“A Shining Example of Excellence”—MABR Ecologist Accepts National Award on Behalf of LTER Network

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Phil Robertson (right) accepts the 2010 AIBS Distinguished Scientist Award on behalf of the LTER Network from AIBS President Jos (view larger image)

Powered by the research of more than 2,000 scientists, the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) network was honored for its large-scale experiments that have transformed ecological and environmental science.

Phil Robertson, Michigan State University distinguished professor, MABR crop and soil sciences researcher and chairperson of the LTER executive board and science council, accepted the 2010 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) on behalf of the LTER network. Robertson directs the MSU LTER site at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, one of 14 off-campus field research stations in the MABR network.

“The LTER Network provides a fundamental understanding of ecological change otherwise unavailable,” Robertson said. “LTER scientists study how plants, animals and microbes in important ecosystems respond to long-term changes in climate, human influence and other environmental factors. What makes the network unique is a long-term record of change in environments as diverse as arctic tundra, southwest deserts and Michigan croplands, together with experiments that help to explain how and why ecosystems respond in the way that they do.”

“AIBS is pleased to recognize the contributions of the LTER network in this, its 30th anniversary year,” said Richard O’Grady, AIBS executive director. “A shining example of excellence in our nation’s scientific enterprise, the LTER program focuses on large-scale, multidisciplinary research and has truly transformed ecological and environmental science in the United States and worldwide. The program and the scientists and students that have conducted research at LTER sites or with LTER data have fundamentally advanced human understanding.”

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the LTER network comprises 26 sites across a range of ecosystems where scientists study ecology and environmental biology to provide a better understanding of the ecology of both natural and managed systems. The MSU LTER site is the only one in the national network to focus on agriculture.

“We are both grateful for and humbled by this recognition,” Robertson added.

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