Lamar Dodd Creative Research Award 2020
John Maerz, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, is a foremost vertebrate ecologist who studies processes that create and sustain biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. He applies his understanding of ecology, evolutionary biology and wildlife management to advance knowledge of many species’ natural history and inform conservation activities. Maerz’s research combines a deep understanding of both organismal and ecosystems ecology and the challenging interface between the two. His cross-disciplinary studies have allowed him to ask fundamental questions about organisms and ecosystems while producing information critical to solving real-world environmental problems. His work focuses on amphibians and reptiles, but he also studies birds and invertebrates. Maerz’s current research addresses the impacts of nonnative species, climate and land use on the ecology of native wildlife, while examining how animals influence ecosystem processes and how ecological principles can be applied to inform the conservation and management of wildlife.