Campus News

UGA faculty, alumni named Fellows of the Ecological Society of America

Athens, Ga. – Seven eminent scientists with ties to the University of Georgia-six of whom are affiliated with the Odum School of Ecology-have been named to the inaugural list of Fellows of the Ecological Society of America. The program was recently established to recognize ESA members who have made significant contributions to ecological science in academics, government service, non-profit organizations or other avenues. Appointment is for life.

The Fellows are listed below.

Alan P. Covich, professor, Odum School. Covich studies the impacts of natural disturbances on food web dynamics and the importance of biodiversity in streams, lakes and wetlands, conducting research in the tropics and south Georgia with a focus on ecosystem services. He is a former director of the UGA Institute of Ecology, a past president of the ESA and of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and current president of the International Association for Ecology.

Judith L. Meyer, professor emeritus, Odum School. Meyer, a past president of the ESA, studies river and stream ecosystems, focusing on the dynamics of nutrients and organic matter in stream ecosystems, urban rivers and streams, and the role of headwater streams and riparian zones in river networks. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was named a National Clean Water Act Hero in 2002 by the Clean Water Network. She received the 2003 Award of Excellence in Benthic Science from the Society for Freshwater Science (formerly the North American Benthological Society) and the 2010 Naumann-Thienemann medal from the International Society of Limnology.

James W. Porter, Meigs Distinguished Professor, Odum School. Porter’s research focuses on coral reefs and marine ecosystems as well as the environmental impacts of war. He is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board on Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons, which helps to implement the United Nations Chemical Weapons Convention. In 2005, he received the ESA’s Eugene P. Odum Award for environmental education. He is a past president of Sigma Xi and the Scientific Research Society. From 1977-1981, he edited the journals Ecology and Ecological Monographs.

H. Ronald Pulliam, Regents Professor Emeritus, Odum School. A former director of the Institute of Ecology, Pulliam’s research interests include the impacts of land use and climate change on plant and animal populations and the maintenance of biodiversity. Pulliam is a past president of the Ecological Society of America, directed the National Biological Service and served as science adviser to the Secretary of the Interior from 1996 to 1997.

Rebecca R. Sharitz, professor emeritus, department of plant biology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Sharitz researches ecological processes in wetlands, floodplain and swamp forest ecosystems and isolated depression wetlands (Carolina bays). She focuses on the responses of wetland communities to natural and human-caused disturbances and the restoration of degraded wetlands. In 2010, she received the National Wetlands Award for Science Research from the Environmental Law Institute. SREL was founded by the Odum School’s namesake Eugene P. Odum.

Fellows also include UGA graduates Timothy Duane Schowalter and Monica Turner.

Schowalter received his doctoral degree in 1979 from the department of entomology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Currently a professor and head of the department of insect ecology and forest entomology at Louisiana State University, he focuses on the response of canopy insects to natural disturbances to forest ecosystems.

Turner received her doctoral degree in 1985 from the Odum School. As the Eugene P. Odum Professor of Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Turner is a landscape ecologist with particular interest in the dynamics of natural disturbances and their effects on ecosystems, fire ecology, the ecological effects of land use change and forest ecosystem ecology. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is a past president of the U.S. Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology.

The complete list of ESA Fellows is available online at