Physiological Ecology Section Newsletter, 2013

Greetings! We are looking forward to seeing you in Minneapolis. Our section mixer and business meeting is Wednesday evening, 6:30 PM-8:00 PM 200-I, Minneapolis Convention Center. Our annual report follows. If you would prefer to download it as a pdf, here is the link. Thanks to our current and past sponsors for providing student travel funds and awards.

Mission, Officers, and Membership

The Physiological Ecology Section promotes research and teaching that explore interrelationships among the functions of organisms and their environments. As of January 2013, Will Pockman (University of New Mexico) completed his term as President of the Section. Jeannine Cavender-Bares (University of Minnesota) took over for a two-year term, with goals of recruiting innovative symposia and supporting the activities of young scientists, including supporting mentorship opportunities, student attendance at ESA, participation in the student awards competitions, and continuing to work with corporate sponsors to help facilitate student involvement. Jason West (Texas A&M University) is serving his second year as Secretary. During autumn 2013, a new Secretary will be elected. Webmaster Rob Jackson (Duke University) continues his long-term service to the section; our web site is We have broad section membership, and many members are also part of the Biogeosciences, Education, Rangeland Ecology, Researchers at Undergraduate Institutions, Soil Ecology, Urban Ecosystem Ecology, and Vegetation Sections.

Student and Postdoctoral Awards

The physiological ecology section is very grateful to the judges who make it possible to offer these awards each year. Student Travel Awards
Student travel awards were granted this year for the third consecutive year provided by a generous donation from an anonymous donor as well as a number of corporate sponsors: LiCor BioSciences, CID BioScience, Decagon Devices, and ICT International. Our anonymous donor has agreed to donate $2500 each year until 2016 to support student travel to the ESA meetings.

A panel of five judges selected winners based on (1) the student’s research and on (2) the potential for attending the conference to contribute to the student’s professional development. Each student receives $500 to help offset the cost of attending the annual ESA meeting.

The 2012 Travel Award winners were Elizabeth Waring, Texas Tech University; Benjamin Blonder, University of Arizona; Adam Coble, Michigan Technological University; Sarah Taylor, California State University, Fullerton; Jennifer Wilkening, University of Colorado, Boulder; Jennifer Albertine, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Kirsten Coe, Cornell University; Nicholas Smith, Purdue University; Heather Tran, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Five travel grants were awarded to students to attend the 2013 Minneapolis meeting. The 2013 Travel Award winners are Adam P. Coble, Michigan Technological University; Juan C. Alvarez-Yepiz, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry; Sean T. Michaletz, University of Arizona; Elizabeth Wilson, Texas A&M University; Fiona Soper, Cornell University.

The Billings Award, the New Phytologist Poster Award and the Plant, Cell and Environment Postdoctoral Award are given to students and a post doc each year to recognize significant advancements in physiological ecology. Students giving oral and poster presentations at the annual ESA meetings can enter, and entrants are judged on the rigor, creativity, importance, and quality of presentation of the research. The New Phytologist Trust has long contributed to the Billings Fund, which supports prizes for both the Billings Award and the New Phytologist Poster Award. UC Press supports student efforts by donating books to student winners and honorable mentions of the student award competitions. Plant, Cell and Environment (Blackwell Publishing, Dr. Keith Mott, Editor-in-Chief) supports the postdoctoral award.

Billings Oral Presentation Award 2012
Co-Winner: Greg Goldsmith, University of California, Berkeley, “The prevalence and significance of foliar water uptake in a tropical montane cloud forest,” co-author: Todd Dawson
Co-Winner: Paul Nabity, University of Illinois, “Testing the extended phenotype hypothesis as phylloxera induce stomata and reorganize metabolism in grapes,” co-authors: May Berenbaum, Evan DeLucia

New Phytologist Poster Award, 2012
Winner: Patrick Hudson, University of New Mexico, “Adjustment of xylem vulnerability to cavitation in a precipitation manipulation experiment,” co-authors: Patrick Hudson, Will Pockman, Nate McDowell
Honorable Mention: Jennifer Albertine, University of Massachusetts, “Predicting population-level changes in ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) response to elevated carbon dioxide,” co-authors: Anne-Céline Granjon, Laura Hancock, Kristina Stinson, Christine Rogers

Plant, Cell and Environment Postdoctoral Oral Presentation Award 2012
Winner: Katie Becklin, University of Kansas, “Mycorrhizal functioning across the glacial-interglacial transition: Evidence from stable isotopes,” co-authors: Juliana Medeiros, Joy Ward

Section Activities at the Minneapolis 2013 ESA Meeting

Mixer and Business Meeting
At Minneapolis August 7 2013, our Physiological Ecology Section will hold its mixer and business meeting on Wednesday evening, 6:30 PM-8:00 PM 200I, Minneapolis Convention Center. The 2013 travel grant awardees and 2012 Billings, New Phytologist and Plant, Cell and Environment award winners will be announced. Topics for discussion include: (1) How can we provide mentorship opportunities for students and enhance student activities? (2) Opportunities for sponsorship of symposium proposals for 2014. (3) Continued fundraising efforts to support student travel grants. (4) Initiatives to include in the Long Range Planning Grant Application

Section Resources

Web site: Reminder! Our web site is The web site is very dynamic and packed with information about:

Section booth at the ESA meetings: For the fourth consecutive year, we will run a Physiological Ecology Section Booth at the annual meeting. The booth serves as a Section focal point, featuring:

Submitted by: Jeannine Cavender-Bares
President, Physiological Ecology Section, ESA

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