The Theoretical Ecology Section

About the Section

The Theoretical Ecology Section is one of the most rapidly growing organizations within the Ecological Society of America.
The Section was formed in 1993 to:

    1. 1. Foster theoretical research in all areas of ecology;
    1. 2. Sponsor meetings for the presentation of results;
    1. 3. Foster communication and research collaboration between theoreticians and experimental/field ecologists;
    1. 4. Encourage the application of ecological theory to the resolution of societal problems.

The section sponsors a mixer and best student talk and poster awards at the annual ESA meetings, as well as a best paper award, to facilitate interaction among new and established theoreticians.

To join us, you must first be a member of ESA. You can enroll online here, selecting “Theoretical Ecology” in “Section V”.

Congratulations to the 2017 Lotka and Volterra Award Winners!

We are delighted to announce the 2017 winners of the Lotka and Volterra Awards for the  best theoretical poster and talk presentations, respectively!

Pratha Sah from Georgetown University (currently a post-doc at Yale) who spoke on “Disease implications of animal social organization and network structure: A quantitative analysis” won the Volterra prize for best talk. Her co-authors on this research were Shweta Bansal and Janet Mann.

Evan Johnson from WK Kellogg Biological Station (currently a graduate student at UC Davis) who presented on “Distance makes the heart grow stronger: How space makes mutualisms robust to cheaters” won the Lotka prize for best poster. His co-authors on this research were Simon Stump and Christopher Klausmeier.

Both winners will be receiving complementary subscriptions to Theoretical Ecology (courtesy of Springer-Verlag) and Ecological Complexity (courtesy of Elsevier).

Congratulations to both of them for clearly presenting interesting and original research. We are looking forward to seeing their future contributions to ecological theory.

Congratulations to the 2018 Best Theory Paper Award Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Outstanding Ecological Theory Paper Award for 2018. The award goes to Colin T. Kremer and Christopher A. Klausmeier for their paper entitled “Species packing in eco-evolutionary models of seasonally fluctuating environments” published in Ecology Letters in 2017 (20: 1158-1168).

This paper examines the effects of species’ trait evolution on coexistence under environmental fluctuations and related limiting similarity patterns. It finds that many basic expectations are resilient to evolution, but also the emergence of unexpected results,
such as alternative evolutionary trajectories and stable states of the community, and that subtle properties of environmental fluctuations have a strong influence on the resulting community.

The award comes with a prize of one or more books on or related to ecological theory (from any publisher), up to a total value of $200, supported by section funds,

We received a number of outstanding nominations for the award this year. Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations. The committee enjoyed reading and discussing all the papers. We’d like to highlight in particular the runner up paper on our list, by Katherine Scranton and Priyanga Amarasekare, entitled “Predicting phenological shifts in a changing climate” published in PNAS in 2017.

Please join us in congratulating all of these authors!



Last updated on: August 2, 2018

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