UGA Institute of Ecology professor receives IALE Award

Athens, Ga. – Ronald Pulliam, Regent’s Professor at the University of Georgia Institute of Ecology, has won the Distinguished Landscape Ecologist Award, given annually by the U.S. chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE). It is the chapter’s highest accolade.

“This award is a prestigious honor,” said Janet Silbernagel, IALE representative, when announcing this year’s winner. The award recognizes “those unique individuals whose thinking and writing have helped to shape the field of landscape ecology [and] is ordinarily given for outstanding scientific achievement over a period of a decade or more,” according to the organization’s Web site. Landscape ecology studies the way landscapes and the organisms on them work naturally and when disturbed.

Previous winners have been chosen on the basis of providing broad intellectual leadership and high achievement in the field. Earlier recipients from the Institute of Ecology are Gary Barrett (2001) and Frank Golley (1991).

This year’s award will be presented at the U.S. IALE annual meeting in Syracuse, N.Y., on Tuesday, March 15.

Pulliam received a Ph.D. in zoology from Duke University and is a former director of the Institute of Ecology. He has also headed the Ecological Society of America and the National Biological Service of the Department of the Interior, and served as science adviser to the Secretary of the Interior. Pulliam’s research interests focus on biological diversity and change, with an emphasis on modeling, population dynamics, conservation biology and environmental policy. He is currently studying impacts of land use and climate change on plant and animal populations.

The International Association for Landscape Ecology is a nonprofit organization linking professionals from a variety of disciplines interested in landscape management, planning and research. It encourages its members to work across disciplines to solve problems applicable to real landscape situations.

The Institute of Ecology, part of the College of Environment and Design, is the University of Georgia’s primary academic unit for ecological research and teaching. The National Research Council ranks UGA’s ecology program among the nation’s top 20.