University of Hawaii at Hilo biology professor of biology Rebecca Ostertag was elected a 2021 fellow of the Ecological Society of America.
Ostertag, who is also associate chairperson of the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science M.S. program, was elected for her “outstanding intellectual leadership in the areas of tropical forest ecology and conservation and a deep commitment to mentoring and enhancing diversity in the next generation of ecologists,” noted the society.
Fellows are elected for life.
Ostertag, who has taught at UH-Hilo since August 2001, teaches courses related to the environment, including ecology and conservation, biostatistics and field methods. Her area of specialization is in tropical forest ecology, examining questions relating to biological invasions, nutrient cycling, forest dynamics, climate and restoration. Ostertag’s research carries a strong field component and involves integration of natural history, community structure and ecosystem dynamics.
“Dr. Ostertag exemplifies the role of teacher-scholar, engaging and mentoring students in ecology through coursework, mentorship and grant-funded opportunities while conducting a breadth of disciplinary research,” said UH-Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kris Roney. “Her election by the ESA is testament to the reach of her leadership in all of these areas. She is an absolutely phenomenal colleague and professor, and this honor is well earned.”
Ostertag and the other fellows will be formally recognized during an awards ceremony during ESA’s virtual annual meeting in August.