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The Ecological Society of America has presented its Cooper Award for best professional paper to UW Botany Professor Steve Jackson and others.
The study, led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers John W. Williams and Jacquelyn Gill, was published last fall in the journal Science.
Awards committee members said the paper represents an important contribution that fits the spirit and letter of the Cooper Award, "given to an ecologist for a recent contribution in ecology with special emphasis on geobotany, physiographic ecology, plant succession, or the distribution of plants along environmental gradients."
"(The paper) makes several fundamental contributions to our understanding of ecological history in eastern North America" the citation reads. "The success of this work will likely spur further research into the interlinkages among megafaunal decline, vegetation turnover and fire, and ultimately may help resolve long-standing debates about the interacting effects of climate change and human arrival upon North American plant and mammal communities."
Go here for a summary of the study, supported by grants from the National Science Foundation to UW and the University of Wisconsin.