We are excited and honored to announce our 2023 EIS Plenary Speakers!
University of Tennessee
Dr. Daniel Simberloff is the Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1969, where in his dissertation he was the first to test Robert MacArthur and his advisor E.O. Wilson’s island biogeography theory experimentally in Floridian mangrove systems, producing studies such as the 1969 paper, “Experimental Zoogeography of Islands: The Colonization of Empty Islands,” which is a seminal paper in ecology. He was a recipient of the Eminent Ecologist Award by the Ecological Society of America in 2006, elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2012, awarded the Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology in 2012, and the Wallace Prize of the International Biogeographical Society in 2015. His research is very active on the issues of invasive species, studying the susceptibility of ecosystems to invasion from exotic species, the practical implications of these invasions, and the potential interactions between invasive species including the potential for invasional meltdown—in which the introduction of exotic species facilitates the establishment and invasion of other exotics. He has authored over 350 peer-reviewed papers and has been involved in some of the most vigorous debates in the history of ecology and conservation biology (e.g., island biogeography, reserve size and design, null models in community ecology, consequences of biological control, assisted migration, and novel ecosystems). Dr. Simberloff was a plenary speaker at EIS in 2001, and we are honored to have him join us again this year!
Arizona State University
Dr. Martins is a Professor at the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University (ASU). She joined ASU in 2017 after serving as a rotating Program Director at the National Science Foundation, Professor of Biology at Indiana University, and Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Oregon. She has also held administrative positions including Associate Dean, Director of the Interdepartmental Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, and Director of several graduate and undergraduate student training programs. She is a Fellow and Past-President of the Animal Behavior Society and has served as editor of Evolution, Systematic Biology, American Naturalist, and other journals. Dr. Martins studies behavioral evolution by mapping the ancient history of lizard communication in the southwestern United States and how sensory systems impact social behavior in the biomedically-important zebrafish. More generally, her research program asks about the evolution of complex behavioral phenotypes, and how evolutionary forces have interacted over long periods of time to shape phenotypic change. Her lab pioneered the use of phylogenetic comparative methods to infer the evolutionary mechanisms underlying phenotypic evolution, and has also contributed substantially to our understanding of how different sensory systems intertwine to produce and to perceive animal communicative signals. Most recently, the Martins lab has focused on two projects: (1) multimodal communication in North American Sceloporus lizards, and (2) phenotypic plasticity and social behavior of wild zebrafish from India. In addition to lab experiments and international fieldwork, both projects involve developing new statistics, software, and data-archiving tools.
Dr. Walter Jetz is a Professor in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department in the School of the Environment at Yale University. He earned his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002 and served on the faculty of the University of California San Diego from 2005 to 2009. Dr. Jetz directs the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change and its Max Planck-Yale Center for Biodiversity Movement of Global Change, an International Max Planck Center. Internationally, he served as co-manager of the Task Force on Data and Knowledge of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES), as Chair of its Task Group on Indicators, and as Lead Author on the IPBES Global Assessment. He also co-chairs the Species Population Working Group of the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network, is an UNEP-WCMC Honorary Fellow and serves on the Steering Committee of the Future Earth Natural Assets Network. Dr. Jetz integrates ecological, evolutionary, geographical, and environmental perspectives to study biodiversity dynamics in a changing world. A particular focus is the use of novel technologies and data-flows to examine the responses of biodiversity to environmental change across scales. With flagship projects such as Map of Life, he combines ecology and informatics to support education, conservation, and policy-relevant decision-support. He serves on the editorial boards of journals in ecology, evolution and data science and has been recognized as ISI Highly Cited Researcher in five years since 2014. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and has mentored 21 postdocs and graduate students, with 17 now in tenure-track faculty or tenured academic research positions.
University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Zamudio is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin and an Endowed Fellow of the Doherty Regents Chair in Molecular Biology. She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley in Zoology in 1991, her Ph.D. from University of Washington, Seattle in 1996, and was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the Museum of Vertebrate Biology at UC Berkeley from 1997-1999. She worked at Cornell from 1999-2021 where she received tenure and became a Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on the origin and maintenance of vertebrate biodiversity (primarily reptiles and amphibians). Specifically, Dr. Zamudio’s research focuses on the microevolutionary processes leading to the origin and maintenance of diversification in vertebrates, especially New World reptiles and amphibians, as well as the role of disease in affecting survival at the population, species, and clade levels. Her work has been at the forefront of understanding how chytrid fungus has affected frog populations both now and in the past. In addition, her integrative studies of amphibian diversification, incorporating phylogeographic, genomic, bioinformatic, ecological and geological data, have become a model of how evolutionary diversification is studied on landscape scales. She integrates field research in population biology, demography, and landscape/habitat change with laboratory research on the genomic underpinnings of population diversification, speciation, and conservation genetics.
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Rodrigo A. Medellín is Senior Professor of Ecology at the Institute of Ecology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Medellín’s research integrates community ecology and species conservation with public outreach and education, and he has advised management and policy decisions regarding threatened and endangered species in Mexico and around the world for over 40 years. Medellín was the President of the Society for Conservation Biology, is the founder of the Program for the Conservation of Bats of Mexico, and is the founding Director of the Latin American Network for Bat Conservation. His work led to delisting the lesser long-nosed bat, Leptonycteris yerbabuenae. Medellín is also Co-Chair of the Bat Specialist Group of IUCN. Medellín uses a multidisciplinary approach, from behavioral ecology and conservation biology to applied genetics, with an eye towards policy applications. He formerly headed the Wildlife Department of the Mexican Federal Government and continues to advise on wildlife issues. He is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, Andalusia International University, the University of Arizona, and a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. He was vice-Chair of the CITES Animals Committee, and is a COP-appointed Scientific Councilor for the Convention of Migratory Species. He has received the 2004 Gerrit S. Miller Award of NASBR, the Whitley Fund for Nature Gold Award, The Rolex Award for Enterprise in 2008, among many other awards. Medellín has authored over 280 publications, and his work has been featured in various documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic, and other production houses.
Arizona State University
Dr. Nancy Grimm is an inter- and transdisciplinary ecosystem ecologist and Virginia M. Ullman Regents Professor of Ecology at Arizona State University. Dr. Grimm studies the interactions of climate change, human activities, resilience, and biogeochemical processes in desert and urban stream ecosystems. She was founding director of the Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-term Ecological Research program and served as its principal investigator for 19 years. She co-directed the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network from 2015–2022 and now co-directs the international network of networks, NATURA (NATure-based solutions for Urban Resilience in the Anthropocene) and the graduate scholars network, Earth Systems Science for the Anthropocene (ESSA). Dr. Grimm is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the Society for Freshwater Science, and the Ecological Society of America. She is a past president of the Ecological Society of America and the North American Benthological Society (now Society for Freshwater Science), past program director for the U.S. National Science Foundation, and senior scientist for the U.S. Global Change Research Program. She was awarded the 2019 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America as part of an international team consensus on how ecological research in urban areas can improve sustainability and resilience to natural disasters. Grimm is known for her support of long-term research, and her dedication to mentorship and collaboration. Along with her colleagues and students, Grimm has made greater than 200 contributions to scientific literature.