Microbial ecologist Peter Groffman, a senior research fellow at Cary Institute, has been elected the 2025 president of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). ESA is the nation's largest organization of professional ecologists. Its mission is to advance the science and practice of ecology to empower people to secure a thriving planet.
“I am delighted and honored to serve on the ESA Governing Board,” said Groffman. “ESA has been my primary academic home since 1983 and it has been a great pleasure to watch as our discipline has grown and made great progress in basic science, with application to pressing societal problems. ESA has been fundamental to this progress.”
Groffman’s research focuses on climate effects on ecosystem biogeochemical processes related to carbon and nitrogen cycles. In addition to his role at Cary, he is a professor at the City University of New York Advanced Science Research Center and the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program at the Graduate Center, and the Brooklyn College Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
“Dr. Groffman will bring to ESA a unique and timely set of leadership skills,” current ESA president Shahid Naeem of Columbia University said in an announcement. “From microbes to global biogeochemical cycles, from urban to forest ecosystems, from soil to water, from national environmental policy to media, one would be hard pressed to find someone as broad in experience, skills, and scope as Peter.”
Groffman is the fifth scientist associated with Cary Institute to serve as ESA president. Gene Likens served in the role from 1981 to 1982 before founding Cary Institute in 1983. Others include: Bill Schlesinger (2003-2004), Steward Pickett (2011-2012), and most recently, Kathleen Weathers (2020-2021).
Looking ahead, Groffman hopes to use his term to strengthen the interface between science and society, focusing on issues such as open access, participatory science, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In a lecture on April 11 at 7pm ET, Peter Groffman will share inspiring examples of ecological and conservation success stories. Join us in our Millbrook, NY auditorium or tune in virtually. More details to come on the Cary events page.