UF/IFAS scientist honored with prestigious 2024 Early Career Fellow designation by Ecological Society of America

Jiangxiao Qiu, has a reputation as a rising star.

Jiangxiao Qiu at UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center. Photo courtesy UF/IFAS photography.

Qiu is an associate professor of landscape ecology in the UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries and Geomatics Sciences (SFFGS). He’s based at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC).

Since earning his Ph.D. in zoology from University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2016, his dedication to research, educating students and outreach to communities and policymakers dives into the deep waters of one of today’s most complex environmental challenges – understanding how current and future global changes are affecting ecosystem services in agricultural and urbanizing landscapes.

For his contributions and accomplishments, Qiu is being recognized as an Early Career Fellow by the Ecological Society of America (ESA) – an honor he will formally receive in August at a ceremony during the group’s annual meeting in Long Beach, California. The meeting draws more than 4,000 ecological scientists, educators and practitioners internationally to present new research and recent advances in ecological sciences.

“I am thrilled to recognize the exceptional contributions of our newly selected Fellows and Early Career Fellows,” said Shahid Naeem, ESA president. “Their groundbreaking research, unwavering commitment to mentoring and teaching and advocacy for sound science in management and policy decisions have not only advanced ecological science but also inspired positive change within our community and beyond. We celebrate their achievements and eagerly anticipate the profound impacts they will continue to make in their careers.”

Jiangxiao Qiu conducting field work. Photo courtesy Shuai Chen.

Early Career Fellows are members within eight years of completing their doctoral training or other terminal degree, who have advanced ecological knowledge and applications and show promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to a wide range of fields served by ESA. They are elected for five years.

“I am truly humbled to receive this honor and profoundly grateful for the unwavering support, guidance and mentorship I have received from my advisors, colleagues and the wider community,” said Qiu. “This recognition inspires me with an even deeper commitment to ecological research and to continue contributing meaningfully to addressing the pressing environmental challenges we face.”

Qiu’s interdisciplinary approach to research and outreach has far-reaching impacts, informing landscape management practices, raising environmental awareness, and providing practical solutions to today’s conservation, management and policy challenges. His work serves as a bridge between scientific research and on-the-ground action, offering valuable insights to scientists, policymakers and stakeholders alike.

“Dr. Qiu’s position at UF entails the development of Extension programs, which is unique compared to traditional teaching-based ecologist positions,” said Terrel “Red” Baker, director and professor at the SFFGS in a letter of support. “In his Extension program, he applies his expertise in ecology to enhance urban agriculture’s contributions to the resilience of urban ecosystem services.”

Currently spearheading projects on the resilience of Florida grasslands and wetlands at the Archbold Biological Station Buck Island Ranch, urban agriculture, social-ecological benefits of urban nature in Florida and across the nation, Qiu highlights innovative approaches and critical pathways to understanding and mitigating the impacts of global environmental changes on ecosystems.

“We have been continually impressed with how he recognizes and capitalizes on the potential of our natural laboratory at Buck Island Ranch,” said Hilary Swain, executive director and senior research biologist at Archbold Biological Station in a letter of support. “He has developed a very strong program pushing boundaries in ecological sciences while addressing the provisioning of ecosystem services from agricultural landscapes.”

Qiu has published nearly 70 peer-reviewed journal papers and six book chapters, with publications in high-impact journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Nature Sustainability and Nature Communications.

In other comments, supporters applauded his dedication to mentoring future scientists. He has guided numerous graduate and undergraduate students and postdocs, fostered their growth and facilitated their contributions to ecological research.

In a recommendation letter by members of ESA’s nominating subcommittee, Qiu was elected for “groundbreaking research on landscape dynamics of ecosystem services and urban agriculture for sustainability; for extraordinary success in translating science into decision-making and management actions; and for excellence in educational and mentoring activities.”


By Lourdes Mederos, rodriguezl@ufl.edu


The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. ifas.ufl.edu  |  @UF_IFAS


The Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge, committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 8,000-member Society publishes six journals and a membership bulletin and broadly shares ecological information through policy, media outreach, and education initiatives.



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Posted: April 30, 2024

Category: Blog Community, , Conservation, SFYL Hot Topic, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Research
Tags: Archbold Biological Station Buck Island Ranch, Climate Change, Early Career Fellow, Ecological Society Of America, Ecosystems Sustainability, ESA, Fort Lauderdale Research And Education Center, Grasslands, Institute Of Food And Agricultural Sciences, News, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Research, University Of Florida, Wetlands

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