2017 Early Career Awards

The CSEE Early Career Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments and promising future research potential in ecology and evolution by scientists early in their careers. We are delighted to announce that the recipients for the 2017 awards are Dr. Emily Darling, from the University of Toronto and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Dr. Sean Anderson, from the University of Washington. We look forward to hearing their plenary talks at the CSEE meeting in Victoria.

Congratulations to both recipients, and hats off to all candidates for the very high calibre of their submissions.

Dr Emily Darlingedarling

Emily is a community ecologist and conservation biologist who is motivated to understand how human activities are altering coastal and marine ecosystems. Her research focuses on three interrelated themes: quantifying interactions between multiple stressors and the prevalence of ecological synergies, coral life histories and trajectories of community change on coral reefs, and managing marine ecosystems for resilience to climate change. Her work integrates multiple approaches, ranging from literature reviews, meta-analyses, and statistical analyses of long-term monitoring data, to quantitative field experiments and socio-economic surveys to understand the complex ecological dynamics of coastal systems.


sandersonDr Sean Anderson

Sean is a quantitative population biologist who links theory with data through statistical and simulation models to improve predictions about ecological systems and inform management and policy decisions. In particular, he is interested in how we can estimate population status with limited data and in the role of variance, risk, and extreme events in population dynamics. Because these problems are complex, a large part of his research involves method and software development and is often highly collaborative. His work spans across taxa (e.g. birds, moths, grizzly bears, sea cucumbers, salmon), ecosystems (marine, freshwater, terrestrial), methods (empirical, simulation, theoretical), spatial scale (regional, national, global), and time periods (modern, historical, paleontological).




Diversity and Excellence in Doctoral Research Award. Application deadline: February 20, 2017.

The CSEE invites PhD candidates who are at an advanced stage of their dissertation to apply for our Diversity and Excellence in Doctoral Research Award. Award winners will receive $500 and will present their doctoral research in our special Graduate Student Award Symposium.

Scope and Criteria

This award aims to showcase excellent student research from across Canada. Successful applicants will have conducted high-quality research that addresses fundamental questions or is of an applied nature in the fields of ecology and evolution. In addition to demonstrated scholarship and merit, the selection committee aims promote diversity in terms of gender, field of study and institutional representation. All eligible PhD students are encouraged to apply. However, priority will be given to students who are near thesis completion and who are able to present their work in a way that is of interest to a wide audience.


Applicants must be registered as a student at a Canadian institution at the time of application and be a member of CSEE. Applicants should be within one year of submitting or defending their thesis by the May meeting. Successful applicants are expected to attend the CSEE meeting in Victoria in May and to present their work at our Graduate Student Awards Symposium. Applicants from last year who were not selected for the award but still meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to reapply.


Applications should include the following sections in the following order:

1) Thesis Summary (500 words maximum): An overview of the different chapters of your thesis and how each contributes to the fields of ecology or evolution (subheadings for different thesis chapters are permitted)
2) Other Relevant Activities (250 words maximum): In this section describe any professional and extracurricular activities that demonstrate your communication and leadership skills.
3) Select Awards and Contributions (1 page maximum): Using three headings, highlight awards that you have received, talks or posters that you have given and papers published
4) Letter of support from your PhD advisor or a committee member. Letters should speak to the criteria listed above and should clearly state that the applicant is close to completion of their thesis.

Materials 1 through 3 should be submitted as a single word or pdf document with the filename “<lastname>_CSEE_PhDaward” to cseestudent@gmail.com. Letters of support should be submitted separately to the same email address. The application deadline is February 20, 2017.

Other Important Information

Successful applicants are expected to present their work in a 30 minute talk at the Graduate Student Award Symposium and will not be able to give a separate talk or poster during the conference. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to give a regular talk or poster during the conference but are not automatically assigned a talk/ poster slot. For this reason, all applicants should also apply to present at the meeting following the standard conference registration procedure and following the separate deadlines announced for the meeting (this includes indicating interest in being considered for the regular student talk/poster awards). The top five runners up ups will also be acknowledged during the conference.

