Anurag Agrawal earns MacArthur ecology award

Frank DiMeo

Anurag Agrawal, Cornell professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, entomology and Fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, has been named the Robert H. MacArthur Award winner from the Ecological Society of America (ESA). The prestigious, biannual prize recognizes a mid-career ecologist for sustained contribution to ecological discovery.

An expert in ecology and evolutionary biology, Agrawal focuses on the antagonistic interactions between plants and insect herbivores. His innovative research programs aim to better understand the complexity of communitywide interactions and the factors that bring about the coexistence of similar species. He has a current focus on conservation of monarch butterflies and their co-evolutionary interactions with milkweed plants.

The ESA lauded Agrawal for his “consistent leadership in opening up new research themes, and continues to push the envelope using novel approaches to his science, teaching and community building.” The society credited him for research that is “characterized by rigorous, manipulative field experiments to test the importance of species interactions, including interactions that were previously hidden but have since turned out to be novel and pervasive.”

-Amruta Byatnal ’16