DURHAM, N.C. – Brian R. Silliman, Rachel Carson Distinguished Professor of Marine Conservation Biology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been elected a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).
He is one of seven ESA members honored with Fellowships this year in recognition of their contributions to advancing ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofit organizations, and broader society.
Silliman is a marine ecologist whose meticulously executed field studies have reshaped decades-old scientific theories about how salt marshes and other coastal ecosystems work; the roles animal communities play in them; human impacts on them; and best practices for ecosystem restoration and the management of invasive species.
He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed studies, which have been cited more than 27,000 times in papers by other scientists—a measure of how influential his work has been. He has also co-edited five books, including “Marine Community Ecology and Conservation,” the leading graduate-level textbook in the field.
In recognition of his research achievements, he was named a Distinguished Fulbright Chair in 2019; a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2015; a Visiting Professor with the Royal Netherlands Society of Arts and Sciences in 2011; and David H. Smith Conservation Fellow with The Nature Conservancy in 2004, among other honors.
In addition to serving as Rachel Carson Distinguished Professor, he is associate director of the Duke University Wetland Center and director of Duke Restore, an interdisciplinary university initiative, based in the Nicholas School, aimed at advancing the science and practice of ecosystem restoration to enhance the resilience of at-risk natural and human systems alike.
Silliman is the eighth current or former Nicholas School faculty member to be elected as ESA Fellows since the program was established in 2012. Emily Bernhardt, James Clark, James Reynolds, Norman Christensen, Robert Jackson, William Schlesinger, John Terborgh, and Alan Townsend have previously been honored. Appointment is for life.
ESA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to promote ecological sciences and raise policymakers’ and the public’s awareness of the importance of ecology in everyday life. The society has more than 10,000 members.