2021 Student Paper Award Winners

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This year, the recipient of the Ehleringer Prize is Eric Scott of Tufts University. 

Eric’s paper is co-authored with Dr. Elizabeth Crone and is entitled “Using the right tool for the job: the difference between unsupervised and supervised analyses of multivariate ecological data” (Oecologia 2021, 196:13-25; DOI 10.1007/s00442-020-04848-w). This paper shows how choosing the category of multivariate analysis – supervised vs. unsupervised – can result in different interpretations of the same data. The authors make the case that unsupervised analyses, such as principal components analysis (PCA), are overused by ecologists when supervised analyses, such as partial least squares (PLS), are more appropriate for most questions requiring analysis of multivariate predictors.

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The Hanski Prize is awarded to Matteo Rizzuto, from the Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada. 

Matteo conducted this work while a student in Dr. Shawn J. Leroux’s laboratory. His paper is entitled, “Forage stoichiometry predicts the home range size of a small terrestrial herbivore” (Oecologia 197:327–338. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-021-04965-0). This study used ecological stoichiometry and landscape ecology to demonstrate how food chemistry drives range size of snowshoe hares in boreal forests. The results support a wide use of ecological stoichiometry to reveal how animal space-use decisions are related to, and influence, the functioning and processes of an ecosystem.

Matteo is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Oswald J. Schmitz’s Lab at the Yale University School of the Environment.