2016 Student awards from St. John’s

Student presentation awards

Oral presentation (tied first place):

Rebecca Batstone, University of Toronto – Root foraging and mutualism-stabilizing traits in the model legume Medicago truncatula

Kira Hoffman, University of Victoria – A human-driven and climate-influenced fire regime over the past seven centuries in a coastal temperate rainforest, British Columbia, Canada

Ruth Rivkin, University of Toronto Mississauga – The role of sexual system and latitude on insect herbivory rates in Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae)

New Phytologist Prize:

Kenneth Thompson, University of Toronto Mississauga – Urbanization drives parallel adaptive clines in plant populations

Poster presentation:

First place: Hayley Alloway, Memorial University – Physiological evidence for alternative reproductive strategies in men

Second place: Jesse Hoage, Laurentian University- Developing a metabarcoding strategy for soil mesofaunal communities to monitor the ecological impacts of intensified biomass harvesting in forestry

Diversity and excellence in graduate research (new in 2016!)

Stilianos Louca, University of British Columbia – The ecology of microbial metabolic pathways

Diana Rennison, University of British Columbia – Survival in a cutthroat world: Estimating natural selection on armor phenotypes and genotypes in threespine stickleback

Rachel Germain, University of Toronto – The spatial structure of metacommunities: a multiscale decoupling of distance and environment

Kyle Artelle, Simon Fraser University – Ecology of Conflict: Bear-human conflict in British Columbia, and the role of science in wildlife management

Krista Oke, McGill University – (Non) Parallel evolution in fishes: investigating potential drivers of non-parallelism in stickleback and salmon

Early Career Awards 2017 – call for applications

Deadline for receipt of all application materials: 13 January 2017

Award Description: The CSEE Early Career Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments and promising future research potential in ecology and evolution by scientists early in their career. Awards will be given to two candidates each year. They consist of a 10-year membership to CSEE/SCEE, $500 cash award, up to $1000 allowance for travel and accommodation to attend the CSEE meeting in Victoria, B.C., and an invitation to give a keynote lecture at the annual meeting.

Eligibility: Applicants must be active researchers in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology who received their doctorate within five years of the application deadline, not including time taken for parental leave (i.e., one year of parental leave extends the eligibility period to six years post-Ph.D.). Candidates need to be Canadian citizens, or landed immigrants, or have completed their PhD at a Canadian University, or be currently working at a Canadian University.

Application/Nomination Procedures: Candidates may apply directly or may be nominated.  Established researchers are encouraged to nominate outstanding young scientists.  Nominations must contain all of the following supporting materials in the stated order: (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a summary of research accomplishments (maximum 2 pages), (3) a 2-page statement of research plans for the next 5 years, (4) three recent publications, (5) names and addresses of 3 referees (including the nominating scientist where applicable) who will provide supporting letters. The 3 letters of reference should be sent separately from the candidate’s nomination package. All nomination materials and reference letters must be sent as PDFs to the chair of the CSEE Awards committee, Mark Vellend (mark.vellend@usherbrooke.ca).

Time lines: The deadline for receipt of all materials including letters of reference is 13 January 2017. The recipients will be notified of the award in February and they will receive their award at the following annual meeting.

Download this information as a PDF document: csee-early-career-award-en-2017

2015 Student Awards at Saskatoon

CSEE Talk 1st prize: Patrick Thompson – McGill, “Anatomy of the collapse and onset of recovery in the North Atlantic groundfish community.”

CSEE New Phytologist Prize: James Santangelo – University of Toronto, “Fungal endophytes of red fescue (Festuca rubra) increase host survival but reduce plant tolerance to simulated herbivory.”

CSEE Talk 2nd prize: Matthew Osmond – UBC, “Crossing fitness-valleys without the help of Mendel: extending theory.”

CSEE Talk 3rd prize – tie: Mallory Van Wyngaarden – Memorial University, “Population connectivity and environmental drivers of adaptation in the sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus.”

CSEE Talk 3rd prize – tie: Carly Graham – University of Regina, “How degraded is too degraded? The effects of DNA quality on RADSeq in molecular ecology.”


CSEE Poster 1st prize: Zoryana Shibel – University of New Brunswick, “Synergistic and additive effects of water stress and clipping on S. altissima and S.gigantea.”

CSEE Poster 2nd prize: Marion Sinclair-Waters – Dalhousie University, “Genomic tools for the management of a marine protected area in coastal Labrador: the Gilbert Bay Atlantic Cod MPA.”


Honorable mentions – Oral presentations

Clayton Lamb – University of Alberta, “Grizzly bear demography in a region of rich fruit resources and high human-caused mortality.”

