for ecological communities and our dependence upon the resources they provide, as well as human health.Read more...
Air pollution is changing our environment and undermining many benefits we rely on from wild lands, threatening water purity, food production, and climate stability, according to a team of scientists writing in the 14th edition of the Ecological Society of America's Issues in Ecology. In "Setting Limits: Using Air Pollution Thresholds to Protect and Restore U.S. Ecosystems," lead author Mark Fenn (USDA Forest Service) and nine colleagues review current pollution evaluation criteria. The authors propose science-based strategies to set new limits and put the brakes on acid rain, algal blooms, and accumulation of toxic mercury in plants and animals.
Credit: Flickr user SteveB in Denver, September 2011Read more...
This month in ecological science: the evolution of a stream, from barren moonscape to salmon run, modeling the contribution of sport fishermen's skills and preferences to patterns of overfishing, and the unknown risks of fracking for nearby streams and rivers. These articles are published in the October issues of the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) journals.Read more...
This month in ecological science, researchers report on evolutionary traps, the strong response of an undesirable non-native plant to elevated CO2 and the potential of new crop cultivars to meet human needs and ease environmental costs of agriculture. These articles are published in the September issues of the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) journals.
Picture: male cardinal. Credit: Norm TownsendRead more...
9/14/2011 - Steward T.A. Pickett named President of the Ecological Society of America (2011-2012)
Steward T.A. Pickett, a plant ecologist with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies has been named President of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Elected by the members of ESA for a one-year term, Pickett presides over the world's largest professional society of ecologists. Its membership comprises of 10,000 researchers, educators, natural resource managers, and students representing over 20 topical sections and seven regional chapters, reflecting the diverse interests and activities of the Society. Read more...
09/12/2011 - Honduran earthquake of 2009 destroyed half of coral reefs of Belizean Barrier Reef lagoon
Earth's coral reefs have not been faring well in recent decades, facing multiple threats from pollution, disease, elevated water temperatures, and overfishing. Often referred to as the "rainforests of the Sea," coral reefs support a wide variety of marine life, help protect shorelines, and contribute significantly to tourism and the fishing industry. A new study looks at a rare but catastrophic impact on reefs: the damage caused by natural disasters such as an earthquakes.
Photo by:R. B. Aronson, Florida Tech Read more...
08/12/2011 - Scientists explore the role of aeroecology in bat conservation and ecosystem health
Golf courses and coffee plantations are some of the unlikely bat habitats that could be considered in conservation plans, say scientists presenting research at the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) 96th Annual Meeting from August 7-12, 2011. Using Doppler weather radar and other technologies relatively new to the field of ecology, ecologists will discuss the role of atmospheric conditions in bat behavior and the effectiveness of acoustic deterrents in reducing bat fatalities at wind farms. ESA's August 2011 meeting will take place in Austin, Texas, home to North America's largest urban bat colony. Here is just some of the research on bat conservation, bat and ecosystem health and aeroecology to be presented at the meeting. Read more...
07/13/2011 - Ecological Society of America announces 2011 award recipients
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present seven awards to distinguished ecologists at its 96th Annual Meeting from August 7-12, 2011 in Austin, Texas. The meeting, which has the theme "Earth Stewardship: Preserving and enhancing the earth's life-support systems," draws a critical combination of more than 3,500 scientists, policymakers and concerned citizens to discuss research on Earth's complex interactions and to explore strategies for enhancing a community-based approach to global responsibility. Read more...
07/07/2011 - Texas Parks Wildlife Commission Member Karen Hixon to Receive ESA's 2011 Regional Policy Award
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its fourth annual Regional Policy Award to Karen Hixon of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) at the Society's 96th Annual Meeting on Sunday August 7 in Austin, Texas. The ESA award recognizes a regional or local policymaker who has an outstanding record of informing political decision-making with ecological science. Read more...
06/21/2011 - Research on U.S. National Fire Plan, return of an Ozark lizard and the Arctic Tundra's fire regime
This month in ecological science, researchers evaluate the U.S. National Fire Plan to restore western U.S. forests, fire's key role in the return of a native lizard to the Ozarks and what historical fire records and sediment cores can tell us about the Arctic Tundra's fire regime. These articles are available online or published in recent issues of the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) journals. Read more...
05/16/2011 - Scientists at the Ecological Society of America's 2011 Annual Meeting to discuss global stewardship
Registration is now open to members of the media for the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) 96th Annual Meeting on August 7-12, 2011 in Austin, Texas. The meeting, which has the theme "Earth Stewardship: Preserving and enhancing the earth's life-support systems," is expected to draw more than 3,500 scientists, policy makers, educators and concerned citizens to share emerging research and explore strategies to enhance community-based approaches to global responsibility.
04/11/2011 - Cephalopods experience massive acoustic trauma from noise pollution in the oceans
Noise pollution in the oceans has been shown to cause physical and behavioral changes in marine life, especially in dolphins and whales, which rely on sound for daily activities. However, low frequency sound produced by large scale, offshore activities is also suspected to have the capacity to cause harm to other marine life as well.
