Ecology Across Borders 2017 – Awards and Prizes

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Ecology Across Borders People’s Choice Award, Student Talk and Student Poster Prizes.

This year's joint annual meeting 'Ecology across Borders' was held in Ghent, Belgium from 11-14 December 2017

Ecology Across Borders; People’s Choice Award

At Ecology Across Borders, the organising societies agreed to make a special award for scientists that use and promote inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches in science. This award recognises the joint involvement and cooperation of more than just the classical ecological disciplines in science (inter); but also the involvement of the non-academic societal environment in science (trans). This poster award was voted for by delegates, for the scientist that showed the use of inter- and trans-disciplinary in their approach, and that proof the added value of it.

The winner received a NecoV-financed poster prize of €500, and free registration to the upcoming BES Annual Meeting (Birmingham, December 2018) and GfÖ Annual Meeting (Vienna, September 2018).

Overall Winner

Nikolai Knapp (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ)
Title: Linking lidar and forest modeling to assess biomass estimation across scales and disturbance states
Co-authors: Rico Fischer (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ), Andreas Huth (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ)

Student Prize Winners

Each year we call a diverse group of judges to select winners for our Student Poster and Talk Prizes. This year, our Joint Annual Meeting: Ecology Across Borders, saw a record 320 entries for both talks and posters, so our judges certainly had their work cut out!

To enter, applicants must be a current student presenting work on their research project, or recently have completed their studies and be presenting work that was completed when they were still a student. If presenting a poster, entrants must be the first author and have undertaken the majority of the work for the project.

Both talks and posters are scored on categories including; visual style, scientific content, originality of research, response to questions and the effectiveness of communication.

Winners receive an honorarium of £250 and runners up receive £100. Due to the high standard of presentations this year at Ecology Across Borders, a number of Highly Commended individuals have also been selected for both talks and posters.

Our judges were incredibly impressed with the exceptional standard of the presentations across the board and we are pleased to announce the following winners. Congratulations to all the winners from this years joint meeting and a huge thank you to our judges, whose time and effort made this possible!

Student Prizes – Posters

Overall Winner

René Heim (Hamburg University, Macquarie University)
Title: Multiscale Remote Sensing of Plant Pathogens: Detecting Myrtle Rust in Australia
Co-Authors: Ian Wright (Macquarie University), Jens Oldeland (Hamburg University), Angus Carnegie (New South Wales Department of Primary Industries), Hsing Chang (Macquarie University)

A devastating invasive disease, myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii), is threatening one of Australia’s dominant plant families, the Myrtaceae. The disease is responsible for substantial yield losses in affected industries and causing local extinctions of ecologically important plant species. Our research aims at developing a proof-of-concept for automated and targeted detection of this aggressive disease to reduce costly and environmentally damaging fungicide applications. At the EAB2017, we presented recently published results (doi: 10.1111/ppa.12830), showing that optical sensors are a useful tool to accurately discriminate healthy and infected lemon myrtle trees and thus suggest to further deepen research efforts.

Overall Runners-Up

Olivia Bell (University of Exeter)
Title: Investigating the trophic ecology of Tasmanian predators
Co-Authors: Robbie McDonald (University of Exeter), Stuart Bearhop (University of Exeter), Menna Jones (University of Tasmania), Rodrigo Hamede (University of Tasmania), Sarah Perkins (Cardiff University) 

Denise Rupprecht (University of Münster)
Title: Sheep and deer grazing as tool for restoration and maintenance of calcareous grasslands: A six-year experiment
Co-Authors: Annika Brinkert (University of Münster), Kristin Gilhaus (University of Münster), Norbert Hölzel (University of Münster), Birgit Jedrzejek (University of Münster)

Highly Commended

Annika Hass (Agroecology University of Goettingen)
Title: Landscape configurational heterogeneity by small-scale agriculture, not crop diversity, maintains pollination services in Western Europe

Demetrius Martins (Imperial College London)
Title: Whole plant nutrient and carbon associations in tropical trees
Co-Authors: Francoise Ishida (James Cook University), Emma Humphreys-Williams (Natural History Museum), Stanislav Strekopytov (Natural History Museum), Jon Lloyd (Imperial College London)

Student Prizes – Talks

Overall Winner

Pen-Yuan Hsing (Durham University)
Title: Science and citizenship: Capacity building for civic engagement through the MammalWeb citizen science project
Co-Authors: Lorraine Coghill (Durham University), Julie Ryder (Belmont Community School), Roland Ascroft (Citizen scientist), Philip Stephens (Durham University)

MammalWeb is a citizen science project in north east England where we work with local communities to monitor wildlife with camera traps. We discovered, however, that in addition to successful crowdsourcing of useful ecological data, this project has stimulated civic engagement. This included a group of secondary school students who, with support from the BES, developed their own ecology outreach activities that were presented at public events. There are also citizen scientists who started their own camera trapping surveys elsewhere to inform wildlife management, and do their own engagement and outreach. This highlights the value of citizenship in citizen science.

Overall Runners-up

Eleanor Tew (University of Cambridge)
Title: Capturing cultural ecosystem services – a new method of incorporating cultural values into land management decisions

Dries Van de Loock (University of Antwerp Belgium)
Title: Cooperative breeding in an Afrotropical songbird: a buffer against habitat disturbance?
Co-Authors: Liesbeth De Neve (Ghent University Belgium), Diederik Strubbe (Ghent University Belgium), Mwangi Githiru (Wildlife Works Kenya), Erik Matthysen (University of Antwerp Belgium), Luc Lens (Ghent University Belgium)

Highly Commended

Martina Lori (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL))
Title: Enhanced functional potential of protease encoding microbial communities in soils of organic compared to conventional farming systems under simulated future drought scenarios
Co-Authors: Sarah Symanczik (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)), Paul Mäder (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)), Norah Efosa (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)), Sebastian Jaenicke (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen), Franz Buegger (Helmholtz Zentrum München), Simon Tresch (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)), Alexander Goesmann (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen), Andreas Gattinger (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen)

Ineke Roeling (Universiteit Utrecht)
Title: Grassland plants differ in phenotypic plasticity and trait strategy depending on their niche width and position along N:P gradients
Co-Authors: Jerry Van Dijk (Universiteit Utrecht), Maarten Eppinga (Universiteit Utrecht), Martin Wassen (Universiteit Utrecht)

A huge congratulation to all our prize winners and those that presented at Ecology Across Borders.