Distinguished Fellows

The Distinguished Fellowship is the highest honour the society can confer to individuals for their outstanding service to the society and/or their exceptional contribution to the mission of ESEB.

Roger Butlin

Distinguished Fellow of ESEB awarded in 2019
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Roger Butlin is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Sheffield, and a guest Professor at the University of Gothenburg. His contributions to our understanding of the speciation process were recognised in his election to the Presidency of ESEB between 2013-2015. Over many years, Roger has been active in promoting and serving ESEB. He organised the ESEB Congress in Leeds (2003), and has initiated and served on several ESEB committees.

Read more about his research at Roger Butlin’s website at Sheffield University.

Isabelle Olivieri

Distinguished Fellow of ESEB awarded in 2017
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Isabelle Olivieri (1957 – 2016), was an exceptional evolutionary biologist specialized in genetics and population biology. She held a full professorship at the University of Montpellier, France. Her comprehensive work on metapopulations, dispersal, demography, and the impact of natural selection is unique and represents an excellent example of the importance of linking ecological and evolutionary processes. Isabelle Olivieri has trained countless students in evolutionary biology in France and throughout Europe. Not surprisingly, she is one of the few evolutionary biologists who was elected as a member of EMBO. Isabelle Olivieri has been a very influential member of ESEB, well-known for her clear opinions. She was President from 2007 until 2009, hence officer from 2005-2011, and she acted as ESEB Vice-President from 1995 – 1997. From 2009 – 2013, Isabelle Olivieri was a member of the ESEB outreach committee, and she joined the ESEB finance committee from 1991 – 1993 and again from 1995 – 1997. She contributed to the first ESEB congress in Montpellier in 1993 and she was one of the people initiating the first Joint congress together with ASN, CSEE, SBB, and SSE in Ottawa, Canada, in 2012.

More about Isabelle Olivieri is available at the University of Montpellier. Obituaries have been published in Evolutionary Applications and the Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Rolf F. Hoekstra

Distinguished Fellow of ESEB awarded in 2013
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Rolf Hoekstra, emeritus professor of genetics at the University of Wageningen, is a distinguished theoretical evolutionary biologist. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology between 1996 and 1999, and ESEB’s President between 2003 and 2005.

Stephen C. Stearns

Distinguished Fellow of ESEB awarded in 2007
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Stephen Stearns is Professor at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. He was one of the founders of ESEB, the founding Editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and ESEB’s President between 1997 and 1999. Furthermore, he served the Council between 2001 and 2005. See also “How the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and the Journal of Evolutionary Biology were founded”.

Read more about his research at Stearns’ website at Yale University.

John Maynard Smith

Distinguished Fellow of ESEB awarded in 1997
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John Maynard Smith FRS (1920 – 2004), one of the most influential evolutionary biologists in the last decades, was President of ESEB between 1991 and 1993. He was Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, UK and author of several books on evolution, both for scientists and the general public. Maynard Smith received many distinctions, including the 1999 Crafoord Prize awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, the 2001 Kyoto Prize, and the Darwin medal of the Royal Society.

Read more about John Maynard Smith at Wikipedia.

Distinguished fellows are appointed by the membership on recommendation of the council. Each ESEB member may put a motion to the council to appoint a specific person as distinguished fellow. Nominations for distinguished fellows should include a brief description of the candidate’s contributions or achievements, maybe accompanied by a short biography, and should be sent to the ESEB office (Email: office@eseb.org; Subject: Distinguished Fellow Nomination). Nominations will be evaluated by the Council at the next Council meeting. In line with the ESEB constitution, every two-year period just one person may be appointed distinguished fellow.