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.”

 

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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”
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Survey results: Canadian Science Publishing

Results from a survey by Canadian Science Publishing of 500 Canadian researchers on their behaviours and attitudes to scholarly publishing, dealing with aspects such as open access, funding of research, and journal features, are now available, and we welcome comments and feedback!  The survey can be found at http://www.cdnsciencepub.com/learning-centre/impact-and-discovery/Researcher-Survey-Results.aspx.  The full report is available in English and the key findings have been translated into French; the French PDF can be  downloaded directly from here:  http://www.cdnsciencepub.com/files/PDF/Translation_Key_points_and_intro_f.pdf

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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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Previous President’s Award Recipients

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

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

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All CSEE Bulletins (2007-2017)

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