02/22/2011 - Recreation meets wildlife in Alaska: The
ecological impact of cruise ships and off-roading
This month in ecological science, researchers find that cruise ships travelling at faster speeds have closer encounters with humpback whales in Alaskan waterways and ecologists assess the damage to wildlife from off-road vehicles in rural Alaska.
02/07/2011 - ESA Announces 2011 Graduate Student Policy Award Winners
The Ecological Society of America (ESA), a professional organization of 10,000 ecological scientists, is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2011 Graduate Student Policy Award. The award affords ESA graduate students the opportunity to participate in two days of science policy activities, including meetings with congressional offices. This year's winners are: Kellen Marshall (University of Illinois-Chicago), Michael Levy (West Virginia University), and Daniel Evans (University of Washington).
02/02/2011 - Earth's life support systems discussed in an open-access special issue
In the search for life on Mars or any planet, there is much more than the presence of carbon and oxygen to consider. Using Earth's biogeochemical cycles as a reference point, elements like nitrogen, iron and sulfur are just as important for supporting life.
11/22/2010 - Koalas as picky leaf-eaters, ancient insects in warm climates and California's forest fires
Koalas may be the pickiest marsupials around: They evolved to feed almost exclusively on the leaves of Eucalyptus trees, and they are highly selective when it comes to which species and even which individual trees they visit. When the furry leaf-eater settles on a particular tree, it relies on a number of factors, including taste, to make its selection. In a study published in the November issue of Ecology, a journal of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), researchers used koala feeding preferences to design a new method that could help ecologists and conservationists map habitats.
11/10/2010 - Mountain pine beetle outbreaks do not increase the likelihood of forest fires
Conventional wisdom about the effects of the mountain pine beetle (MPB) on forest fires across western North America has often assumed that the beetle-induced death of trees has led to an increase in rapidly spreading forest fires.
10/29/2010 - Slight change in wind turbine speed significantly reduces bat mortality
While wind energy has shown strong potential as a large-scale, emission-free energy source, bat and bird collisions at wind turbines result in thousands of fatalities annually. Migratory bats, such as the hoary bat, are especially at risk for collision with wind turbines as they fly their routes in the forested ridges of the eastern U.S.
09/27/2010 - Ecology and Education Summit to address environmental literacy
Registration is now open to the press for the Ecology and Education Summit - co-organized by the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and National Education Association,with more than twenty national organizations - which will be held October 14-15, 2010 in Washington, D.C.
09/23/2010 - Ecology Professor from the Institute for Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska named President of the Ecological Society of America
F. Stuart “Terry” Chapin, III, Professor of Ecology from the Institute for Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks has been named President of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Elected by the members of ESA for a one-year term, Chapin presides over the world’s largest professional organization of ecologists-representing some 10,000 scientists in the United States and around the globe.
09/16/2010 - Science organizations urge Russia to preserve the Pavlovsk Experiment Station
According to a joint letter of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), the station is an irreplaceable resource to humanity; its loss would reduce options for adaptation to future plant diseases, environmental changes, or the need for increased agricultural productivity.
09/01/2010 - Are wolves saving Yellowstone's aspen trees from elk?
Previous research has claimed that the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 is helping restore quaking aspen in risky areas where wolves prowl. But apparently elk hungry for winter food had a different idea. They did not know they were supposed to be responding to a “landscape of fear.”
08/06/2010 - Scientists find the new evidence of genetically modified plants in the wild
Research is continually emerging on the impacts of invasive species, pollution and environmental disasters on ecosystems and communities. Ecological scientists will discuss widespread environmental changes—from the recent discovery of genetically modified plants in the wild to the implications of mercury found in bottlenose dolphin skin, and even exploring society’s reactive mode toward environmental disasters in the U.S.—at the Ecological Society of America’s 95th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh from August 1-6, 2010.
08/03/2010 - Scientists unravel human-ecosystem interactions
Whether it is a single rock being overturned or an entire mountaintop being removed, humans play a continuous role in environmental processes, and vice versa. Ecological scientists will discuss findings on human-ecosystem interactions - from the effects of nanomaterials on plant growth to the diversity of insect species on green roofs, and even communities of airborne microbes in hospital buildings - at the Ecological Society of America's 95th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh from August 1-6, 2010.
08/02/2010 - Ecological scientists assess the fundamentals of animal behavior
In this time of global change, understanding the basics of animal behavior and environmental interactions is just as important as predicting and planning for widespread impacts. Ecological scientists will assess the fundamentals of animal behavior – such as plant toxin detection in bushbaby foraging – and current adaptations to global change – like defense mechanisms of native lizards to red imported fire ant attacks and the role of antioxidants and radiation in barn swallow reproduction – at the Ecological Society of America's (ESA) 95th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh from August 1-6, 2010.
08/02/2010 - Addressing environmental challenges and controversies through science communication
What can we do for the environment? What can individual scientists, agencies and institutions do to improve the quality of environmental decision-making? These are among the questions explored by scientists and communications experts in a Special Issue of the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Submissions are based on a 2009 conference held at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.