Sean Naman – UBC, “Habitat structure and functional traits mediate emigration of stream invertebrates following high and low flow disturbances.”

Clément Rougeux – Université Laval, “Demographic divergence history of American whitefish species pairs inferred from genome-wide SNPs.”

Julia Shonfield – University of Alberta, “Do owls avoid industrial noise sources in northeastern Alberta?”

Cora Skaien – UBC, “Spatial Heterogeneity in Selection Pressure Exerted by Ungulate Herbivores on the Morphology and Life History of Plectritis congesta.”

Jess Vickruck – Brock University, “Population structure of the Eastern Carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica) across eastern North America.”

2016 Early Career Awards

The CSEE Early Career Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments and promising future research potential in ecology and evolution by scientists early in their careers. There were many excellent nominees for the ECAs this year, and the selection committee had a hard time picking just two. The recipients for this year’s competition were Dr. Isla Myers-Smith, currently at the University of Edinburgh, and Dr. Njal Rollinson from the University of Toronto. The 2016 award consisted of a ten-year membership to CSEE, a $500 cash award, up to $1000 allowance for travel and accommodation to attend the CSEE meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and an invitation to give a keynote lecture there. Dr. Rollinson presented an ECA talk entitled “Maternal effects and the evolution of body size.” Dr. Myers-Smith was unable to physically attend the meeting but she sent a video presentation entitled “The greening of the Arctic: climate as a driver of tundra vegetation change.”

Congratulations again to both recipients, and thanks to the adjudicators for their hard work (Mélanie Jean, Jeremy Kerr, Locke Rowe, Mark Vellend and Jeannette Whitton).

2015 Early Career Award winner

Dr. Sam Yeaman (University of Calgary) received the 2015 Early Career Award. This award recognizes exceptional accomplishments and promising future research potential in ecology/evolution by scientists early in their careers. As this year’s recipient of the CSEE Early Career Award, Sam Yeaman gave a talk in Saskatoon exploring how local adaptation evolves at the genetic and genomic level:

The genetic and genomic architecture of local adaptation

Species that inhabit heterogeneous environments often respond by genetic specialization to local conditions, with populations evolving phenotypes that confer high fitness in their home environment, but have trade-offs in other non-local environments. Some well-known examples of local adaptation have been found in patterns of colouration in mice inhabiting light vs. dark sands and armour plating in stickleback that colonize freshwater lakes. The research presented by Dr. Yeaman illustrates how population genetic theory can be used to build intuition and generate testable hypotheses about how local adaptation shapes patterns in the genome.

For more information, see Yeaman 2013, PNAS, 110:E1743-E1751.

Previous President’s Award Recipients

Below are links to the invited reviews associated with the biannual President’s Award addresses.

2015 Dr. Graham Bell

Professor Graham Bell (McGill University) is the 2015 recipient of the President’s Award for Research Excellence in Ecology and Evolution. The CSEE President’s Award is the highest distinction conferred by the Society, and is given every second year to a Canadian scientist in recognition of outstanding scientific contributions that support the research objectives of the Society. Professor Bell is an evolutionary biologist with broad interests, including the evolution of sexual reproduction, the maintenance of variation, and adaptation to changing environments. He is the author of numerous monographs and textbooks, most recently, The Evolution of Life (Oxford). Graham is a founding member and past president of CSEE, and is currently President of the Royal Society of Canada. At the 2015 CSEE meetings in Saskatoon, Dr. Bell delivered the President’s Award Lecture, “Can major ecological transitions be studied in the laboratory?” The President’s Award recipient is invited to publish a review in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (B).

Dr. Bell’s paper is now available: Experimental macroevolutionProc. R. Soc. B 283: 20152547. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.2547

2013  Dr. Pierre Legendre

Statistical methods for temporal and space–time analysis of community composition data.  Proc. R. Soc. B 281:20132728., http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.2728

2011  Dr. David W. Schindler

The dilemma of controlling cultural eutrophication of lakes.  Proc. R. Soc. B. 2012 279 1746 4322-4333, doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.1032

2009  Dr. Charles J. Krebs

Of lemmings and snowshoe hares: the ecology of northern Canada.   Proc. R. Soc. B. 2010 278:481-489, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1992

2014 Early Career Award Winners

Jennifer Sunday photo

Jennifer Sunday, a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, studies how marine and terrestrial organisms are responding to warming by shifting their distributions to cooler latitudes. First she considers a central and age-old question in ecology – What determines an animal’s global distribution in the first place? Dr. Sunday finds that temperature likely has a big role, but understanding the precise factors that limit species’ distributions is necessary in order to make useful predictions about when and where animals will shift their ranges.

