1 July 1999 Newsletter for the ESA’s Physiological Ecology Section

Presidential Election: Jim Coleman, Desert Research Institute, narrowly defeated Peter Curtis, Ohio State University, in the Section’s Presidential Election, and thus took over leadership from Evan DeLucia on 1 January 1999. Jim’s goals for the section are to: (1) facilitate symposia/workshops that can help redefine the major research issues in plant physiological ecology. The hope is to have the section help to organize a workshop(s)/symposium whose outcome will be similar to a workshop held at Asilomar in 1986. That workshop led to a series of BioScience papers on plant physiological ecology published in 1987 that helped to define the field; (2) continue to build the Billings endowment. The immediate goal is to add to the Billings endowment so that a Billings award can be given to both the best paper and best poster; and (3) to continue to work with the section webmaster to develop the Section web page as a major resource for physiological ecologists.

Business Meeting and Mixer: The meeting of the Physiological Ecology section will be on Tuesday, August 10 from 6:00 until 8:00 PM in the Skyline I Ballroom at Cavanaugh’s Inn at the Park. This is a prime spot with a lovely view — and it is scheduled at a good time, as it does not compete with any other all society functions. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided and there will be a cash bar. All members are requested to please attend.

Secretary Election: Stan Smith’s two-year term as Secretary is drawing to a close, so the Section will soon have an election for his replacement Please send your nomination for the next Secretary to Jim Coleman or bring nominations to the Spokane meeting. A slate of candidates will be put together immediately after the Spokane meeting and then an "internet" election will be held with an announcement of the new Secretary made by 1 November 1999.

Billings Award: The W.D. and S.M. Billings award was established in August, 1998 and is made to the graduate student whose oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America represents a significant advancement in physiological ecology (though, we made the award in 1998 to the best published paper by a graduate student). The award will be given to a student whose paper is judged to offer the rigor, creativity, importance, and presentation that sets a new standard in the discipline. The award recognizes the lifetime contributions by its namesakes, Dwight and Shirley Billings, to physiological ecology. Dwight built the foundation for physiological ecology in North America and provided leadership for the field throughout his illustrious career. Together, Dwight and Shirley have shown a deep regard for the interests and training of graduate students in this dynamic component of ecology.

The Billings Award was created with an initial gift from Shirley Billings. Further donations are needed and can be sent to: Billings Award, Ecological Society of America, 2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036

The first winner of the $500 award , which was presented at the Annual Meeting in Baltimore in 1998, was Susan Bassow who received her Ph.D. at Harvard University. Susan received the award for her paper "S.L. Bassow and F.A. Bazzaz. 1997. Intra- and inter- specific variation in canopy photosynthesis in a mixed deciduous forest. Oecologia 109: 507-515."

Poster Awards: At the Baltimore meeting we awarded our third consecutive "Best Poster Award". Two posters were judged to be truly outstanding and thus the award was shared. The winning posters were by Travis Huxman, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Louise Comas, Penn State University. Travis’ poster was titled "Gas exchange responses of Yucca species to elevated CO2 and high temperature. Louise’s poster was titled "Root efficiency in fast- and slow- growing species of maple and oak". We hope to soon have copies of these posters accessible on the section web page.

We will make another selection for both the Billings Award (this year for best oral presentation) and for the Best Poster Award at the Spokane meeting. Nominations or entries should be sent by email to Stan Smith (Secretary, Physiological Ecology Section, ssmith@ccmail.nevada.edu). Provide Stan with the author's names, the title of the poster, and the time and session that the presentation will be given, or that the poster will be displayed. Both awards are a prestigious and would make a great addition to a CV! Both awards come with a $500 cash prize. Please also let Stan know if you are interested in judging for these awards.

Web Page: Rob Jackson, Acting Webmaster, continues to do amazing things with the web page. The section on job placements is comprehensive. The link to teaching and mentoring continues to grow. Links to equipment manufacturers have been added. Additionally, Rob recently added links to several web sites with information to help graduate students and postdocs successfully make a transition to a tenure-track job. Check it out!! Future plans include adding links directly to NSF’s web pages so that abstracts of recent awards in physiological ecology can be easily accessed. Additional links to potential funding sources are also in the works. Please email Jim Coleman (jcoleman@dri.edu) or Rob Jackson (jackson@duke.edu) if you have material to add to any of our sections, or suggestions for new web resources that we can provide to the physiological ecology community.

Please note that the Section web page now has a new address, http://www.botany.duke.edu/jackson/ecophys

By laws: It is time to vote to modify the section By Laws. The modification stems from the need to recognize the sustained effort required to maintain a dynamic and

up-to-date web page. We also need to change the by laws to reflect the unique financial situation that is a result of the Billings Endowment. We will vote at the Spokane meeting on whether to add "Web Master" as a new officer of the section and whether to accept the changes in the financial wording. Please be prepared to discuss these issues. The new wording of the By Laws will be made available in early July.

Section name: The research interests of many members in the section overlaps quite strongly with ecosystem ecology. At this year’s Spokane meeting, the Section needs to discuss the possibility, and the feasibility, of changing its name to "Physiological and Ecosystem Ecology" in order to accurately reflect the research interests of many of the section’s members. This may or may not be desirable, or even possible, but we should have this discussion.

James S. Coleman, Section President, Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512. TELE: (775) 673-7322, FAX: (775) 673-7481, E-MAIL: jcoleman@dri.edu.

Stan Smith, Section Secretary, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV 89154. TELE: (702) 895-3197, FAX (775) 895-3956, E-MAIL: ssmith@ccmail.nevada.edu.

Rob Jackson, Section Web Master — Acting, Department of Botany and Nicholas School of the Environment, Phytotron Building, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708. TELE: (919) 660-7408, FAX: (919) 660-7425, E-MAIL: jackson@duke.edu.

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