Why section connections?

  • To inform students about other sections and news/events from the other sections

  • To show our value and commitment to ESA by serving as a portal to other sections given that we house the earliest ecologist life stage

Below is a list of the section liaisons that report back to the student section with important information relevant to students. Feel free to contact the student liaisons for more information.

Not all sections or chapters have student liasons, but if you are interested in becoming a section liaison send us an email!

Southeast Chapter

Joseph Brown

brownjk5 [at] vcu.edu

The objectives of the Southeastern Chapter shall be to encourage education and research and to sponsor meetings for the communication of ecological education and research activities of special interest to ecologists in the Southeastern United States.

About Joe:

I am a PhD candidate in the Integrative Life Sciences program at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the Coastal Plant Ecology Lab. My research focuses on plant community ecology, specifically how plant communities in stressful systems respond to disturbances associated with climate change. I am also an avid cyclist and runner in my free time. I will be serving as the student liaison for the Southeastern Chapter and I hope to achieve collaboration between chapters to promote more student travel grants centered around diversity and inclusion.

Southwest Chapter

Kelly Kerr

kelly.kerr [at] utah.edu

The chapter has a two-fold vision: To promote, develop and coordinate regional-to continental-scale research and education activities, and to promote ESA’s relevancy to existing and emerging ecological issues in the Southwest, including Mexico.

About Kelly:

My research interests involve using tree physiology, genetics and modelling to understand and predict southwestern tree species’ responses to drought events. I received a Bachelors from UC Davis and a Masters from Oregon State University and enjoy soccer, outdoor recreation (skiing/snowboarding, rock-climbing, hiking, etc.), and brewing beer in my free time. As the Southwestern Chapter student liaison, I hope to increase awareness of Chapter events and opportunities for the Student Section and help communicate student research related to the Southwest US

Agroecology Section

Josh Garcia

Email: jag557 [at] cornell.edu

The Agroecology Section will promote an understanding of the importance of the application of ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable Agroecosystems among ecologists, agriculturists, and members of related disciplines. Other objectives include encouraging education and research in Agroecology, sponsoring meetings and publications for the communication of research and educational activities in Agroecology, and increasing student participation in the Society.

Biogeosciences Section

Joe Edwards

Email: jedwa9 [at] illinois.edu

The Biogeosciences Section of the Ecological Society of America seeks to promote research and education in studies of the influence of biology on the chemistry of the surface of the Earth, the processing of energy and materials in Earth’s ecosystems, and the impact of humans on Earth system function. The Section shall act as a liaison between investigators, societies, and other groups interested in these subjects.

About Joe:

I am working on a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation at the University of Illinois, mainly trying to figure out how mycorrhizal mutualisms between plants and fungi contribute to ecosystem carbon and nitrogen dynamics, as well as the ecosystem-level consequences of disrupting these relationships. I love riding bikes, watching Game of Thrones, and advocating for sustainable practices on my campus and in my community. As the ESA Biogeosciences Student Liaison, I want to help create a more inclusive community of ecologists, bridge gaps between different interests within ecology, and better communicate our work to inform the public about the amazing science we’re all doing.  

Communication & Engagement Section

Emily Whalen

edw1002 [at] wildcats.unh.edu

The purpose of the C&E Section is to promote and support the practice of traditional and emerging science communication approaches by ecologists and science communicators within ESA’s membership (2) sponsor science communication training opportunities for scientists, professional development activities for science communicators, and facilitate collaboration among members through symposia, organized oral sessions, special sessions, and social events at the annual meeting and regionally; (3) support ESA’s endeavors including but not limited to interdisciplinary initiatives, policy statements, regional and national conferences, and activities of the Public Affairs Office, (4) work with other sections (e.g. Student, Education, and Policy Sections) to facilitate student participation in science communication training and exploration of communication career opportunities; and (5) formalize a community of members that have science communication experience. 