By studying species’ tolerances to different temperatures and comparing them to their global distributions, Dr. Sunday has shown that marine animals have distributions more closely linked to their thermal physiology compared to terrestrial species. According to Sunday, reptiles, amphibians, and insects have the physiological capacity to live closer to the equator, but they are restricted by factors other than warm-season daytime temperatures.


Rowan Barrett photoRowan Barrett is an Assistant Professor in the Redpath Museum at McGill University. He studies the ways in which organisms respond to environmental changes through adaptive evolution. His research looks at ways in which ecological sources of selection and the complexity of the genetic basis of adaptation interact.

“Our research combines a variety of approaches and study systems to help understand this complexity. We generate and test hypotheses about the predictability of evolution through a combination of ecological field transplant experiments, molecular biology, genomics, and computational biology. Our main study systems are threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus), deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), and anolis lizards (A. sagrei and A. carolinensis), but we sometimes work with other organisms too (such as bacteria or Heliconius butterflies). We aim to quantify the contributions of genome-wide genetic variation to fitness, and to understand the ecological and evolutionary forces that have shaped these patterns of variation between individuals, populations, and closely related species.”


2014 Student Awards at G2B, Montreal

Three prizes were awarded for each of the best oral and poster presentations. In each category, the first prize is $500, second prize $300, and third prize $200. As well, the $500 New Phytologist Prize is offered by the New Phytologist Trust for an outstanding student presentation in botany. Oral and poster presentations were judged together for this award.

Award winners:

  •  Talk 1st prize (tie) & New Phytologist Prize: Anna Hargreaves – Queen’s University, “What range-edge population dynamics reveal about current and future range limits”
  • Talk 1st prize (tie): Sarah Neima – Mount Allison University, “Radiotelemetry of migrating Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) reveals new information on movement patterns, duration of stay and habitat use in the upper Bay of Fundy”
  • Talk 2nd prize: Gina Conte – University of British Columbia, “How predictable are the genetics of adaptation?”
  • Talk 3rd prize: Brock Harpur – York University, “Recognizing the signs of balancing selection in the honey bee genome”
  • Poster 1st prize: Josée-Anne Otis – Trent University, “Ecological niche differentiation along the genetic gradient by hybridization of eastern wolf and coyote in Northeastern America”
  •  Poster 2nd prize: Sarah Loboda – McGill University, “Ecological and evolutionary responses of arctic flies to recent climate change at Zackenberg, Greenland”
  • Poster 3rd prize: Gareth Hopkins – Utah State University, “Tidal newts: evolution in a stressful environment”

Honorable mentions – Oral presentations:

  • Nathan Upham – Field Museum of Natural History, University of Chicago, “Testing for adaptive radiation and ecological constraint in a major lineage of rodents (Hystricomorpha, Caviomorpha)”
  • Elsa Anderson – DePaul University, “Nest site selection of Red-headed Woodpeckers across three spatial scales in an urban environment”
  • Gabriel Pigeon – Université de Sherbrooke, “Importance des effets cohorte chez une population d’ongulés alpins”
  • Marius Roesti – University of Basel, “The genomic signature of parallel adaptation from shared genetic variation”
  • Catherine Dieleman – University of Western Ontario, “Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant communities: implications for ecosystem function and stability”

Honorable mentions – Poster presentations:

  • Lily Hou – University of Toronto, “Automated tracking of wild hummingbird mass and energetics over multiple time scales using radio frequency identification technology”
  • Haydee Peralta -University of Calgary, “Symbiotic communities across the expanding range of the mountain pine beetle”
  • Meredith Doellman -University of Notre Dame, “Genomic consequences of adaptation to a novel host in the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus
  • Julie Gibelli -Université de Montréal, “Slow learners exhibit more plasticity in their level of boldness in male but not female zebra finches”
  • Brittany Cole -University of Prince Edward Island, “A comparison of beach and dune habitat on a common coastal plant”