Physiological Ecology Section Newsletter, 2009

Greetings all --

Thanks again to John Marshall, outgoing President of the Section. Zoe Cardon took over as President for a two-year term in January 2009; she is a Senior Scientist at the Ecosystems Center, MBL, in Woods Hole, MA. Secretary Kiona Ogle, University of Wyoming, will finish her two-year term this year. We'll announce candidates for Secretary at the business meeting in Albuquerque, with an election by e-mail to follow. If you'd like to nominate someone for Secretary (including nominating yourself), please e-mail Zoe at


Our mixer and business meeting will be Wednesday evening, Aug. 5, 6:30-8:00, Aztec Room of the Convention Center in Albuquerque. We hope to see you there!
In your survey responses, a number of you asked us to try to avoid overlap of our mixer with mixers of other sections. Because (based on the survey) a large proportion of our membership also belongs to the Biogeosciences section, Adrien Finzi (Pres. of Biogeosciences) and I arranged with ESA that our mixers do not overlap this year. The Biogeosciences mixer is Tuesday evening, before our Physiological Ecology Section sponsored special session.

Section-sponsored special session: Tuesday Aug. 4, 8:00 - 10:00 PM, Brazos room, moderated by Margaret Walsh (USDA)
"Natural Resources and Climate Change: Effects and Adaptation" Margaret notes that "The intent of the session is to hold an interactive dialog with meeting participants, focusing on integrating research priorities. Recent reports demonstrate that the magnitude of climate change impacts often exceed expectations for both the extent and rate of change. As a result, natural resource managers are adapting to climate change either intentionally or unintentionally, often without any larger framework or understanding. Maintaining ecosystem function is critical to sustainability, and will rely heavily on understanding the effects of climate change on natural resources and the potential for adaptation to those changes. Speakers will include Peter Backlund (UCAR), David Schimel (NEON), and Tony Janetos (PNNL/UMD)."

Physiological Ecology Section booth: As part of the membership survey earlier this year, we received a general thumbs up on the idea of a Physiological Ecology booth and many suggestions for what might be useful to have at the table. Thanks very much for brainstorming! We'll be sending out more information about the booth very soon. We will need help staffing it; we are required to have a person at the booth during the hours when the exhibition hall is open. We are working on your interesting ideas about how to make the booth a useful networking hub as well as an information source and showcase.


We have an excellent web site for the section at It includes such tidbits as job postings, suggestions for interviews, announcements of conferences, awards information, suggestions for successful poster presentations, equipment sources, time management advice, and much more. Thank you to webmaster Rob Jackson for keeping it running! And, did you know we also have a news group? At the section web site, in the menu on the left, click on "Ecophys Newsgroup". Once there, you will see instructions for joining the newsgroup, for posting to it, and for finding archived communications.


Students: Friday June 19 is the deadline for entering the two student competitions in our Physiological Ecology Section: the Billings Award (for best oral presentation) and the New Phytologist Best Poster Award (for best poster presentation). Each competition seeks to recognize significant advancements in physiological ecology, with entrants judged on the rigor, creativity, importance, and presentation of the research. These awards are different from the Buell and Braun awards that students may have signed up for during registration. E-mail Kiona Ogle at to enter; please see entry instructions at the end of this newsletter.

Last year we had 11 entrants for Billings Award and 6 for the New Phytologist Best Poster Award. Students! Let's get these numbers up this year! These awards on your resume indicate that your work is considered outstanding at the national level.

Potential judges: Yes, we need you! Each person will be asked to judge 2-3 student presentations in her or his area of expertise. Even if you will only be at the ESA meetings for a few days, you can help us. Please e-mail Kiona Ogle ( if you are willing to help, and please include the dates you will likely be available, times that conflict with your own presentations at ESA, and your area of expertise.

Student award winners, 2008, in Milwaukee, WI:

Billings award

Winner: Marnie Rout, Univ. of Montana, "Sorghum halepense and endophytic N-fixing bacteria: Ecosystem engineers altering soil biogeochemistry"

Honorable mention: Rob Salguero-Gomez, Univ. of Pennsylvania, "First evidence for hydraulic fragmentation in an herbaceous aridland perennial: Cryptantha flava"

New Phytologist Poster award

Winner: Ava Howard, Univ. of Georgia, "Stomatal conductance responses to changing vapor pressure deficit: Do daytime patterns of regulation apply at night?"

Honorable mention: Jessica Cruz de Osuna, Univ. of California, "An in-depth study of the seasonal trends in photosynthesis in Q. douglasii in a Mediterranean savanna"


Thanks again to all of you who filled out our survey earlier in the year. We have ~440 members as of last count in January, and ~135 of you responded. Over the last six years, our membership has ranged between 500 and 440 members. On the survey, we asked for your suggestions for the Physiological Ecology booth this year, and there were some great recurrent themes in the responses, including:

Results of all the survey's multiple-choice questions can be found here.

A simplified glimpse of the results is included at the end of the newsletter.


Please let us know more of your ideas and your willingness to contribute in any area to the section - the booth, a raffle, judging the student competition, proposing a symposium for next year, etc. We greatly appreciate your input and your efforts!

See you in Albuquerque!

Kiona Ogle and Zoe Cardon

Briefly, from the survey results:

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