Congratulations to Kelly Heilman on the 2022 ESA Ecological Forecasting Award!

The ESA Statistical Ecology section is proud to present the 2022 Ecological Forecasting Outstanding Publication Award to Kelly Heilman and collaborators for their 2022 Global Change Biology Paper:

“Ecological forecasting of tree growth: Regional fusion of tree-ring and forest inventory data to quantify drivers and characterize uncertainty”

The award committee felt that the paper illustrates the strength of combining multiple data constraints across regional scales to improve predictions of forest growth for a climatically-vulnerable ecoregion, the American Southwest, parsing out the complex interactions among climate, stand, and individual-scale effects. Furthermore, the paper provides a detailed accounting of how different uncertainties impact growth projections across a range of time scales and climate projections, finding that tree growth and tree size were sensitive to very different uncertainties (year-to-year growth was dominated by driver uncertainty and process error, while tree size was more sensitive to initial conditions and plot random effects).

Individuals wishing to nominate papers published in the past  3 years for the 2023 award are encouraged to do so by the March 1, 2023 deadline. Additional information can be found at

Full List of Award Winners & Citations

2022 – Kelly Heilman (University of Arizona)
Heilman, K. A., Dietze, M. C., Arizpe, A. A., Aragon, J., Gray, A., Shaw, J. D., Finley, A. O., Klesse, S., DeRose, R. J., & Evans, M. E. K. (2022). Ecological forecasting of tree growth: Regional fusion of tree-ring and forest inventory data to quantify drivers and characterize uncertainty. Global Change Biology 28(7):2442-2460

2021 – Sarah Saunders (National Audubon Society)
Saunders, S.P., F.J. Cuthbert, and E.F. Zipkin. “Evaluating Population Viability and Efficacy of Conservation Management Using Integrated Population Models.” Journal of Applied Ecology 55, no. 3 (2018): 1380–92.

2020 –  Paige Howell (USGS)
Howell, P.E., B.R. Hossack, E. Muths, B.H. Sigafus, A. Chenevert‐Steffler, and R.B. Chandler. “A Statistical Forecasting Approach to Metapopulation Viability Analysis.” Ecological Applications 30, no. 2 (2020): e02038.

2019 – Maria Paniw (CREAF, Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre)
Paniw, M., N. Maag, G. Cozzi, T. Clutton-Brock, and A. Ozgul. “Life History Responses of Meerkats to Seasonal Changes in Extreme Environments.” Science 363, no. 6427 (February 8, 2019): 631–35.

2018 – Quinn Thomas (Virginia Tech)
Thomas, R.Q., E.B. Brooks, A.L. Jersild, E.J. Ward, R.H. Wynne, T.J. Albaugh, H. Dinon-Aldridge, et al. “Leveraging 35 Years of Pinus Taeda Research in the Southeastern US to Constrain Forest Carbon Cycle Predictions: Regional Data Assimilation Using Ecosystem Experiments.” Biogeosciences 14, no. 14 (2017): 3525–47.