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portrait of Douglas Futuyma

Douglas J. Futuyma

Stony Brook University

Douglas J. Futuyma (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1969) is a distinguished professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York. He is the recipient of this year’s Leidy Award. His research concerns speciation and the evolution of interactions between species. Dr. Futuyma is the author of the textbooks Evolutionary Biology and Evolution and of Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution. He is the editor of Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics  and has been the editor of Evolution. He has been a Guggenheim fellow, a Fulbright senior scholar, and president of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Dr. Futuyma was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996 and the U. S. National Academy of Sciences in 2006. He is an avid naturalist.

portrait of Sandy Knapp

Sandra Knapp

Natural History Museum, London

Sandra Knapp (Ph. D. Cornell University, 1986) is a research botanist at the Natural History Museum in London, England. A specialist on the taxonomy of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, she has spent much time in the field in Central and South America collecting plants. She is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is actively involved in promoting the role of taxonomy worldwide. She is also the author of several popular books on the history of science and botanical exploration, including the award-winning Potted Histories (2003). In 2009 Dr. Knapp was honored with the Peter Raven Outreach Award by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the United Kingdom National Biodiversity Network’s John Burnett Medal. She served as the President of the Nomenclature Section of the 18th International Botanical Congress in Melbourne, Australia, in July 2011, where e-publication of new names of plants was accepted into the botanical Code. Her current projects include Flora Mesoamericana (a synoptic flora of southern Mexico and Central America), a world-wide taxonomic monograph of the megadiverse genus Solanum (Solanaceae), collaborative research in phylogenetics and genomic evolution of Solanaceae, and field guides for aiding conservation on the ground in the Neotropics, most recently in Paraguay.

portrait of Patrick Kociolek

Patrick Kociolek

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History 

Patrick Kociolek (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1988) has been the director of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History since 2008. He is an internationally known expert on diatoms. He came to the University of Colorado from a position as executive director and curator of diatoms at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. During his time at the California Academy of Sciences, Dr. Kociolek contributed not only to scientific knowledge of diatoms, but also to the museum community. He was at the California Academy for nearly 20 years, holding an endowed chair in Diatom Studies and heading the organization for more than 10 years. Dr.  Kociolek led the Academy’s rebuilding project, working with Renzo Piano, an international team of exhibition designers and Maya Lin in developing a landmark in environmentally responsible museum design, creating a new aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum. He also led outreach initiatives to the diverse audiences of the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Kociolek has edited seven books and published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles on diatoms. His currently funded research examines the freshwater diatom flora of Hawaii, the phylogenetic relationships of certain diatoms that are prodigious producers of oil, and the application of diatoms as bioassessment tools in California.

Portrait of Wayne Maddison

Wayne Maddison

University of British Columbia and Director of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Wayne Maddison (Ph. D. Harvard University, 1988) is the Canada research chair in biodiversity, professor in the Departments of Zoology and Botany at the University of British Columbia, and director of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. He is the world expert on the phylogeny, biodiversity, and evolution of jumping spiders (Salticidae), a pioneer in developing methods of phylogenetic inference and trait evolution, including the software packages MacClade and Mesquite, and an accomplished biological illustrator. In addition to the honor of holding a Canada research chair, a position created to attract and retain outstanding scholars, Dr. Maddison was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2011 for his contributions to science. His research continues to focus on questions about the systematics, biogeography, and evolution of spiders, fieldwork to quantify spider biodiversity from poorly studied tropical regions, and the development of Mesquite and the Tree of Life web project which aims to present on the internet the current state of our knowledge about the evolutionary tree of life.

portrait of Lucinda McDade

Lucinda A. McDade

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Lucinda A. McDade (Ph.D. Duke University, 1980) is a professor and chair of the Botany Department at Claremont Graduate University and Judith B. Friend director of research at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. She did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and most of her work focuses on tropical plants. Dr. McDade’s research centers on the Acanthaceae plant family, the role of hybridization in plant evolutionary history and in phylogeny reconstruction and on plant reproductive biology. A former chair of the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Botany Division, she oversaw the rehousing of 1.5 million botany specimens.

portrait of Shahid Naeem

Shahid Naeem

Columbia University

Shahid Naeem (Ph. D. University of California, Berkeley, 1989) is a professor of ecology at Columbia University in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) and is director of the Earth Institute’s Center for Environmental Research and Conservation. His research concerns the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss. He has worked on plant, animal, and microbial species in a variety of ecosystems and was the co-chair of the United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’s Biodiversity Synthesis Report published in 2005. Dr. Naeem is the co-editor of two volumes on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and the author of more than 100 scholarly articles on biodiversity. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, and he was a fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows. He and his students travel the world to study and promote the idea that the preservation of biodiversity benefits all of humanity.

portrait of Daniel Otte

Daniel Otte

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

Daniel Otte (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1968) is the curator and chair of the Department of Entomology at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Dr. Otte is the world expert on crickets and grasshoppers and their relatives (Orthoptera) and a prominent thinker in the fields of ecology and evolution, particularly speciation. He has published more than 300 scientific articles and 18 books about the behavior, evolution, and systematics of insects and is also a noted scientific illustrator. At the present time he is working to complete two books on grasshoppers: Grasshoppers of North America (Panama to Alaska) and Grasshoppers of Southern Africa. He anticipates that both books will be completed in 2014. Through his research, Dr. Otte has discovered and named more than 1600 new species from North America, Africa, Australia, Hawaii, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, and a number of Pacific Islands. He has published a number of books on these fauna. His principal interest is in the origin of species. To this end he has spent many years studying Hawaiian crickets and grasshoppers in the western United States.

portrait of Dr. David Tillman

David Tilman

University of Minnesota

David Tilman (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1976) is Regents’ professor and McKnight presidential chair in ecology at the University of Minnesota. He is one of the world’s foremost experimental ecologists. His research explores topics ranging from theoretical ecology to how to sustainably meet human needs for food, energy, and ecosystem services. Dr. Tilman has written two books, edited three more, and published more than 200 scientific papers, including more than 30 in Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. For the past 18 years, the Institute for Scientific Information has ranked him as the world’s most highly cited environmental scientist. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a J.S. Guggenheim Fellow. Dr. Tilman was awarded the International Prize for Biology in 2008 and the Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences in 2010. He is also the recipient of the Ecological Society of America’s Cooper Award and its MacArthur Award, the Botanical Society of America’s Centennial Award, and the Princeton Environmental Prize.  

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