About Emily:

I am a Ph.D. student in the Frey Soil Microbial Ecology Lab at the University of New Hampshire, where I also completed my master’s degree in 2017. I study the role of fungi in soil carbon accumulation and how this process is affected by climate change. I am the student liaison to the ESA Communication and Engagement Section (formerly the Science Communication Section), and I also coordinate a science communication club for graduate students at UNH. My favorite pastimes include running, hiking with my corgi, knitting and eating pasta.

Disease Ecology Section

Briana Betke

babetke [at] utexas.edu

The Disease Ecology Section seeks to promote research and education regarding epidemiology, evolution, and ecology of host-pathogen and host parasite interaction and disease. The section will 1) encourage research regarding the ecology of parasites and pathogens, 2) will foster interaction among ecologists with interests in host-parasite and pathogens, 3) facilitate collaborative links among members through symposia, organized oral sessions, special sessions, and social events, 4) promote the integration of host-parasite and disease ecology into the general study of interaction with their parasites, and 6) educate scientists and the general public regarding the pivotal role parasites and pathogens play in ecological systems. The section will act as a liaison among investigators, practitioners, societies, and other groups interested in these subjects, including but not limited to the One Health Initiative, EcoHealth Alliance, and the American Society for Parasitologists.

About Briana:

My bachelor’s degree was completed at the University of Arizona in Wildlife Conservation and Management with a minor in Veterinary Science. Currently, I am a second year PhD student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB) program at the University of Texas at Austin. My interests are in disease ecology and epidemiology of infectious disease in both humans and wildlife. My current research is on investigating the impacts of urbanization on zoonotic disease transmission, specifically the spread of Murine typhus in Texas by opossums, feral cats, and their associated fleas.

Early Career Section

Angee Doerr

angee.doerr [at] gmall.edu

The Early Career Ecologist Section will include but not limited to individuals who currently have less than 8 years of full-time employment in an ecology-related position, or otherwise self-identified as “early career”. Such individuals may include postdoctoral researchers, assistant professors, lecturers, adjunct faculty members, and employees of government, non-profit, advocacy, university, and industrial scientific entities, though Section membership will be open to any member of the Society. The overall purpose of the Section is to provide support to this sizeable demographic of the Society in the transitional period of their professional development (i.e. from student to professional). Topics of interests include job search process, tenure and promotion, securing research funding, course development, and fulfilling committee and other service responsibilities.

About Angee:

I am currently a research scientist with Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions. I work on coupled human-natural systems, with a lot of my work focused on fisheries, climate change, and marine protected areas. I received my BSci from Duke University and my PhD from University of California, Davis. Currently, I am the Vice Chair for the Early Career Ecologist section; we look forward to working with the student section over the next year.

Ecological Restoration Section

Julea Shaw

jashaw [at] ucdavis.edu

Promotes theoretical and applied research, teaching, communication, grant development, and collaboration on ecological restoration.

About Julea:

I am currently a PhD student in ecology at the University of California, Davis where I study restoration ecology. I am broadly interested in the restoration of natural spaces for multiple benefits and land uses and how invasive species alter ecosystem function. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, painting, and spending time with my dog. As the student liaison for the Ecological Restoration section, I hope to foster connections between students and restoration professionals both within and outside of academia.

Microbial Ecology Section

Alonso Favela

favela3 [at] illinois.edu

The purpose of the Microbial Ecology Section is to promote research and education regarding the ecology of microorganisms. This shall include (1) encouragement of research regarding the ecology of bacteria, archaea, microeukarya, and viruses, (2) sponsorship of meetings concerning such research, (3) promotion of the integration of microbial ecology into the general study of ecology, and (4) education of scientists and the general public regarding the pivotal role microorganisms play in ecological systems.

About Alonso:

I'm a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Program of Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. I am interested in how domestication and genetic alterations in plants influence how they interact with their microbiota. I like making art, cooking, reading, conversating, and basic plant husbandry. I'm the student liaison for the Microbial Ecology section. As the MES liaison I would like to inform people about the importance of microbes!

