Campus News

UGA faculty, alumni named Ecological Society of America Fellows

Craig Osenberg

Athens, Ga. – Craig Osenberg, a professor in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, has been elected a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. He is the fifth current or former UGA ecology faculty member so honored since the program began in 2012.

The ESA Fellows program recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement or application of ecological knowledge; Fellows are elected for life. This year’s class of 24 ESA Fellows also includes UGA alumni Peter Groffman and John Blair, as well as Liza Comita, who was named as one of nine Early Career Fellows for a five-year term.

Osenberg’s research interests include marine and freshwater ecology, population ecology, community ecology and theoretical ecology. His current projects include the study of coral reef dynamics, including vermetid-coral interactions, effects of habitat quality and configuration on fish dynamics, marine protected areas, analysis of large-scale perturbations using BACIPS designs, soil carbon dynamics and the application of meta-analysis in ecology.

Groffman, who received his doctorate in ecology in 1984, is a microbial ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. His research focuses on the role that microorganisms play in ecosystem functions related to nutrient cycling, water and air quality and soil carbon storage and the environmental regulation of microbes.

Blair received his doctorate in entomology in 1987. He is a university distinguished professor and the Edwin G. and Lillian J. Brychta Professor of Biology at Kansas State University, where he also serves as associate director of the division of biology and is the director of the National Science Foundation-funded Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research program. His research focuses primarily on studies of nutrient cycling and plant productivity in grasslands and the ecological consequences of global changes.

Comita received her doctorate in plant biology in 2006. She is an assistant professor of tropical forest management in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her research focuses on the ecology of tropical tree species and how variation in regeneration dynamics affect diversity and species abundance and composition within and across plant communities.

The complete list of ESA Fellows is available at