2012 Early Career Awards

Dominique Gravel, Université du Québec à Rimouski

Dr. Gravel is a community ecologist with a strong interest in modeling and theoretical ecology. His work combines theoretical models with experimental and field data in order to explore the complex interaction between species distributions, community structure, and ecosystem function. He has applied this approach to such disparate systems as temperate forests, bacterial communities and the rocky intertidal. He completed his PhD in 2007 and has published 17 peer-reviewed papers in journals that include the highest-impact ones in the field. 

Marc Johnson, University of Toronto – Mississauga

Dr. Johnson’s research bridges evolution, ecology and genetics to the evolutionary consequences of sexual reproduction in plants, the evolution of plant defences against herbivores and pathogens, and the ecological consequences of genetic variation. He completed his PhD in 2007, has published 26 peer-reviewed papers, and has also been recognized by the American Society of Naturalists with their Young Investigator’s Prize.

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2013 Student Awards for Posters and Talks at CSEE Kelowna

Poster presentations:

  1. Dan Bock, University of British Columbia, The Jerusalem artichoke – neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke
  2. Caroline Franklin, St. Mary’s University, Effects of moose browsing on vegetation patterns at spruce budworm-induced forest edges
  3.  Jillian Dunic, University of Victoria, Size matters? Gape size-body size relationships in coral reef fish communities
 Oral Presentations:
  1. Robert Serrouya, University of Alberta, Reversing apparent competition using a broad-scale manipulation
  2. Barbara Frei, McGill University, The early bird gets the competition: Invasive species lowers breeding success of a threatened woodpecker
  3. Holly Caravan, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Social insect soldiers double up as medics
 New Phytologist Prize:  Brook Moyers, University of British Columbia, Divergence in gene expression is uncoupled from divergence in coding sequence in a newly woody sunflower
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2013 President’s Award: Pierre Legendre

 

Pierre Legendre with a commemorative fish sculpture presented at the CSEE Kelowna conference, following the 2013 President's Award address.

Pierre Legendre with a commemorative fish sculpture presented at the CSEE Kelowna conference, following the 2013 President’s Award address.

 A review paper associated with this award was published in Proc R Soc B, 2014

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Introduction to the 2013 CSEE President’s Award Lecture – Jeff Hutchings

Good afternoon, my name is Jeff Hutchings, and I am President of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution.  Bonjour mesdames et messieurs. En tant que Président de la Société canadienne d’écologie et d’évolution, je suis très heureux de présenter à Pierre Legendre, Département de sciences biologiques, Université de Montréal, le Prix de la présidence de 2013. C’est la troisième fois que ce prix a été présenté par la société. Je suis très heureux de saluer les lauréats précédents, Charles Krebs et David Schindler, qui sont tous les deux présents à cette réunion. Welcome to both Charley and Dave.

Et maintenant, pour ceux qui ne comprennent pas le français et, plus important, pour la santé de vos oreilles, je vais continuer en anglais.

Pierre Legendre is recognized by the President’s Award for his seminal contributions to numerical ecology, ecological statistics, and the study of various facets of spatial and temporal scales in ecology.

Interestingly his initial research followed in the footsteps of those of his father, well known to Canadian fish biologists and ichthyologists, Vianney Legendre. For those of you unfamiliar with the particulars of Vianney Legendre’s work, you might know of one of the fish that he described – the copper redhorse…in 1952 – which appears on the label of a Quebec beer called ‘Rescousse’.

Pierre Legendre’s master’s research at McGill University focused on hybridization in fish of the genus Phoxinus, a member of the minnow, or cyprinid, family. One species, the finescale dace, is known to reproduce with the congeneric northern redbelly dace, and to produce hybrid offspring that are always female. Typically, hybrid females breed with male redbelly dace, but the male’s genetic material is not incorporated during egg development and is not passed on to the next generation. The offspring are all female and clones of the mother. It was this work that particularly stimulated Pierre’s interest in chromosomes and genetics.

After completing his MSc degree in Zoology in 1969, he moved to Boulder, Colorado, in the US where he completed his doctoral degree in 1971. It was in Colorado where his interest and expertise in mathematical ecology began to mature with his work on cluster analysis.

Two different degrees in two different countries being insufficient, he then moved to Scandinavia where he undertook postdoctoral research in Lund, Sweden. Following his return to Canada in 1972, he took a position initially at Université du Québec à Montréal, before moving to Université de Montréal in 1980, where he has remained since.

Prof. Legendre is a mathematician, a modeler, a numerical ecologist. The title of his first paper foretold his research career. It is entitled: “A mathematical model for the entities species and genus” published in the journal Taxon. His work speaks to the incomparable strength and utility of models. It speaks to the breadth of research questions in ecology and evolution to which models can be applied. A modeller is not constrained by the taxonomic restrictions that most of us impose upon ourselves during our research careers. This makes the modeler the ideal collaborator, and Pierre Legendre’s voluminous curriculum vitae reflects this exceedingly well.

He has authored more than 250 papers in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Among these, more than 30 have been cited more than 100 times. And 4 – all dealing with spatial patterns in ecology — have been cited more than 1000 times each. This is a remarkable testament to the extraordinary degree to which his science is valued by his peers.

In addition to his publications, one must also draw attention to the extraordinary success of his books, which include the highly cited Numerical Ecology (most recent edition in 2012) and Numerical Ecology with R (2011).

Among his many awards (including several for teaching excellence), Prof. Legendre is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; he is recipient of the Royal Society of Canada’s Romanowski Medal (environmental science); he was awarded the 2005 Prix Marie-Victorin from the Government of Québec; in 2007, he was made an Officer of the National Order of Québec; and in 2012 he received the Career Achievement Award from the Canadian Council of University Biology Chairs.

The President’s Award of the CSEE is an award of recognition given biennially for outstanding contributions to the sciences embraced by the Canadian Society For Ecology and Evolution. It is the highest honour bestowed by the Society. Will you please join me in welcoming the 2013 recipient of the President’s Award, Pierre Legendre.

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2012 Student awards

Student award winners at Evolution 2012, the joint CSEE / SSE / ASN meeting in Ottawa were:

  1. Nathaniel Sharp, University of Toronto, “Sexual selection can reduce mutation load in Drosophila melanogaster.”
  2. Njal Rollinson, Dalhousie University, “A key component of the physical environment drives the evolution of maternal reproductive strategies in Atlantic salmon.”
  3. Aleeza Gerstein, University of British Columbia, “Evolve or die: A characterization of adaptive mutations in yeast.”
  4.  Alexandre Martin, Université de Sherbrooke “Age-Dependent Effect of Testosterone on Social Rank in Bighorn Rams (Ovis canadensis).”
  5. Katherine Ostevik, University of British Columbia, “Speciation, Sunflowers and Sand Dunes: Reproductive barriers between dune and non-dune ecotypes ofHelianthus petiolaris
  6. Anna Simonsen, University of Toronto, “Evidence for ecological benefits of cheating symbiotic soil microbes in the face of insect herbivory”
  7. Ann McKellar, Queens University, “Form, function, and consequences of density-dependence in a migratory bird”
  8.  Emily Austen, University of Toronto, “Flowering early or flowering big: which matters more for male and female fitness?”
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