2017 Nominees






Terry McGlynn

The McGlynn Lab investigates the biology of arthropods, with emphases in tropical rainforests and ant ecology and behavior. The purpose of our lab’s research is to figure out the causes and consequences of patterns in the biology of animals in the environment.

Website: http://www.leaflitter.org/terrymcglynn.html


Stefano ALlesina






Stefano Allesina

We develop new mathematical, statistical and computational methods for theoretical ecology. Research topics include:

  • Ecological networks: species in ecological communities form tangled networks of ecological interactions. These networks differ from other social and technological networks in that the nodes are all different (i.e., they represent different species), rather than being of the same “type”.
  • Spectral methods: we want to characterize ecological networks using the eigenvalues and eigenvectors associated with their adjacency and Laplacian matrices. In this way, we can study very large food webs and other ecological networks.
  • Models for food web structure: given a series of balls and arrows, can we construct a network that resembles empirical ones? What are the “rules” we should follow? How can we evaluate the “goodness” of these models?

Website: http://allesinalab.uchicago.edu/








Shinya Yamanaka

Dr. Yamanaka’s research focuses on ways to generate cells resembling embryonic stem cells by reprogramming somatic, or skin, cells. He seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie pluripotency and the rapid proliferation of embryonic stem cells—they can become any type of cell in the body—and to identify the factors that induce reprogramming.

Website: http://profiles.ucsf.edu/shinya.yamanaka


Rachel Silverstein

Your full-time Miami Waterkeeper is part investigator, scientist, educator, and legal advocate, functioning as a public spokesperson for our Bay, protecting your right to clean water and empowering you to defend your waterways too.

Rachel Silverstein joined Miami Waterkeeper as Executive Director & Waterkeeper in June of 2014. Prior to joining MWK, Rachel was a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow and Professional Staff for the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard in Washington, DC. She got SCUBA certified at 14 and has been an avid diver ever since.

Website: http://www.miamiwaterkeeper.org/4768








Mike Bogan

My research focuses on how disturbance and dispersal processes shape local population, community, and metacommunity patterns in streams. I’m most interested in how life-history traits of aquatic organisms (e.g., dispersal modes) interact with stream flow variability to produce the highly-diverse communities that often we find in streams. Understanding these interactions is critical in the face of altered flow regimes resulting from climate change and anthropogenic water withdrawals. Whiles much of my work focuses on drought and dispersal mode variability in arid-land stream invertebrate communities, I work in a number of different systems (e.g., subalpine and coastal streams) and study many types of physical and biotic disturbance (e.g., wildfires, floods, invasive species). I also love good old-fashioned biodiversity surveys, especially in places which are little-visited by biologists and highly vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbances.

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/michaeltbogan/


Mary Silver

Her research has been in Toxic phytoplankton and food webs; pelagic detrital communities; particle dynamics; and plankton ecology. However, she’s got a pretty wide range of interests from ecology to oceanography to anthropology and women in science. IN addition to being in the physical and biological sciences division she has affiliations with the Humanities Division as well as the Feminist Studies Department.

Website: http://oceansci.ucsc.edu/faculty/singleton.php?&singleton=true&cruz_id=msilver









Mark Carr

The purpose of our research program is to better understand the dynamics and structure of populations and communities of nearshore coastal marine ecosystems. The underlying themes of this research are two-fold; firstly, to further our conceptual understanding of “open” populations and communities by conducting empirical studies motivated by the evolving theory for these systems, and secondly, to apply these concepts to fisheries and conservation problems in innovative ways. Our approach is to integrate empirical studies conducted in the field and laboratory with the development of ecological theory, including models.

Website: http://research.pbsci.ucsc.edu/eeb/rclab/people/principal-investigators/mark-carr/








Lissy Goralnik

She works in the cross section between ecology, environmental action, STEM learning, and community sustainability. Her work is great in that in links STEM educational theory, with ecology, and philosophy. She is new faculty at Michigan State.

Link to selected pubs: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=_njo9EUAAAAJ&hl=en



Kevin McCann

Kevin is a professor in Integrative Biology department at the University of Guelph. He combines mathematical models, experiments, and field experiments to understand the structure, dynamics, and diversity of ecological systems, mostly focusing on food webs. In fact, he literally wrote the book on food webs: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9642.html (highly recommend by Kyle). His use of various approaches to answer fundamental biological questions makes him a great candidate for invited speaker

Website: http://www.mccannlab.org/


John Hall

I am a teaching focused academic, and I specialize in the teaching of ecology. I come to this field from a background in botany and the ecology of animal-plant interactions. Getting students enthused about the “hidden stories” of plants is thus a big part of what I do! In terms of the dynamics of teaching, I am particularly interested in how to maximize the value of field trips in the teaching of ecology; how to best encourage students to develop their skills in literature research and writing; and how to make the traditional lecture format more engaging to students through the striking use of narrative, juxtaposition and imagery. An important component of my work for the school is the development and teaching of international programs in Australian Terrestrial Ecology, one such example being the course I teach for the University of California.

Website: http://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/1118


Joel Brown

I am an evolutionary ecologist. I ask the question: How does natural selection acting as an optimization process determine feeding behaviors, population characteristics, and the properties of communities? My research includes the mathematical formulation and field tests of models and hypotheses based on foraging theory, consumer-resource models of species coexistence, and evolutionary game theory using the concept of evolutionary stable strategies (ESS).

Website:  https://bios.uic.edu/bios/people/faculty/joel-brown/dr-brown’s-lab


Emily Graslie

She is an American science communicator and YouTube educator. She started volunteering at the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum at the University of Montana in 2011. After appearing in a VlogBrothers video by Hank Green in 2012, she was asked to join the Nerdfighter network. She currently stars in her own educational YouTube channel called “The Brain Scoop.” Graslie is now employed by the Field Museum as their first-ever Chief Curiosity Correspondent.

Website: http://www.fieldmuseum.org/science/blog/brain-scoop


Elizabeth Kutter

The phage lab has been a center for undergraduate research at Evergreen since Elizabeth (Betty) Kutter and Burt Guttman started in 1972, one year after the college opened.

Major research themes include:

  • Phage genetics and the transition from host to phage metabolism after infection of E. coli by T4.
  • The use of bacteriophage in the prevention of Coliform Mastitis in dairy cattle.

Website: http://blogs.evergreen.edu/phage/about/


Dan Bolnick

Our lab seeks to understand how ecological interactions affect the evolution of within-species trait variation. Research in the lab touches on a wide variety of species interactions, and combines theoretical models, natural history, field and lab experiments, and meta-analyses. Currently evolution of vertebrate immunity to parasites is a major, but not exclusive, focus of the lab.  Click the link above for more details about individual projects.

Website:   https://bolnicklab.wordpress.com/


Cynthia Malone

Cynthia bridges sociology and ecology to engage rural communities to support sustainable, multi-functional landscapes. She’s also interested in increasing human diversity in conservation science, enhancing inclusivity and creating a stronger connection between social justice and environmental science. As a program manager at the American Museum of Natural History, she would offer a perspective outside of academia, which many of us are looking for.

Website: http://www.amnh.org/our-research/staff-directory/cynthia-malone/


Aroha Te Pareake Mead

She is from the Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou tribes (Māori) of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Aroha is the global Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environment, Economic and Social Policy and a Senior Lecturer in Māori Business, Victoria Management School, Victoria University of Wellington. She has been involved in indigenous cultural and intellectual property and environmental issues for over 30 years at tribal, national, Pacific regional and international levels.

Short bio:  http://www.indigenousdevelopment2012.ac.nz/speakers/aroha-mead

also here is an Interview with her