PhD student honoured by Ecological Society of America

Caroline S. Dallstream wins E. Lucy Braun Award for Excellence in Ecology

On April 19, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) announced the winners of its annual awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to ecology in new discoveries, teaching, sustainability, diversity and lifelong commitment to the profession.

Caroline S. Dallstream, a PhD student in the Department of Biology was named winner of the E. Lucy Braun Award for Excellence in Ecology.

Caroline S. Dallstream’s work with leaf nutrient resorption conjured many questions about the roles of roots in plant nutrient economies. Joelle Petitti

Lucy Braun, an eminent plant ecologist and one of the charter members of the ESA, studied and mapped the deciduous forest regions of eastern North America and described them in her classic book, The Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America. To honour her, the E. Lucy Braun Award for Excellence in Ecology is given to a student for the outstanding poster presentation at the ESA Annual Meeting.

Papers and posters are judged on the significance of ideas, creativity, quality of methodology, validity of conclusions drawn from results, and clarity of presentation. Dallstream’s work with leaf nutrient resorption conjured many questions about the roles of roots in plant nutrient economies.

Dallstream’s poster, entitled Drought promotes early leaf abscission regardless of leaf habit but increases litter phosphorus losses only in evergreens, demonstrated drought impacts on ecosystem nutrient cycling through changes in litter chemistry.

“Dallstream’s findings show that drought can cause premature leaf shedding in southern temperate forests, but that it affects deciduous and evergreen nutrient cycling differently,” said the ESA citation. “Her study suggests that more frequent and intense droughts could further alter nutrient cycling, leading to increased litter phosphorus losses for evergreens and potential shifts in species composition in southern temperate forests.”

ESA will present the 2022 awards during a ceremony at the Society’s upcoming Annual Meeting, which will take place in Montreal, from Sunday, August 14, through Friday, August 19.

Read the ESA press release

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