Stephen P. Hubbell
Lamar Dodd Award 2006
Stephen P. Hubbell, a Distinguished Research Professor of Plant Biology, has created a mathematical theory to explain general patterns in the distribution of biological diversity on earth from local to global scales. Originally published as The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (2001), the theory unifies previously unconnected theory in population biology and island biogeography with speciation theory. The theory has generated great excitement but also consternation among ecologists. The controversy is because, despite its simplified neutral approach, it works remarkably well, accurately describing many observed patterns of species diversity that had previously resisted theoretical explanation. His book has already become a citation classic and his theory has spawned a significant growth industry in theoretical ecology, resulting in a spate of derivative publications in leading scientific journals such as Nature and Science. Hubbell is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a Pew Fellow in Conservation Biology, and in 2004 was awarded the prestigious Marsh Global Prize in Ecology by the British Ecological Society.
Distinguished Research Professor 2003