Four University of Michigan faculty members have been named as 2020 fellows of the Ecological Society of America, the world’s largest community of professional ecologists.

The society’s fellowship program recognizes the many ways its members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, teaching, and management and policy.

This year’s honorees include 22 Fellows and eight Early Career Fellows.

U-M’s new ESA Fellows are:

• Knute Nadelhoffer, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, LSA; and director of the U-M Biological Station. Elected for outstanding scholarly contributions to terrestrial biogeochemistry and to understanding the impacts of global environmental change and human activities on forest ecosystems, as well as to the applications of ecology to management and policy.

• Donald Zak, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Burton V. Barnes Collegiate Professor of Ecology and professor of natural resources, School for Environment and Sustainability; professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, LSA. Elected for his pioneering research and leadership in microbial, ecosystem and global change ecology that have revolutionized understanding of how ecosystems acquire and cycle nutrients, and for his outstanding service as a mentor who selflessly supports and enhances the work of others in the field.

The Early Career Fellows are:

• Nyeema Harris, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, LSA; and director of the Applied Wildlife Ecology Lab. Elected for her innovative research on the conservation ecology of mammals, her exceptional outreach and community engagement, and her influential work on diversifying the discipline of ecology.

• Jacob Allgeier, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, LSA. Elected for integrating ecosystem and community ecology to help advance understanding of nutrient dynamics in marine ecosystems and the role of consumers in mediating these processes, and for efforts to apply this information toward the conservation of coastal marine ecosystems.

“The Ecological Society of America has more than 9,000 members in over 90 countries, and being elected a Fellow or an Early Career Fellow is a major professional honor,” said Diarmaid O’Foighil, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

“I’m delighted that three of my departmental colleagues — Knute Nadelhoffer, Nyeema Harris and Jake Allgeier — have been elected in this year’s competition. They each have distinctive research programs that combine fundamental work on important ecological issues with impressive levels of public engagement. They richly deserve this recognition.”

Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability, said of Zak: “Don is an outstanding campus leader who does world-class work at the intersection of molecular biology and ecology to understand the response of organisms and ecosystems to global environmental change. He’s greatly admired for his teaching as well.”

Founded in 1915, the Ecological Society of America is committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. It publishes five journals, including Ecology.

ESA fellows have made outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA, including, but not restricted to, those that advance or apply ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofit organizations and the broader society. They are elected for life.

Early career fellows are within eight years of completing their doctoral training, or other terminal degree, who have advanced ecological knowledge and applications and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. They are elected for five years.

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