Scott Collins, Regent’s Professor of Biology and Loren Potter Chair of Plant Ecology at the University of New Mexico became President of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) on August 10, 2012. Elected by the members of ESA for a one-year term, Collins will chair the ESA Governing Board, the elected governing body of the Society, which provides vision and guidance on ESA initiatives and future direction.

“It is a great honor to be elected President of the Ecological Society of America. I have been a member of ESA since 1976, my first year in graduate school,” said Collins. “The rapid development of electronic communication, data and information management, and social networking creates some challenges and many exciting opportunities for ESA and its journals. I look forward to working with ESA staff, the Governing Board, and the membership to meet these challenges so that ESA can continue to serve the research community and advance ecological knowledge.”

Collins is an internationally recognized community ecologist. As Director of the Sevilleta Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) program his research focuses on long-term studies of plant community ecology. His work is primarily in grassland ecosystems where he investigates how factors such as climate and disturbance by fire or grazing impact grasslands. The Sevilleta LTER Project is located roughly 80 kilometers south of Albuquerque, NM, in and around the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Its unique location serves as a model setting to examine how human activities will interact with climatic variation to catalyze change in arid communities and ecosystems.

Collins also serves as Chair of the LTER Network Science Council and Executive Board, and he is a past president of the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers. He was also the original NSF Program Director for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), organizing six NEON planning workshops between 2000-2002. During the 1990s, he worked at NSF, serving as Program Director in various capacities, including the agency’s Ecological Studies and LTER programs.

The Ecological Society of America is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge. ESA is committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes five journals, convenes an annual scientific conference, and broadly shares ecological information through policy and media outreach and education initiatives. Visit the ESA website at

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