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Lotka-Volterra Prizes for Best Student Presentations in Theoretical Ecology

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 student members of the ESA who, as sole or first author, present a talk or poster at the ESA annual meeting describing original research in theoretical ecology.  All suitable approaches that yield theoretical insight to ecological phenomena will be considered. Prizes will be awarded on the basis of scientific merit, originality, and clarity of presentation.  We are grateful to Sinauer and Elsevier for their continuing support of this competition.  

To be considered for this award, prospective candidates must notify an officer of the Theoretical Ecology Section by July 15, 2014, providing the following information:
Applicant's name:
Talk or Poster:
Time/Date/Place of presentation/poster:
Please provide this information by email to Marissa Baskett (mlbaskett (at), and include 'Lotka-Volterra Award' in the subject line.

Current Recipients (2013)

Lotka Award for Best Poster:

Jaime Ashander,
Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, CA
"Understanding the joint effects of plastic and evolutionary change on demography from time series data"
Advisor: Marissa Baskett

Volterra Award for Best Talk:

Julie Rushmore,
Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
"Network-based vaccination improves prospects for disease control in wild chimpanzee"
Co-author: Damien Caillaud, Richard J. Hall, Rebecca M. Stumpf, Lauren Ancel Meyers, Sonia Altizer

Past Years' Recipients

Outstanding Ecological Theory Paper Award

The Theoretical Ecology Section sponsors an annual award for an outstanding published paper in ecological theory.  Papers with a print or electronic publication date in either of the two years preceding the year of the award are eligible.  (For example, papers published in years n-2 and n-1 are eligible for the award in year n.)  

Nominations (including self-nominations) may be made from January 1 - March 1 for each year's award. Nominations should be sent to the chair and vice-chair, and should include a short statement by the nominator discussing the paper's merits and suitability for the award.   More information about past winners and application guidelines can be found on the section's website.

Current Recipients (2013)

The Theoretical Ecology Section is pleased to award the 2012 prize for an outstanding theoretical ecology paper to "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Limitation over Long-term Ecosystem Development in Terrestrial Ecosystems" by Duncan Menge, Lars Hedin, and Stephen Pacala, published in PLoS One (2012) vol. 7(8) e42045. This paper formulates a mathematical model for looking at nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) dynamics over multiple timescales. Analyzing their model through techniques of timescale separation, the authors determine whether N or P is more likely to limit net primary productivity (NPP) at short, intermediate, and long timescales. While some of their results provide support for already well-established ideas on NPP limitation, others are counterintuitive, thereby nicely demonstrating the importance of quantitative models for understanding dynamics at the level of the ecosystem. Finally, the work is elegant in that it nicely integrates disparate observations into one cohesive framework.

Past Years' Recipients

Last updated on: January 8, 2014
Masami Fujiwara

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