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UF/IFAS forestry professor earns top global award

Eric Jokela and a UF researcher measuring the growth of a tree.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After three decades of outstanding forestry research, A UF/IFAS professor will receive one of the top global awards in his field.

Eric J. Jokela, a professor of silviculture – managing and producing better forests — and forest nutrition will receive the Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science by the Society of American Foresters (SAF). Since 1955, this annual award recognizes “distinguished individual research in any branch of the biological sciences that has resulted in substantial advances in forestry,” according to a release from the society.

“Being the recipient of this award is indeed very humbling as I reflect back on the previous awardees who have made lasting contributions to the field of forest science,” Jokela said. “I find it especially gratifying to know that results from our long-term, cooperative research efforts have found strong applications and also contributed to the advancement of sustainable forest management systems used in the South and elsewhere.”

Criteria for the award include demonstrated distinction in research quality, productivity, innovation and impact.

Jokela is an internationally recognized leader in forestry, and his research focuses on understanding how silvicultural treatments, genetics, nutrition and their interactions impact and control the processes that affect forest productivity.

By fostering collaboration and technology transfer through cooperative research, Jokela has impacted forest management on millions of acres of forest land in the southern United States.

He has edited three book volumes, published more than 85 refereed journal articles and book chapters and scores of technical publications in conference proceedings, trade journals and Extension publications. Jokela also has received numerous local, regional, national and international awards for his research, teaching, outreach and professional service, including being named an SAF Fellow in 2011.

“Forest ecosystems are complex and include many interacting factors,” Jokela said. “By definition, forestry requires long-term research experiments — some lasting 25 years or more — that help us understand and quantify the effects of management options, silvicultural treatments and disturbances such as climate change on ecosystem function, dynamics and resiliency.”

The award honors Barrington Moore, a leading forest ecology researcher in the early 20th century. Moore was active in the Society of American Foresters and served as president of the Ecological Society of America and as the first Editor-In-Chief of the journal Ecology. Jokela will accept the award at the Society of American Foresters’ national meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in November.

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Caption: UF/IFAS forestry Professor Eric Jokela and another UF researcher measure the growth of a tree. Jokela has been named to receive the Barrington Moore Memorial Award in Biological Science by the Society of American Foresters, which recognizes “distinguished individual research in any branch of the biological sciences that has resulted in substantial advances in forestry.”

Credit: UF/IFAS file.

By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, bradbuck@ufl.edu

Source: Eric Jokela, 352-846-0890, ejokela@ufl.edu