Distinguished Ecologists 2016-17

LeRoy Poff - Resident Distinguished Ecologist

October TBD, 2016

LeRoy PoffLeRoy Poff is a Professor in the Department of Biology at Colorado State University. His research interests are guided by the broad consideration of how ecological processes and patterns are constrained by habitat structure and environmental variability at multiple scales in aquatic ecosystems. Small-scale research focuses on how spatial habitat heterogenety influences the strangth and outcomes of interactions among insect grazers and how these grazers regulate stream algal production across gradients of current velocity.

Dr. Poff is interested in integrating ecological response across all levels of habitat constraint, from local patches to whole watersheds. His research provides a basis for predicting aquatic community attributes at geographic scales and for ecological responses to land-use alterations and regional climate changes.


Brandon Bestelmeyer - Honor Alumn

November 16, 2016

Brandon BestelmeyerBrandon Bestelmeyer is a Research Ecologist at the Jornada Experimental Range for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service. His work addresses the causes and management implica6tions of ecosystem dynamics in drylands and other ecological systems. He studies processes at several spatial scales as a basis for understanding the formation and maintenance of alternative ecosystem s6tates. This work has involved measurements and analysis of plant and animal community pattern and dynamics, plant growth/reproduction, characterization of soil surface and soil profile properties, mapping of vegetation, and social-ecological system perspectives.

Applications of Dr. Bestelmeyer's research are focused on US land management agencies and institutions in Mongolia, China, and Argentina.


Ivette Perfecto - Visiting Distinguished Ecologist

March 8 - 9, 2017

Ivette Perfecto

Ivette Perfecto is the George W. Pack Professor of Ecology, Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on biodiversity and arthropod-mediated ecosystem services in rural and urban agriculture. She also works on spatial ecology of the coffee agroecosyste and is interested more broadly on the links between small-scale sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and food sovereignty. She is co-author of three books, Breakfast of Biodiversity; Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty; and Coffee Agroecology.

Dr. Perfecto's lab is investigating how local level multi-species interactions generate autonomous pest control in agroecosystems using coffee agroforests as a model system.


Brian McGill - Visiting Distinguished Ecologist (Rising Star)

March 29 - 30, 2017

Brian McGill

Brian McGill is a Professor at the School of Biology and Ecology, Sustainability Solutions Initiative at the University of Maine and has a cooperating appointment with the Climate Change Institute. he seeks to understand the patterns and processes controlling the distribution and abundance of organisms at medium to large scales to lead to more predictive theories of how distribution and abundance will change under anthropogenic global change (especially climate change and landcover change). He tends to be a generalist in his research, pursuing a wide variety of questions, and enjoys collaborations that take him into new areas.

Dr. McGill ensures focus by including the following into all his new research: distribution and abundance of organisms (aka biodiversity), meso- to macro-scales, global change (climate & landcovover), and ecoinformatics.


Ruth Shaw - Visiting Distinguished Ecologist

April 19 - 20, 2017

Ruth Shaw

Ruth Shaw is a Professor at the Department of Eoclogy, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. Her lab studies evolutionary processes in contemporary plant populations. A central goal is to clarify the dynamics of evolutionary change in nature, using a combination of quantitative genetics, population biology, and field experiemnts. Reocurring and ongoing themes include adaptation to climate change and evolutionary consequences of severe fragmentation of populations.

In Dr. Shaw's empirical studies of plant populations, she strives to understand evolutionary change as it is influenced by ecological context. In support of the empirical research, she has worked toward enhancing statistical capabilities for quantitative genetics and for analysis of fitness.