ALUS and the Weston Family Foundation present the 2022 Weston Family Ecosystem Research Award

Congratulations to Dr. John Fryxell, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, for receiving the 2022 Weston Family Ecosystem Research Award.

 

The 2022 Weston Family Ecosystem Research Award, worth $10,000, is presented to Dr. John Fryxell (left), Professor, Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. The award is presented by Bryan Gilvesy, ALUS CEO (right).

Toronto, ON, October 19, 2022  — The 2022 Weston Family Ecosystem Research Award has been presented to Dr. John Fryxell, Professor, and former chair of the Integrative Biology department at the University of Guelph.

The Weston Family Ecosystem Research Award recognizes researchers or ALUS partners for excellence and innovation in scientific research on ecosystem services produced on farmland for the broader public good.

 “Dr. Fryxell’s applied research has helped the world better understand the interaction of biodiversity and natural systems on agricultural lands,” said Emma Adamo, Chair, Weston Family Foundation. “The Weston Family Foundation is thrilled the 2022 Weston Family Ecosystem Research Award is going to Dr. Fryxell, and we are grateful to him and his team for their advancements in the field.”

Dr. Fryxell has spent his career investigating the intersection of human activity and the natural world. Through the Fryxell Lab at the University of Guelph, he, his students and fellow researchers have taken their scientific inquiries to three continents, pursuing a deeper understanding of boreal ecology, aquatic and terrestrial food web dynamics and biodiversity. Of particular merit for the award, Dr. Fryxell and his collaborators have conducted research throughout Southern Ontario, working with local ALUS programs to understand how ecosystem projects interact with biodiversity and natural systems on agricultural lands.

The breadth of Dr. Fryxell’s research is what makes it significant. Dr. Fryxell and his fellow researchers have contributed to a richer understanding of the biological mechanisms that help us sustain the ecosystems and biodiversity that sustains human societies.

“A lot of the work that I’ve been engaged in has become increasingly oriented around an equitable trade off between the needs of humans and the needs of nature,” says Dr. Fryxell. “Despite the fact that we’ve been harvesting nature for eons, we’re still not really clear about all the essential contributors that help produce a healthy landscape, and there are many actors that provide some assistance in often hidden ways.”

For Dr. Fryxell, the award recognizes more than just the work. It’s about bringing attention to the ways that research is a broad undertaking, a collaborative effort with extensive value for society.

“I see this award as an award for my research team, because all science that gets done in university environments is team science,” says Dr. Fryxell. “And, as with any award, one would hope that it helps to focus on areas where maybe a larger discussion is one we could all benefit from.”

The Weston Family Ecosystem  Research Award has previously been presented to Dr. Amy Newman in 2020, Dr. Wanhong Yang in 2018, and Dr. Andrew MacDougall in 2016.

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