07/29/2010 - Braddock Mayor John Fetterman to receive the ESA's Regional Policy Award
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its third annual Regional Policy Award to Mayor John Fetterman of Braddock, Pennsylvania at its 95th Annual Meeting on August 1, 2010 in Pittsburgh. The award recognizes a regional or local policymaker who has an outstanding record of informing his political decision-making with ecological science.
07/23/2010 - ESA launches new Journal
On August 3, during its 95th Annual Meeting, the Ecological Society of America will officially launch its newest journal, Ecosphere. Welcoming submissions from all sub-disciplines of ecological science, Ecosphere will provide a rapid-publication, online-only, open-access alternative to the Society’s existing journals, while maintaining the rigorous peer-review standards for which printed ESA journals are renowned.
07/15/2010 - ESA partners with The Nature Conservancy to support high school urban education program
Beginning in the fall of 2010, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Ecological Society of America will help educators from environmental high schools share best practices and scientific resources.
06/29/2010 - Ecological Society of America announces 2010 award recipients
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present seven societal awards to distinguished ecologists at its 95th Annual Meeting from August 1-6, 2010 in Pittsburgh. The meeting, which has the theme "Global Warming: The legacy of our past, the challenge for our future."
06/16/2010 - Citizen science: Birders contribute valuable data on invasive plant species
In an effort to assess ties between birds' feeding habits and the spread of nonnative invasive plants, researchers provided ornithologists from four U.S. states with questionnaires on daily bird-plant encounters. The 1,143 unique interactions reported by the birders laid the groundwork for a study on the role of native birds in the seed dispersal of invasive plants throughout the U.S.
06/08/2010 - ESA explores global warming at its 95th Annual Meeting
Registration is now open to the press for the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) 95th Annual Meeting which will be held August 1-6, 2010 in Pittsburgh.
05/13/2010 - Strategies for increasing carbon stored in forests and wood
While the U.S. and other world leaders consider options for offsetting carbon emissions, it is important to take into account the role forests play in the global carbon cycle, say scientists in a paper published in the spring edition of Issues in Ecology.
04/30/2010 - Experts in marine biology and ecology available to discuss oil spill
The Ecological Society of America (ESA), the nation's largest organization of ecological scientists, recommends six members of its Rapid Response Team (RRT) to discuss the current and future status of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as it pertains to wildlife and ecosystems.
04/28/2010 - Sustainable biofuels from forests, grasslands and rangelands
The promise of switchgrass, the challenges for forests and the costs of corn-based ethanol production: Ecological scientists review the many factors surrounding biofuel crop production and its implications on ecosystem health in three new Biofuels and Sustainability Reports.
04/22/2010 - DNA barcoding reveals mislabeled cod and haddock in Dublin
Ecological scientists in Ireland recently used DNA barcoding to identify species of fish labeled as either “cod” or “haddock” in fish and chip shops, fresh fish counters and supermarkets in 10 postal districts in Dublin.
02/16/2010 Nation's largest organization of ecologists offers expert database
The Ecological Society of America (ESA), the nation's largest organization of ecological scientists, unveiled its updated resource for policymakers and members of the media today: the Rapid Response Team (RRT) database, an ESA resource for several years that is now fully searchable. Users can find ecological scientists who specialize in a variety of fields, including climate change, invasive species, urban ecology, conservation and biofuels, or can locate an RRT member by name, affiliation or keyword.
03/16/2010 - From international harbor to native habitat
In the 1930s, soil used as ballast to weigh down cargo ships from South America to Mobile, Alabama introduced the red imported fire ant to the southern United States.
03/02/2010 ESA Announces 2010 Graduate Student Policy Award Winners
The Ecological Society of America (ESA), a professional organization of 10,000 ecological scientists, is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2010 Graduate Student Policy Award.
02/16/2010 ESA and TWS publish final report on the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) and The Wildlife Society (TWS) recently published a final report describing the planning process that shaped the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and outlining recommendations for its structure and function.
02/16/2010 Beyond the corn field: Balancing fuel, food and biodiversity
The development of alternative fuel will greatly benefit the U.S., say scientists in an Energy Foundation-funded report published today by the Ecological Society of America (ESA), the nation’s largest organization of ecological scientists. However, in order to effectively reap the social and economic benefits of biofuel production, U.S. policies need to address potential effects of land-use choices on our ecosystems.
02/01/2010 Plantations Can Provide the Same Ecosystem Services as Natural Forests
Not all plantations need to be the biological deserts that have come to characterize large-scale, industrial plantations. According to scientists in a paper out in February’s issue of the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, well-planned plantations can actually alleviate some of the social, economic and ecological burden currently being placed on natural forests.
01/21/2010 Managing Ecosystems in a Changing Climate
Global warming may impair the ability of ecosystems to perform vital services—such as providing food, clean water and carbon sequestration—says the nation’s largest organization of ecological scientists. In a statement released today, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) outlines strategies that focus on restoring and maintaining natural ecosystem functions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.