Kudos: 2014 EEB promotions
Meghan Duffy and Annette Ostling were promoted from assistant professor to associate professor with tenure. Fred Kraus was promoted from assistant research scientist to research scientist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Faculty with dry appointments in ecology and evolutionary biology received the following promotions: Thore Bergman, Gregory Dick and Inés Ibáñez were promoted from assistant professor to associate professor. They received tenure as associate professors in their home departments: Department of Psychology, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and the School of Natural Resources and Environment, respectively.
The following information is excerpted from the U-M Board of Regents promotion recommendations, which covered highlights in teaching, research and service. All promotions were effective September 1, 2014.
Duffy is an internationally recognized researcher who continues to make fundamental contributions to the understanding of host-pathogen interactions in nature. Her impressive research productivity has been published in the top journals in her field as well as in Science, one of the most influential science journals in the world. Her research is well funded with awards from the National Science Foundation, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Ecological Society of America's Mercer Award for an outstanding ecology paper by a scientist under 40, and an Early Career Fellowship from the Ecological Society of America. Her CAREER award from the NSF is a highly prestigious award for emerging researchers who show a strong commitment to integrating their teaching and research endeavors.
Ostling is well-respected for her research contributions in the field of theoretical ecology. She develops ecological theory to understand some of the most puzzling patterns on earth like immense numbers of species in certain ecosystems despite seemingly similar resource requirements, and associated empirical (macroecological) regularities observed in nature for ensembles of individuals across ensembles of species. Her papers taken together set the stage for her to play an important role in further development of a deeper and more testable diversity theory. She is one of a handful of theoreticians with sufficient mathematical knowledge and analytical abilities to construct such a theory. Her productivity is strong with 32 papers at the start of her tenure review process and five currently under review. Ostling received a substantial National Science Foundation (NSF) grant from the Advancing Theory in Biology program in a highly competitive process.
Kraus’ research interests are in evolution, systematics, and the biogeography of insular biotas, with special emphasis on the Papuan herpetofauna, and patterns, processes, and ecology of invasive reptiles and amphibians, including development of risk-assessment protocols for those taxa. His promotion skipped the associate research scientist rank, because his track record of independent funding and outstanding scholarly production is commensurate with the rank of research scientist. Kraus received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan Department of Biology in 1987.
Bergman examines social relationships, cognition, and communication in primates, with a special focus on gelada monkeys. His research has revealed new and important findings of how complex social cognitions and communications have evolved as a result of complex social relationships. He has successfully established a field site for studying primates in Ethiopia. He has been highly productive since coming to Michigan, publishing 27 papers in the very top journals. His students and postdoctoral scholars have been lead- or senior-author on eight papers. He has received several major NSF grants since 2006, as well as smaller grants from the National Geographic Society and the Leaky Foundation.
Dick is a geomicrobiologist who is at the forefront of an emerging new field that uses cutting-edge DNA sequencing technology to study how various aquatic microbes operate on a planetary scale, providing new insights into their role in profoundly altering the evolution of the Earth's oceans and atmosphere, both in deep time and in the present. He is seen as highly interdisciplinary in terms of the tools that he uses (including genomic sequencing) and the first-order questions that he is addressing. Top researchers in the field seek to collaborate with Dick, and many reviewers noted that he has been asked to serve on a relatively large number of review panels and editorial boards given his career stage. He has received significant funding from the National Institutes of Health, NSF, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and others.
Ibáñez is a devoted and caring teacher, an outstanding mentor, an excellent scholar, and a valued colleague. Her research achievements, including publications, grant support, and invitations to give seminars and serve on working groups, are evidence of a high level of scholarly recognition and accomplishment. Significantly, she has received an NSF CAREER Award. Her research achievements establish a foundation for her to continue on a highly productive research trajectory focusing on the response of tree species assemblages to the complex environmental challenges that forest ecosystems will encounter in the next several decades. Ultimately, her research focuses on the response of vegetation to global environmental change, and is important both for insights into predictive modeling of species responses, and for informing management decisions for sustainable conservation, restoration, and use of a wide range of ecosystems.