Physiological Ecology Section Newsletter, June 2002


Business Meeting and Mixer:
     The mixer and business meeting of the Physiological Ecology section in Tucson will be on Wednesday, August 7 from 6:30 PM - 8 PM at the Radisson City Center Hotel, Acacia North (Outside courtyard entrance). Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Elections for Section President:
     Rob Jackson's term as President will be ending this calendar year. Let us know if you're interested in running for the position or if you'd like to nominate someone (; We'll have elections this fall.


Billings and Poster Awards:
     The Billings award seeks to recognize significant advancements in physiological ecology, with entrants judged on the rigor, creativity, importance, and presentation of the research. Similarly, the Best poster Award is given to the student with the best physiological ecology poster presentation at the meetings. Both winners receive a $500 check from the Physiological Ecology section.
     The winner of the fourth annual Billings award in 2001 was Amy Miller of the University of Colorado for her oral presentation: Amy Miller & William Bowman "Nutrient Uptake, Movement, Use. Preferential uptake of N by alpine tundra species: do all species tap the same N pool?" Congratulations Amy!
     The co-winners of the 2001 Poster Award for the best poster presentation that also makes a significant advance in physiological ecology are Laura Scott-Denton and Javier Espeleta for their poster presentations: Laura Scott-Denton, Kimberlee Sparks, Russell Monson. "Linking root and microbial biomass to soil respiration rate in a high-altitude coniferous forest" and Javier Espeleta, Lisa Donovan. "Fine root demography differs among xeric and mesic adult tree species in a sandhill habitat of southeastern US". Congratulations Laura and Javier!
     For information on previous award recipients and hints on how to prepare a high quality presentation, check out the Physiological Ecology section web page at (

New Phytologist and additional sponsorship of the Billings Fund:
     The New Phytologist Trust continues its commitment begun in 2000 to contribute $500 annually towards the Billings Award. New Phytologist, a broad-spectrum plant science journal, was established in 1902 by the pioneer ecologist Arthur Tansley. The goals of the non-profit Trust are to promote education and research in plant sciences. More information and links to the journal New Phytologist can be found at
     Our section still needs additional funds for the endowment. The Billings Award was created with an initial gift from Shirley Billings. Further donations can be sent to: Billings Award, Ecological Society of America, 1707 H Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006. Thank you for any individual contributions!

Judges needed for student Physiological Ecology Awards
     We still need judges for the ESA Physiological Ecology student presentations at the Tucson meeting Aug. 4-9, 2002. In particular, we need judges specializing in animal physiological ecology. The Billings and Best Poster awards will be presented for the best student talk and poster, respectively. If participation parallels last year, each person will judge 3-4 student presentations in their area. The schedule for judging will be arranged in advance and sent out in early July. If you are willing to judge presentations, please contact Zoe Cardon (, Ph- (860) 486 3868) in the near future.


ESA 2001 and 2002:
     Last year in Madison the section sponsored a successful symposium titled "Crossroads of Plant, Animal, and Microbial Ecology" organized by Vince Gutschick and Arnold Bloom. The program and list of speakers are available on the section webpage. Thanks Vince and Arnold for putting the program together.
     This year the section is sponsoring two symposia in Tucson. One is entitled "Integrating Molecular Insight and Ecological Research" (Rob Jackson and Randy Linder) on Monday morning August 5th. The symposium will feature both plant and animal speakers. An evening discussion session on the topic will also be held Monday night to examine funding opportunities in the area. The second is a symposium jointly sponsored with Paleoecology entitled "Gasping for CO2: Ecological Effects of Past Variations in Atmospheric CO2" (Jack Williams and Sharon Cowling) on Thursday morning. Schedules and listings are available on the webpage. Hope to see you there!


Section Webpage:
     New resources are continually being added to the section webpage. The positions page has hundreds of job opportunities for faculty, professional, grad, and undergrad positions and many other job-hunting resources. We have extensive teaching pages for courses on animal and plant physiological ecology, field ecology, ecosystem studies, and global change. There are also links to funding sources, equipment makers, journals, diversity issues, and mentoring. Take a look at all of the resources available to the section at

Animal and Plant Physiological Ecology:
     The section continues to make a concerted effort to increase its participation for animal physiological ecologists. This emphasis was evident in both last year's and this year's symposium and in our web resources.

Student membership:
     We are working to increase student participation and membership by working with the new Student Section of ESA headed by Faith Kearns at UC Berkeley. Faith is letting the student section membership know about useful resources available through our section, including information about national pre-doctoral fellowship awards, hints for making good posters and giving good oral presentations, graduate and undergraduate employment opportunities, advice for the grad school to faculty transition, etc. We have included a link to the student section page ( on our web site. Our Billings and Best Poster Award announcement went to all students within the new section. We will have a flyer with information oriented toward graduate students in the student lounge at Tucson.

Potential New Section in ESA:
     Discussion is underway for a potential new ESA section in Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Ecology. The American Geophysical Union recently formed a similar section, whose membership has grown quickly. Some of our members may be interested in this new effort.

Please let us know your ideas and your willingness to contribute in any area for the section. Your input and efforts are important. Thanks, and see you in Tucson!

 Rob Jackson
Section President and Webmaster
Duke University
Dept. of Biology and Nicholas School of the Environment
Durham, NC 27708
Zoe Cardon
Section Secretary
Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT 06269-3043

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