Congratulations to Professor of Evolution and Ecology Sharon Strauss for winning the American Society of Naturalists’ Sewall Wright Award, which honors a senior and active investigator “promoting the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.”
Strauss studies how evolutionary history shapes the traits and ecology of species.
“My goals are to use ecological and evolutionary processes to understand mechanisms that allow species to coexist in complex and diverse assemblages in nature, and to also understand how evolutionary processes of adaptation and speciation influence species' niches,” Strauss wrote in her UC Davis College of Biological Sciences faculty profile.
Strauss has performed research on plants, parasites, herbivores, pollinators and microbes. Her work unifies the fields of ecology and evolution. Her research interests include the evolutionary ecology of plants and their interactions with other species, reconstructing pathways to ecological specialization, and the application of evolution to biodiversity, disease and resource management, among other topics.
“She argued early on that multi-species interactions, and indirect interactions, in particular, are important in shaping the dynamics, distribution and evolution of plant populations,” according to the award’s committee. “Sharon was an early proponent of integrating ecological and evolutionary research, before ‘eco-evolutionary dynamics’ was a buzzword.”
This isn’t the first award Strauss has received from the American Society of Naturalists. In 1990, she received the Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigator Award, and in 2018, she served as the society’s president.
You can learn more about Strauss’ research and the Sewall Wright Award here.