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ASU ecologist receives prestigious global award for water research
Date:7/12/2012

f the balance of energy and multiple chemical elements in ecosystems. According to Elser, stoichiometric theory is increasingly important due to the fact that humans are altering most of Earth's critical biogeochemical cycles, especially those for carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. In addition, this theory is synthesizing our understanding of diverse ecological areas and evolutionary approaches.

In 2002, Elser teamed up with colleague Robert W. Sterner to publish "Ecological Stoichiometry: The Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere" a book that analyzes new questions in ecology and evolution within a stoichiometric framework. This book is used in seminars and courses throughout the world. Elser's research extends well beyond traditional borders impacting not only the aquatic sciences but also terrestrial ecology and even into topics such as tumor biology, and agricultural sustainability.

Bronk believes Elser has the experience and leadership skills necessary to deal with the tough issues, and, as ASLO's president, nurture a new generation of scientists.

"There are really some awful global problems," said Bronk. "The more we know about them, the more depressing it becomes as scientists. Jim is looking for fundamental similarities in how all systems behave around the world the kind of work he does is applicable to all of them," she added. "He also has the ability to capture the imagination of students and get them excited about figuring things out."

Elser hopes to help address some of these pressing issues pertaining to the world's lakes and other freshwater bodies as ASLO's new leader.

"The most important problems facing our freshwaters stem from activities designed to increase agricultural production," said Elser. "By increasing food production, more water will have to be withdrawn for irrigation. More fertilizer will be used on those crops, which then runs off and pollutes streams, rivers, lakes, and coa
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Contact: Sandra Leander
sandra.leander@asu.edu
480-965-9865
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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