Professor Ian Wright elected as Australian Academy of Science Fellow

28 May 2019

Internationally renowned plant ecologist Professor Ian Wright from Macquarie University’s Department of Biological Sciences has been named as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

The Academy today inducted 22 new Fellows, elected for their outstanding contributions to their disciplines.

Professor Wright is best known for global scale analysis of plant traits, for careful quantification of plant structure-function relationships, and for using concepts from economics to understand plant evolution and plant ecological strategies.

The concept of a Leaf Economic Spectrum (LES) has become standard in textbooks covering plant ecology, physiology and ecological climatology. Both the LES and “least-cost theory” are becoming embedded in global vegetation and production models, providing a more robust theoretical basis to these important tools.

Professor Wright expressed his excitement at being elected to the Academy:

“I am deeply honoured by this recognition. I was lucky to have excellent mentors early in my career, at the University of Melbourne, Macquarie University and the University of Minnesota.

“My work is inherently collaborative, and it’s largely through the intersections of my expertise with that of collaborators that we’ve made such significant advances.”

The new Fellows were formally admitted as part of the Academy’s annual three-day celebration of science, Science at the Shine Dome.

Australian Academy of Science President, Professor John Shine, congratulated the new Fellows for making significant and lasting impacts in their scientific disciplines.

“These scientists were elected by their Academy peers following a rigorous evaluation process. What stands out among the new Fellows elected this year is the collective impact of their science on an international scale,” Professor Shine said.

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