Newswise — The Ecological Society of America has named Osvaldo Sala, Arizona State University's Julie A. Wrigley Professor of Life Sciences and Sustainability, as a 2013 Fellow. The organization’s fellows program recognizes researchers who have made exceptional contributions to a wide variety of scientific fields served by the society, including those who advance ecological knowledge in academics, government, non-profit organizations and broader society.
Sala is one of 17 scientists receiving the honor this year. Fellows are elected for a lifetime. In a written statement, the society’s awards committee chair, Alan Hastings, says the goal is to both honor its members and support their competitiveness and advancement to leadership positions.
Sala, professor with the School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability, and senior sustainability scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability, says he is honored by the appointment.
"I was surprised and honored when I learned that I had been elected Fellow of the Ecological Society of America," Sala said. "This is the largest ecological society of the world and an organization that groups the brightest and most influential ecologists.
"I have been a member of Ecological Society of America for approximately 30 years. I admire the growth of the society not only in number of members, but in its breadth," he adds. "This is a society with strong international links to sibling institutions in Latin America, Europe and China, and a society that cares about fundamental ecology as well as stewardship of our planet."
Sala has explored several topics throughout his career – from water controls on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, to the consequences of changes in biodiversity on the functioning of ecosystems, including the development of biodiversity scenarios for the next 50 years. His work is reflected in more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and several edited books.
The Ecological Society of America established its fellows program in 2012. Previously elected fellows from ASU include Nancy B. Grimm, professor with the School of Life Sciences and senior sustainability scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability; and Stuart G. Fisher, emeritus professor with the School of Life Sciences and senior sustainability scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability.
In addition, the society named six early career fellows – members within eight years of receiving their doctoral degrees who show promise of making outstanding contributions to their respective fields.
The society is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists with more than 10,000 members around the globe. The ESA publishes five journals and shares ecological information through policy and media outreach.