ASLO honors Michael Vanni with the 2022 Ramón Margalef Award for Excellence in Education
The award is given to Vanni in recognition of “his outstanding mentoring contribution from a rare combination of passion for science and compassion for students”
The award, presented to a scientist or educator for excellence in teaching and mentoring in the aquatic sciences, is given to Vanni in recognition of “his outstanding mentoring contribution from a rare combination of passion for science and compassion for students,” according to ASLO.
“Dr. Vanni truly embodies the spirit of Ramón Margalef through his student-centered approach to mentoring. He is fully committed to his aquatic science trainees, and that is reflected in their success. His infectious curiosity and devotion to aquatic science excellence, combined with his kind and open demeanor, make Dr. Vanni a stellar example of what an effective leader and mentor in the field should be,” ASLO President Roxane Maranger said.
His research focuses on the ecology of lakes and streams and how they are influenced by the land surrounding them (read about his research on fish pee, fishing and climate change in The Atlantic magazine).
Vanni has studied Acton Lake near Oxford, and its watershed for more than 25 years, with continuous funding since 1994 by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Read the 2019 Miami News story 25 years of ecosystem research on Acton Lake supported by NSF.
His projects have provided research opportunities for and mentorship to more than 100 Miami undergraduate students over the years. Many of these students conducted research full time in the summers, supported by fellowships from Miami’s Undergraduate Summer Scholars or Miami Hughes Intern programs. Others were supported by NSF REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) supplements to his grants.
Students from universities around the country have also contributed to this research through Miami's REU Site on Ecology in Human-Dominated Landscapes.
Vanni “believes in collaborative and supportive research among undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and research associates,” his nominators said. He has advised dozens of graduate students and postdocs who now work in various sectors including higher education, K-12 education, government, and private industry.
Colleagues and former students have noted the considerable impacts his thoughtful and inclusive mentorship style has had on their own approach to mentoring and often evaluate themselves based on his standards, his nominators said.
Vanni will receive his award at the 2022 Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in May.