Michael Vanni named Fellow of the Ecological Society of America


Michael Vanni on Acton Lake

Michael Vanni, professor of biology and director of the Center for Aquatic and Watershed Sciences at Miami University, has been named a 2018 Fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).

He is one of 28 Fellows recognized this year for outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA.

Vanni was elected for outstanding experimental work that has created new insights into the roles of nutrients and fish in controlling nutrient cycling and productivity in freshwater reservoirs.

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).

Vanni, along with colleagues and students, is examining the long-term response of a lake ecosystem (Acton Lake in Hueston Woods State Park) to changes in agricultural practices in the lake’s watershed.


Michael Vanni and doctoral student Tanner Williamson on Acton Lake (photo by Jeff Sabo)

His research has been supported continuously since 1990 by the National Science Foundation, with additional funding from the USDA and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Division of Wildlife.

He has trained and mentored many Miami undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In the past 10 years, Vanni has published papers on which 11 different undergraduates have been first authors or co-authors.

Vanni joined Miami in 1989.  He served as a Visiting Scientist at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin, Germany, from 2010-2011, and served as a program director at the National Science Foundation from 2015-2017.

Vanni has been actively involved in the ESA for more than 30 years and has served as chair of the Aquatic Ecology Section and of the Long-term Studies Section.

ESA Fellows were announced March 1.

ESA established its fellows program in 2012 with the goal of honoring its members and supporting their competitiveness and advancement to leadership positions in the Society, at their institutions and in broader society.

Vanni is the first ecologist from Miami to be named an ESA Fellow.