Alumna Wins Best Paper Award
in Theoretical Ecology

Congratulations to Bren alumna Heather Berkley (PhD 2009) for winning the Ecological Society of America's best-paper award for 2011 for a research paper that grew out her PhD dissertation.

The Theoretical Ecology section of the ESA sponsors an annual award for an outstanding published paper in ecological theory. The 2011 award went to Berkley and her co-authors Bren professor and Berkley's dissertation advisor Bruce Kendall, Satoshi Mitarai, and David Siegel for their paper titled "Turbulent dispersal promotes species coexistence," published in Ecology Letters 13:360-371.

ESA officials wrote, "This paper uses spatially explicit simulations and analytical approximations to demonstrate that, for species with dispersed larvae and sessile adults, stochastic larval dispersal driven by environmental turbulence can result in decorrelated settlement patterns that enable long-term coexistence of competing species. The paper demonstrates how the nuanced interplay between species traits and their abiotic environment can drive population-scale processes, and illustrates how multiple sources of variation contribute differently to long-term community dynamics.

Read the paper.