UF/IFAS professor one of four to win prestigious advising/mentoring award

DOCTORALAWARD 040215 - Oli

Madan Oli

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Madan Oli, a professor in the University of Florida’s Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, has won the 2015 UF Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring Award. He is one of four doctoral advisors university-wide who received the award, which is given to faculty advisors who have an excellent track record of training outstanding doctoral students.

“This award means a lot to me because it is the highest recognition for an advisor at the University of Florida, and that gives me the confidence that what I’m doing is meaningful,” said Oli, a faculty member in the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “I feel good because I spend a lot of time working with students, and it’s very rewarding that that is being recognized.”

The award is given every year to about five advisors, who are selected on a competitive basis to promote doctoral studies and to recognize strong doctoral advising programs. UF’s graduate school evaluates faculty based on how well the doctoral students have performed in terms of their publications, job placements and impact on science and society. Nominations for the award come from current graduate students, graduate alumni, faculty members, graduate coordinators, department chairs, school directors, college deans and higher-level administrators. Each winner receives a $3,000 cash award, plus $1,000 to support their graduate students.

“I think that it’s always rewarding to work with smart, hard-working students that not only learn from you, but teach you new things, as well,” said Oli, who received the award March 24. “I have students who graduated 10 years ago who I still keep in touch with; it’s a lifelong professional relationship that you develop working with them.”

Oli teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, conducts research and advises masters, doctoral and post-doctoral students in wildlife ecology and conservation. He recruits and trains doctoral students to conduct high-quality research, get their research results published in high-quality journals, and, ultimately, that they get jobs when they graduate.

One of Oli’s former doctoral students speaks highly of him as a mentor.

“Over the last 20 years, I have interacted with a great variety of professors and their mentoring styles in world-renowned institutes including the University of Florida, Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge and the University of Zurich, which forms a strong basis for my evaluation of Madan as a graduate teacher and advisor,” said Arpat Ozgul, Oli’s previous doctoral student, who now works as an assistant professor of population ecology in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zurich. “I have rarely met anyone who invests as much time and effort to advising and mentoring graduate students as Madan does.”

Oli has been working at UF since 2000. His research focuses on population ecology, theory and application of matrix population models and conservation and management of wildlife populations.

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By Rachel LaVigna, 352-294-3302, rlavigna@ifas.ufl.edu

Source: Madan Oli, 352-846-0561, olim@ufl.edu