ECE Section Business Meeting – August 8


Secretary’s Note: Below I have included the full meeting agenda that we began with, but we did not get to cover quite a bit of this at the meeting-proper. I have made efforts to distinguish what we did cover versus what we did not. M Aiello-Lammens




  • Brief Introductions
    • Discussion of our views on the role(s) our section can/should have in the broader ESA organization
  • Sarah went through a recap of the section, including a bit of history (since the section is still quite new)
    • Emphasized that ESA governing board does want to hear what early career members are concerned about. In her role as Chair, Sarah had many good interactions with the board members in this regard.
  • Recapped what we  did this year (review annual report summary)
    • Still have ~$800 of Long Range Planning Grant to spend, won’t need it all for webinars… (see below)
    • Our section is taking over management of the ecoevo jobs wiki
  • Reporting:
    • There is a request from ESA to send all questions or “grouses” about Wiley transfer/ScholarOne to Steve Sayres (ESA Staff – Liaison between ESA and Wiley). He represents ESAs interests to Wiley.
      • A suggestion was made to have a guest post (or links) to remind section members why Wiley transfer was beneficial and necessary. Highlight new, good things about it.
        1. We could invite someone from ESA staff to do? Useful?
        2. Address practicality, missed info from before, and ideological biases.
    • Need to work on vision and institutional memory strategies for ECES
      • 1, 5, and 10 year plans
    • Need to post founding docs and bylaws to ECES website
    • Anyone especially interested in Sexual Harassment + Field work issues, bystander training? Contact ESA Gov Board, working on recommendations…
  • Brainstorm ideas/topics to address
  • What we would like to do – a substantial amount of time was spent discussion the various topics below
    • Webinars on early career topics
      • Zoom as platform, $14.99/mo
      • Topics? Recaps of ESA sessions?
        1. LaPierre and Koerner to see if NSF panel interested in doing webinar summary of session
        2. How to be a good mentor (targeted at both our members and more broadly as well)
          • How do established academics mentor for alternative careers? Are there ways to develop those skills?
        1. Mentoring for different career tracks
        2. Tweeter for early career ecologists
        3. Building your online presence as early career
        4. Interface between online presence and job search
    • Provide an online discussion forum
    • Continued blog/twitter presence, enable comments
    • Year-round peer mentoring forum?
      • We mentioned this briefly, but did not dive into many details about it.
    • Graduated fees for ESA registration and/or childcare
      • Evolution mtgs also use KiddeCorps, but charge less (half price) to postgrads/students than established ecologists
      • This will be something the section exec board will continue to raise to ESA board/execs
    • Establish a yearly travel award (how decide?) or childcare subsidy?
      • This is another topic that was mentioned, but we did not get to dive into details with.
    • Drink ticket mixer in 2017 – Scott Collins to help organize
    • Interest in year-round communications? Activities?
    • Taking over the Ecological Jobs Wiki (from Chris Klausmeier). This was discussed in brief at the meeting, but there was already someone who expressed interest in taking over this job, so not much time spent on the details below.
      • When you have someone located, let me know and I’ll add them as owners of the spreadsheet (and domain name when it comes to renewal time next summer).
      • on-going and one-time tasks required/suggested.  It’s super easy, since it’s mostly automated and the spreadsheet’s settings should prevent people from really messing things up.
        1. Hype up the site online and in person to make sure people know about it and contribute info.
          • – Twitter
          • – Ads at ESA & other meetings (still not too late if you or someone wants to post something this year)
          • – A little outreach to evolution folks
          • – ??
        2. Make sure jobs are posted.  People do post them without your input, but some might slip through.  Possible sources:
        3. Curate entries:
          • – Fix typos & ugly formatting
          • – Delete duplicates
        4. Keep an eye on discussion tabs to make sure no one is super obnoxious.
      • One-time suggestions:
        1. Optimize other tabs except “Faculty Jobs”, which is the only one I really cared to set up properly — the rest I copied from last year.
        2. Coordinate with ESA physiology section (Rob Jackson and Will Cook)?
        3. Maybe add some “ESA Early Career Ecologist Section” branding?  Link from Early Career site?
        4. Take over sheet ownership and domain registration next year
        5. Archive this year’s and set up next year’s
    • Connections w/ other societies
      • BES, IBS, Evolution
      • Shared mixers, meetups, or events?
    • Mentoring initiatives
      • Talk to Theresa Moraud about funnelling SEEDs alumni to ECES as peer mentors
      • Talk to Theresa about building peer mentor networks (sensu QUBES initiative)
      • Idea of the “story behind the story” type blog – to share stories of difficult success, science is hard…
      • Duffy/Borer/Ziter et al. idea about making a postgrad expertise resource for identifying editors/reviewers for papers, diversify reviewers, unburden established ecologists
        1. Discuss ideas with Publication Committee and/or Gov Board Nov?
        2. Frontiers tried paired review mentors in the past, didn’t work (Silver)
        3. Aus. journal does this — Marine and Freshwater Research, pairs new reviewers with an established one (this way you don’t need to depend on your own advisor)
        4. ECR folks should submit their names to SMEs and AEs at journals if interested in reviewing (Cottingham, Eviner)
        5. Related, can submit name to NSF (email needed?) to ask become grant reviewers and learn the system
        6. Guest post on learning to be a reviewer, how to start reviewing, and how often you should review (e.g. when to say no).
    • Plan and support early career focused events at ESA
      • Ideas for symposia/sessions?
      • Suggest using the google doc format again + emails/twitter to publicize
      • How to advocate for media coverage, write/edit effective press releases
    • Other ideas for the section that were not mentioned at the meeting, but rather at the information booth:
      • Online peer mentoring group
      • New parent networking “so we can talk about how we balance baby-life and research-/professional-life”
  • Funding the ECMP in the future?
    • Need ~$2000-3000
    • PLoS? PeerJ? Solicit for donations?
  • Elections – bold indicates those who were elected at the meeting, non-bold indicates those who expressed interest, leading to an election by email.
    • Past Chair – Sarah Supp
    • Chair – Rob Salguero-Gomez
    • Blog Editor: Christel Kern
    • Vice Chair candidates: Fiona Soper, Matt Aiello-Lammens
    • Secretary Treasurer candidates: Teresa Bilinski, Fiona Soper
    • Webmaster candidates: Naupaka Zimmerman
    • Jobs Wiki Master candidates: George Wang (
    • Twitter Master candidates: Avery Scherer


