Distinguished Ecologists 2013-14

Winsor Lowe - Rising Star Ecologist

April 23 - 24, 2014

Winsor LoweWinsor Lowe grew up in rural New Hampshire, received a B.A. from Middlebury College in 1994, then spent several years bouncing back and forth between Montana and New England as a research assistant on studies of wolves, salamanders, and stream insects. He received a M.S. from The University of Montana in 1997, where he worked on the thermal ecology of stream insects. Winsor's dissertation at Dartmouth College and postdoc at The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies focused on the spatial ecology of salamanders in headwater stream networks. Winsor has been at The University of Montana since 2005, where he is a member of the programs in Organismal Biology and Ecology and Wildlife Biology.

Along with an amazing group of students and collaborators, Winsor studies how dispersal affects the evolution, population biology, and community ecology of stream animals. He is especially interested in the ecological and evolutionary drivers of individual dispersal patterns (e.g., stay v. leave, go short v. go long) and how these proximal drivers influence emergent population and community dynamics. Winsor tries to make his research relevant to large-scale management and conservation challenges facing stream ecosystems, such as climate change, timber harvest, and headwater fragmentation. He also just really enjoys walking along small streams and seeing what is under rocks.

Serita Frey - Honor Alumna

October 23, 2013

Serita FreySerita Frey graduated with a Ph.D. from GDPE in 1999. Her dissertation was focused on microbial community composition and soil organic matter dynamics in agroecosystems. She joined the faculty in the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment at the University of New Hampshire in 2002. Dr. Frey chairs the Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science (NRESS) Ph.D. program at UNH and teaches several soils courses (Studio Soils, Soil Ecology).

Her research focuses on how anthropogenic stressors (e.g., climate change, nitrogen deposition, agricultural management, invasive species) affect the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities and microbial-mediated carbon and nitrogen cycles.

Kurt Fausch - Resident Distinguished Ecologist

November 13, 2013

Kurt FauschKurt Fausch has worked at the interface between the ecology and management of stream ecosystems, with a focus on stream fish. Most of his research has been collaborative with graduate students and colleagues, and has focused on the effects of nonnative trout and salmon on stream fish and stream-riparian ecosystems, management and restoration of stream fishes and their habitat at local to riverscape scales, and linkages between stream and riparian food webs.

Kurt is a Professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University, where he has worked for 31 years. He has taught courses in population and community ecology, fish ecology, fisheries science, and ichthyology, and is currently teaching courses in fish conservation and sustaining river hydroecosystems. His collaborative research has taken him throughout Colorado, the West, and worldwide, including to Hokkaido in northern Japan where he worked with colleagues over a 15-year period. These experiences were chronicled in the documentary film RiverWebs, which has been broadcast to >100 million homes in the U.S. on PBS. He has received several awards for his research and outreach, including the first International Fisheries Science Prize from the World Council of Fisheries Societies (2008) and two Awards of Excellence from the American Fisheries Society (2010). He was named an ISI Highly Cited Researcher in 2010. He serves on the Independent Science Advisory Board of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which advises managers and policy makers in the Columbia River basin about fish and wildlife conservation. During 2012-13, Kurt was Acting Director of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology.

Kurt is currently writing a book to help the general public understand the interconnections between streams and rivers and their landscapes, and the importance of conserving these ecosystems.

Jim Estes - Visiting Distinguished Ecologist

March 5 - 6, 2014

Jim EstesAfter growing up in southern California, Jim received a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1967 and doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1974. He subsequently worked as a research scientist for the Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Geological Survey. After retiring from federal service in 2007, Jim took a part time faculty position with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he currently resides.

Jim is an internationally known expert on marine mammals and a specialist in the critical role of apex (top level) predators in the marine environment. He has conducted field research in Alaska, California, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Russia. He has published more than 150 scientific articles, several books and monographs, and has served on the editorial boards for a variety of professional societies. Jim's most recent book, published by Island Press in 2010, is a co-edited volume with John Terborgh entitled Trophic Cascades: Predators, Prey and the Changing Dynamics of Nature. Jim is a Pew Fellow in marine conservation and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. He received the Western Society of Naturalist's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 and the American Society of Mammalogists' C. Hart Merriam Award in 2012.

Scott Collins - Visiting Distinguished Ecologist

April 2 - 3, 2014

Scott CollinsScott Collins received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma in 1981. Following a postdoc appointment at Rutgers University, he returned to the University of Oklahoma where he was an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Botany. In 1992 he moved to the National Science Foundation where he served as a Program Director in the Division of Environmental Biology for various programs including Ecology, Long-Term Ecological Research, Conservation and Restoration Biology, Terrestrial Ecology and Global Change, and Integrated Research Challenges. Collins was the original NSF Program Director for the National Ecological Observatory Network helping to organize six NEON planning workshops from 2000 through 2002. In 2003 he moved to the University of New Mexico where he is now Regent's Professor of Biology, the Loren Potter Chair of Plant Ecology, Chair of the US Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Executive Board and Science Council, lead PI on the Sevilleta LTER Program and Deputy Director of the Sevilleta Field Station. His research focuses on the interactive effects of fire, grazing and climate variability on grassland ecosystems.

Collins has worked extensively on climate change impacts on desert grasslands in New Mexico and in tallgrass prairie as part of the Konza Prairie LTER Program. He also has worked in South Africa as part of the Ecosystem Convergence project comparing fire, climate and herbivore effects on savanna grasslands in North America and Kruger National Park, South Africa. In addition to his research, Collins is the lead PI on the Sevilleta LTER Summer REU Program, which supports independent research by undergraduate ecology and fine arts students each summer at the Sevilleta Field Station. For more information please go to http://temperate.lternet.edu/collins/.