Ecologist Honored by Sloan Foundation

Douglas McCauley will use his fellowship to continue examining how ocean life functions in a rapidly changing world

UC Santa Barbara’s Douglas McCauley has been selected to receive a 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship. Awarded annually since 1955 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders. Fellows receive $50,000 to further their research.

McCauley, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, studies the fundamental processes that govern how ocean life assembles into communities, how these marine communities operate and how humans may be changing the ecology of the oceans.

“Doug McCauley’s research is bringing a lot of good attention to our campus,” said Michael Witherell, vice-chancellor for research. “Not only did he receive this coveted Sloan Research Fellowship, but he just published a groundbreaking study in the journal Science about the threats to wildlife in the oceans.”

“The Sloan Research Fellowship will allow me not only to make advances in these fundamental aspects of pure marine science but also to produce answers that play a role in keeping the oceans healthy,” said McCauley. “Our own well-being is intimately linked to the future ecology of the oceans, which is something that makes the practice of modern marine science incredibly exciting.”

Past Sloan Research fellows have gone on to notable careers and include such intellectual luminaries as physicist Richard Feynman and game theorist John Nash. Since the beginning of the program, 43 fellows have received Nobel Prizes in their respective fields; 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics; 65 have received the National Medal of Science; and 14 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, including every recipient since 2007.

“Over the years, the Sloan Research Fellowships have become some of the most sought-after fellowships available to early-career scholars,” said Daniel L. Goroff, vice president at the Sloan Foundation and director of the Sloan Research Fellowship program. “Becoming a Sloan Research fellow means joining a long and distinguished tradition of scientific explorers who have gone on to make the most meaningful and significant discoveries.”

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, nonprofit grant-making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and chief executive officer of the General Motors Corp., the foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.

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