Paleoecology Section

Joseph Napier

jnapier2 [at] illinois.edu

The Paleoecology Section strives to promote, coordinate, and otherwise assist research in all branches of theoretical and applied ecology that use paleoecological methods or historical documentary sources to gain insight into long-term ecosystem dynamics; and to help disseminate the knowledge gained through this research to investigators in other scientific disciplines, to other learned societies, and to the general public.

Physiological Ecology Section

Lisa Haber

turnerl2 [at] vcu.edu

The Physiological Ecology Section is one of the largest sections in the Ecological Society of America. Its primary purpose is to promote research, teaching, and communication in physiological ecology of both animals and plants. The section sponsors symposia at the annual ESA meetings, holds meetings of its members, and facilitate communication through mailings and the electronic newsgroup bionet.ecology.physiology. Contributing to career development of new people in the field is also a goal. The section is establishing links with physiological ecologists of the British Ecology Society and the Geselschaft fur Okologie (the ecology society of German speaking countries).

About Lisa:

I earned my BS in Environmental Sciences from Duke University in 2006 and my MS in Environmental Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018, where I am currently pursuing a PhD in Integrative Life Sciences. My research in Dr. Chris Gough's forest ecology lab at VCU centers on the impacts of ecological disturbance on above-ground forest carbon cycling, including tree functional trait assemblages and leaf-level physiological responses. My hobbies include long-distance cycle touring, cooking, reading, and gardening. As the Student Section liaison for the Physiological Ecology section of ESA, I hope to expand the section's reach to current undergraduate and graduate students pursuing research in physiological ecology, and to help build a more diverse and inclusive ESA community.

Policy Section

Aaron Baumgardner

awbaumg [at] gmail.edu

The objectives of the Policy Section are to (1) foster interaction among ecologists that have worked or currently work in public policy positions, or have the desire to communicate with those members that do have public policy experience; (2) form a database of members that have policy experience that can be utilized by the Governing Board, ESA Sections and Chapters, Public Affairs, Science, and Education Offices, and standing ESA committees; (3) facilitate collaborative links among members through symposia, organized oral sessions, special sessions, and social events in Washington DC and regionally; and (4) work with the PAO to facilitate the participation of students in training exercises and one-on-one interactions with policy makers.

About Aaron:

I recently finished my MS degree in Biology at California State University, Bakersfield. My thesis research focused on the abiotic drivers of drought and their effects on vegetation health in southern California's chaparral shrublands. I am currently working as a lecturer at my graduate university while I prepare for/apply to PhD programs.

Rangeland Ecology Section

Jessica Grenke

grenke [at] ualberta.ca

The objectives of the Rangeland Ecology Section are to facilitate communication of all aspects of rangeland ecology and management among applied and basic ecologists, natural resource managers and interested members of the public. Activities will include sponsorship of symposia and publications.

About Jessica:

I an PhD student in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta who researches how grazing management influences plant communities as a member of the Cahill and Boyce laboratory groups. I have a strong background in translating pure science to an applied-friendly context through work with multiple levels of government and non-profit organizations. I’m also thrilled to represent and spread awareness for the Rangeland Ecology section as a student liaison.

Statistical Ecology Section

Collin Edwards

cbe36 [at] cornell.edu

The Statistical Ecology Section seeks to encourage research in statistical theory and methodology applied to ecological problems; to sponsor forums for presentation of advance in statistical ecology; and to facilitate communication between the disciplines of statistics and ecology so as to enhance statistical design and analysis in ecological research.

Urban Ecosystem Ecology Section

Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman

mpzucker [at] umd.edu

The objectives of this Section shall be to promote an understanding of the importance of urban ecosystems among ecologists, and members of related disciplines, to encourage education and research in urban ecosystem ecology, to sponsor meetings and publications for the communication of research and educational activities in urban ecosystem ecology, and to increase student participation in the Society. The Urban Ecosystem Ecology Section shall be a sub-division of the Ecological Society of America and shall be governed in all of its operations by the Constitution and By-Laws of that Society. Renewal of this purpose shall be conducted by a vote of the members of the Section every five years.