Nomination for Secretary:

Teresa Bilinski

I am interested in serving the ESA Early Career Ecologist section because I would like to get more involved in helping fellow ecologists establish a successful career in Ecology. I am especially interested in increasing the strength and participation of our network, through online and in-person events, to help our members find research collaborations, help with starting a teaching position, and/or information about careers in government, ngos, industry, etc. My hope is that a strong early career ecologist section will lead to increasing the diversity of the organization over time.

More about me:

I am an Assistant Professor at St. Edward’s University, a small liberal arts -focused Hispanic-serving Institution in Austin, TX. The primary focus of my research centers around how changes in the human use of ecosystems affect microbial cycling of organic matter, as well as the structure of microbial communities. I am dedicated to promoting the diversity of Ecology, and increasing the presence of traditionally underrepresented groups within Ecology. My lab website is You can find me on the twitters @BilinskiTeresa.


Nomination for Vice-chair or Secretary: ESA Early Career Ecologist section
Fiona Soper
Fiona is a new post doc at the University of Montana. She is a plant physiologist and biogeochemist, but first and foremost a field biologist. Her work focuses on patterns and drivers of nutrient availability on ecosystem scales. Fiona hopes to bring experience in organizing events and people, as well as some unique viewpoints, to the ECE section. During graduate school, she served as student President and National delegate for the founding chapter of Sigma Xi: the Scientific Research Society (organizing public outreach events and lectures, student workshops, social events and research symposia), as well as President of graduate student associations, and on numerous committees organizing seminar series and other events. Fiona also brings the perspective of having worked in both government and academia, and internationally (Australia). Fiona hopes to support the Chair in building on the momentum acquired by the section over the past couple of years. Specifically, 1) to continue to support and grow the EC Mentorship program, 2) raise the profile of section events at the annual meeting and attract new members, and 3) engage members between meetings through social media, skills webinars, a central resource repository and by interfacing with similar groups at other societies, and 4) identify and maintain funding lines to support programming. In particular, Fiona recognizes the necessity of providing support for ECE members interested in non-academic paths, and hopes to work with the ESA leadership to engage more non-academic participants and organizations at meetings.


Nomination for Vice-chair: ESA Early Career Ecologist Section

Matthew Aiello-Lammens

I served as the Secretary of the Early Career Ecologist Section for the past year, and would like to continue serving both the Section and  ESA as Vice-Chair for the coming year. Based on my interactions with our Section’s members, and my own experiences as an early career ecologist, I feel strongly that we need an active section that helps us develop supportive professional networks and advocates for our interests. As Secretary, I helped organize or facilitate several early career related events for the recent ESA conference. The popularity and energy associated with these makes me feel that our Section is on a good track, but we have to keep up our momentum. One way I plan to do this is to assist with organizing events during the time between ESA meetings, such as webinars and discussion forums. I will also continue my work to organize, and support, events for our upcoming national meetings, paying particular attention to incorporate recent feedback to improve these events. In addition to my experience as Secretary, I will also bring my personal experiences to the role of Vice-Chair. I am beginning my second year as an Assistant Professor at Pace University in New York, where I work with undergraduate and Masters level students. While I’m personally on an academic track, pushing the boulder of pre-tenure uphill, I’m helping prepare many of my students for positions outside of academia, in the government and NGO world, which gives me multiple perspectives on what it is to be an early career ecologist. With this knowledge in hand, I’ll support the Chair of the Section and serve our Society to the best of my abilities.


Nomination for Wiki Master: ELECTED

George Wang

I would like to be considered for the Ecology Jobs Wiki Master position. I am a community ecologist specializing in plant-herbivore interaction and insect community dynamics. I have been on the market for quite some time, and have never really lost hope of obtaining a tenure-track position. During all the (painful) years of job searching, I have utilized the Job Wiki, not only for the helpful information, but also because I often got a sense of camaraderie from it. Now that I have finally landed a tenure-track offer, I would like to give back to the community by helping with the wiki maintenance.


Notes by 2015-16 ESA ECE section secretary Matt Aiell-Lammens