Why I Am a Naturalist
I was interested in the conceptual unification of the biological sciences (particularly linking across different levels of biological organization in ecology, evolution, and behavior) before I knew about the ASN, so discovering the society and journal was like finding unknown relatives. In doing so, I work to bring first class basic science to important applied problems.
♦ University of California–Santa Cruz, Distinguished Research Professor
♦ ASN member since sometime in the early 1980s
For me, the challenge of making sense of the mysterious and beautiful world of ecology, and lately more and more of molecular and cell biology, confronts the logical elegance of mathematics with endlessly wonderful and new biology. The American Naturalist is for me the journal that best captures that spirit as the place where creative observation and synthesis, being naturalists in the broadest sense, has a home.
♦ University of Utah, Professor of Biology and of Mathematics
♦ ASN member since around 1993
I’ve always been taken by the tension between math, with its embrace of the abstract, and ecology, where the devil is so often in the details. The art of mathematical ecology is trying to get that balance right, and the challenge captivates me.
♦ North Carolina State University, Associate Professor
I have a natural home in the American Society of Naturalists. Its tag phrase, “conceptual unification of the biological sciences,” seems to sum up what really interests me about nature—and what it means to me to be a naturalist and a Naturalist. That’s probably why, in my 11th year on the editorial board of The American Naturalist, I still get a kick out of reading every submission I handle!
♦ University of New Brunswick, Professor
♦ ASN member since 1988
I've long been a naturalist, in the general sense of enjoying birdwatching or botanizing: in high school I was a naturalist for the Appalachian Mountain Club and helped the Zambian Ornithological Society's bird atlas mapping project. The American Society of Naturalists is the natural home for cross-cutting work, particularly work that tries to fuse an expansive theoretical view of biology with some solid empirical data. I also really appreciate the long history of the ASN as the seminal biological research society of our country.
♦ University of Texas at Austin, Associate Professor
I am an integrative evolutionary biologist who has focused on the role of hormones in phenotypic variation and the role of ‘hormonal pleiotropy’ in maintaining the tension between independence and interdependence in the evolution of correlated traits. I have been a member of the American Society of Naturalists for many years, and the papers I have written that provide me with the most satisfaction have appeared in issues emanating from ASN Vice-Presidential symposia.
♦ Indiana University, Distinguished Professor
Although I have switched across study organisms and research foci, I retain my interest in broader ecological and evolutionary questions. Being part of the American Society of Naturalists makes this easier, since the large diversity of research conducted and published by ASN members means that I can find colleagues interested in many of my research ideas in one place.
♦ Harvard University, Postdoctoral Associate
♦ ASN Member since 2007
ASN represents to me a true integration between theory and experimentation and ecology and evolutionary biology. These integrative themes match with my own ideas about the best way to make progress in biology as a whole. It's great to have a society of colleagues that share these convictions.
♦ University of Connecticut, Assistant Professor
♦ ASN Member since 2006
I became a scientist because of the questions! The world is constantly changing, and there will always be new questions to address. Additionally, it is wonderful to be in a field that encourages me to pursue creative ideas, travel to interesting places and meet inspiring people.
♦ Oregon State University, Graduate Student
♦ ASN Member since 2007
For me being a member of ASN means being part of a group of people focused in learning the organizing principles shaping the biological evolution. In this sense, I believe ASN is a unique opportunity for information interchange among researchers all around the world.
♦ Universidade de São Paulo, Assistant Professor
♦ ASN member since 2008