The Daniel Simberloff Award

The Award

The Simberloff Award for Outstanding Presentation is named to recognize Simberloff’s many contributions to the study of nonnative species. The award will be given annually to two students at the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting who embody Simberloff’s creativity, intelligence, and passion for studying and understanding the biology of nonnative organisms. The award is accompanied by a two-year electronic subscription of Biological Invasions as well as a cash prize of USD 250. Read more

Award Winners 2020

Rebecca Mostow for her oral presentation titled "Discovery of a novel, dune-building grass: Hybridization of non-native beachgrasses (Ammophila arenaria × breviligulata) along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast”

What is your year of study at your university? What lab do you belong to?
I am a 5th year PhD candidate working with Dr. Sally Hacker at Oregon State University.

What is your over-arching research topic?
I study the ecology and population genetics of two invasive, closely-related, dune-building beachgrasses. These two grasses densely invaded the US Pacific Coast leading to habitat loss for native flora and fauna but also dramatically increasing the coastal protection provided by dunes to nearby towns and cities. The discovery of a novel hybrid between the two species (as described in my ESA talk) has pushed me to complete a truly interdisciplinary PhD, integrating genomic tools with models and theory from invasion ecology.  

What Simberloff publication is most inspiring to you and why?
Rhymer, J. M., and D. Simberloff. 1996. Extinction by Hybridization and Introgression. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 27:83–109. Although it is hard to pick just one Simberloff paper, I think I have to go with "Extinction by Hybridization and Introgression." I became fascinated with invasive plants during a year working on plant conservation in the Great Basin. Every day I saw the immense ecological consequences of biological invasions and decided to go to grad school to study evolution in invasive plants, hoping to understand how these organisms were able to thrive in environments in which they did not originally evolve. This paper opened my eyes to the potential impact of hybridization, introgression, and gene flow between the species in my study system and helped me to understand the potential implications of our recent discovery. Additionally, as someone interested in science communication, I have always admired the clear, thorough, and well-reasoned style with which Dr. Simberloff always writes, this being no exception.

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Evelyn “Eve” Beaury for her oral presentation titled "Invaders for sale: The ongoing spread of invasive species by the plant trade industry"

What is your year of study at your university? What lab do you belong to?
I am beginning my fourth year of my PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I am part of Dr. Bethany Bradley's spatial ecology lab.

What is your over-arching research topic?
I study the macroecology and biogeography of invasive plant presence, abundance, and impact. I'm particularly interested in research that intersects invasive species' ecology, policy, and management, as well as interactions between invasive species and global change.

What Simberloff publication is most inspiring to you and why?
It is hard to choose just one, but I'm currently most inspired by Simberloff D, Parker IM, Windle PN (2005) Introduced species policy, management, and future research needs. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3:12–20. This study reviews major issues in invasive species research, policy, and management, as well as advocates for why these three domains need to be better integrated. I am inspired by this review because I am most passionate about projects that connect science to real-world problems. Although published 15 years ago, Simberloff et al. 2005 highlights a disconnect between research and implementation that is still prevalent today and which is exemplified by the work on ornamental invasive plants that I presented at ESA. This publication, and many others by Simberloff, motivates me to work on projects that impact the way we study and manage invasions in the United States.

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Award Winners 2019

Please join us in congratulating Emily Kiehnau and Patrick Milligan for their outstanding oral presentations at the 2019 Ecological Society of America’s Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. We asked Emily and Patrick to share a little bit about themselves, their research, and their favorite publication authored by Dan Simberloff. Read more

New Content ItemEmily Kiehnau




New Content ItemPatrick Milligan


Award Winners 2018

We are pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Simberloff Award for Outstanding Presentation: Carmela Buono and Amanda Carr for their outstanding poster (Buono) and oral (Carr) presentations. Read more

New Content ItemCarmela Buono




New Content ItemAmanda Carr



Daniel Simberloff

New Content Item (2)Daniel Simberloff is the Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biological Invasions. He is a world-renowned scholar who earned his PhD at Harvard where he provided the first experimental test of MacArthur and Wilson’s theory of Island Biogeography. He has authored over 400 peer-reviewed papers on ecology, biogeography, evolution, conservation biology, ecosystem management, and biological invasions. Multiple generations of students have learned from him; his work is mentioned in every modern textbook in ecology and conservation biology, and he has been at the forefront of some of the most vigorous debates in the history of these fields including invasion science. He was a recipient of the Eminent Ecologist Award by the Ecological Society of America in 2006, elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2012, awarded the Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology in 2012 and the Wallace Prize of the International Biogeographical Society in 2015.