Melissa Giresi is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology at Texas A&M University interested in using genetic methods to assess population structure, connectivity and biodiversity of exploited marine fishes and invertebrates. For her dissertation, she is testing the null hypothesis that the dusky smoothhound shark, Mustelus canis, is a single genetically-panmictic population in U.S. waters and utilizing molecular and morphological markers to assess how many smoothhound species are present in the Gulf of Mexico. She is also involved with projects to investigate population connectivity in fine tooth sharks, black nose sharks, cobia, and amberjack.
On Thursday, I tweeted “Name the most influential female ecologist (alive today) that you can think of.” After it was re-tweeted by several of my much more twitter-savvy colleagues and friends, I received an overwhelming number of responses. In retrospect, I should have created a hashtag to keep track of the responses. Forty-five influential female ecologists were named in this search, some of whom responded to the question themselves, naming their colleagues (but never naming themselves). The most influential female ecologists (alive today) according to the twitter-verse are listed in the table below in alphabetical order by last name.
The accomplishments of the women on this list are incredible and innumerable. This list includes a the former NOAA Administrator, former president of the Ecological Society of America, a Laureate for the Tyler Prize in Environmental Achievement, Time Magazine’s Hero for the planet, a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, several members of the National Academy of Sciences, and winners of the Emminent Ecologist Award and the Hubbard Award, just to mention a few. The women on this list include paleoecologists, entomologists, icthyologists, soil biologists, microbial ecologists, fungal ecologists, wetland ecologists, community ecologists, climate change ecologists, landscape ecologists, phylogeneticists, population geneticists, and anthropologists. Their work spans from studying hydrothermal vents in the abysmal ocean to characterizing communities in rainforest canopies; from examining methods of pre-copulatory sexual selection to determining mechanisms of speciation; from examining community structure on small scales to characterizing effects of climate change on biodiversity on global scales.
The ability to communicate scientific information to the public is a difficult task, one in which all of these women have successfully done. Many of the women on this list have been featured in prominent media outlets, such as TED Talks, episodes of the Colbert Report and on the Scientific American Blog. The women on this list serve as role models for young ecologists.
|Last Name||First Name||Current Affiliation|
|Bartuska||Ann||USDA- Dept of Agriculture|
|Berenbaum||May||University of Illinois|
|Clark||Eugenie||Mote and U of Maryland|
|Davis||Margaret||University of Minnesota|
|Earle||Sylvia||CAS, DOER Marine|
|Galatowitsch||Susan||University of Minnesota|
|Hobbie||Sarah||University of Minnesota|
|Johnson||Nancy||Northern Arizona U|
|Knowlton||Nancy||Smithsonian Institute (NMNH)|
|Laporte||Nadine||Woods Hole Research Center|
|Lowman||Meg||California Academy of Sciences|
|Lubchenco||Jane||Oregon State University|
|Nadkarni||Nalini||University of Utah|
|Olson||Dede||USDA- Dept of Agriculture|
|Palmer||Margaret||University of Maryland|
|Pendelton||Bonnie||West Texas A&M University|
|Servedio||Maria||UNC Chapel Hill|
|Stromberg||Julie||Arizona State U|
|Turner||Monica||University of Wisconsin|
|van Dover||Cindy Lee||Duke|
|With||Kim||Kansas State U|
|Zedler||Joy||University of Wisconsin|
If you think anyone was left off this list, please suggest a name in the comments.