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 (email@example.com).
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
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.
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 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.”