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About the VPR

Dr. Ed McCauley, Vice-President (Research)

Ed McCauley

On July 1, 2011, Dr. Edward McCauley became the Vice-President (Research) at the University of Calgary.

Dr. McCauley is an internationally-recognized scholar and researcher with a long and distinguished career as a leader in developing innovative, interdisciplinary research centres, partnerships and projects. He is one of the world’s foremost researchers in Population Ecology, blending theory and experiment to understand aquatic systems and important water issues.

He was a professor at the University of Calgary in the Department of Biological Sciences from 1985 to 2009. Following his role as Director of the prestigious National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UCSB, Dr. McCauley returned to the U of C.

Ed is the recipient of numerous research awards and accolades. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a former Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (2001-2009), and has held several distinguished visiting international professorships (Germany, Sweden, U.K., Norway, Netherlands), most recently the “Le Studium International Professorship” at the Institute for Advanced Studies in France.

He has been awarded many Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grants, and was amongst the first recipients of NSERC’s Discovery Accelerator Award.

Dr. McCauley has also served on several national panels, including the Canada Research Chairs program and NSERC grant selection committees, and is a highly sought-after external peer reviewer across North America, Europe, and Asia.

In 2003, Ed was a founding Co-Director of the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Water Research, which brought together researchers from science, engineering, law and social sciences to tackle fundamental issues related to water. The success of the Centre helped to create the Alberta Ingenuity Water Research Institute, which has engaged scholars from many disciplines provincially, nationally and internationally.

Ed was also the Project Leader and Principal Investigator for the Advancing Canada’s Wastewater Assets (ACWA) Project. This Project was a unique partnership between the University of Calgary and the City of Calgary, to lead the world in advanced wastewater treatment. One of the largest research infrastructure projects undertaken at the University of Calgary, this facility is being built at Calgary’s Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and will be the only place in the world where research on natural stream systems is integrated with treatment technology in a controlled environment.

The $30 million project is funded by CFI, the Government of Alberta, the City of Calgary, and a variety of others.

Ed has a track record of cultivating broad-based, long-term relationships with industry, community, and government at all levels both nationally and internationally. Developing these relationships is a critical focus for the university as we work towards creating new models of commercialization, attracting and retaining the world’s best researchers, and enhancing our reputation across Canada and around the world.

During his years at the University of Calgary, Ed has been actively involved in research collaborations and academic administration and is deeply committed to the community. He has served on and chaired countless boards and committees, including GFC’s University Teaching and Learning Fund Committee and Academic Program Committee, the Provost’s Academic Program Review Steering Committee, the Vice-President (Research) Review Committee and the Vice-President (Research) Chairs Review Committee.

Ed received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Ottawa and his Ph.D. from McGill University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSB.

Contact Ingrid Hernandez for schedule requests.

Selected examples of research publications (h-index 47)


Cressler, C., W.A. Nelson, T. Day and E. McCauley. 2014. Disentangling the interaction among host resources, the immune system, and pathogens. Ecology Letters 17 :284–293.

Nisbet, R.M., E. McCauley, and L.R. Johnson.  2010. Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory and ecology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 3541-3562.

Anderson K.E., R.M. Nisbet, and E. McCauley.  2008.  Tranisent responses to spatial perturbations in advective systems.    Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 70: 1480-1502.

Lutscher, F., E. McCauley and M. A. Lewis.  2007.  Spatial patterns and coexistence mechanisms in rivers. Theoretical Population Biology 71: 267-277.

Nisbet, R.M., K.E. Anderson, E. McCauley and M.A. Lewis.  2007.  Responses of equilibrium states to environmental heterogeneity in advective systems.  Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering 4: 1-13.

Lutscher, F., M.A. Lewis and E. McCauley.  2006.  Effects of heterogeneity on spread and persistence in rivers.  Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 68: 2129-2160.

Nelson, W.A., E. McCauley, and J. Wimbert.  2004.  Capturing dynamics with the correct rates: Inverse problems using semi-parametric approaches.  Ecology .  (Concepts Section) 85: 889-903.

Nisbet, R.M., E. McCauley, W.S.C. Gurney, W.W. Murdoch, and S.N. Wood.  2004.  Formulating and testing a partially specified Dynamic Energy Budget Model.  Ecology 85(11): 3132-3139.

de Roos, A., E. McCauley and W. Wilson.  1998.  Pattern formation and the spatial scale of interaction between predators and their prey.  Theoretical Population Biology 53: 108-130. 

McCauley, E., W.W. Murdoch, R.M. Nisbet, A.M. de Roos and W.S.C. Gurney. 1996. Structured population models of herbivorous zooplankton.  Ecological Monographs 66: 479-502. 

McCauley, E., A.M. de Roos, and W. Wilson.  1993.  Dynamics of age- and spatially-structured predator-prey interactions: Individual based models and population level formulations. American Naturalist 142: 412-442.

de Roos, A.M., E. McCauley and W. Wilson.  1991.  Mobility versus density limited predator-prey dynamics on different spatial scales. Proceedings of the Royal Society (London) 246: 117-122.

McCauley, E., W. Nelson, and R. Nisbet. 2008. Small-amplitude cycles emerge from stage-structured interactions in Daphnia- algal systems. Nature 455: 1240-1243.  [Subject of Editor’s Summary and “Abstractions” by Nature] 

Nelson, W.A., E. McCauley and F.J. Wrona.  2005.  Stage-Structured cycles promote genetic diversity in a Daphnia-algal predator-prey system.  Nature 433: 413-417.

Lampert, W., E. McCauley, and B. Manly.  2003.  Trade-offs on the vertical distribution of zooplankton: ideal free distribution with cost.  Proceedings of the Royal Society (London) 270: 765-773.

Murdoch, W.W., B.E. Kendall, R.M. Nibset, C.J. Briggs, E. McCauley and R. Bolser.  2002.  Single-species models for many-species food webs.  Nature 417: 541-543.

Ellner, S.P., E. McCauley, B.E. Kendall, S.N. Wood,  C.J. Briggs, A. Janssen, M. Sabelis, P.Turchin, R.M. Nisbet and W.W. Murdoch,.  2001.  Habitat structure and population persistence in an experimental community.  Nature 412: 538-543.

Elser, J., Fagan, W., Denno, R, Dobberfuhl, D., Huberty, A., Interlandi, S., Kilham, S., E. McCauley, K. Schulz and E. Siemann.  2000. Convergent N:P stoichiometry in freshwater and terrestrial food webs.  Nature 408:  578-580.

McCauley, E., R. M.Nisbet, W.W. Murdoch, A.M. de Roos, and W.S.C. Gurney.  1999.  Large amplitude cycles of Daphnia and its algal prey in enriched environments.  Nature 402:  653-656. [Subject of a News and Views article.  Nature 402: 592-593 and Subject of “What’s New in Science” American Society of Mathematics]

McCauley, E. and W.W. Murdoch.  1990.  Predator-prey dynamics in environments rich and poor in nutrients.  Nature 343: 455-457. [Subject of News article: Trends in Ecology and Evolution] 

McCauley, E.  1993.  External versus internal causes of dynamics in a freshwater plant-herbivore system.  American Naturalist 141:  428-439.

McCauley, E. and W.W. Murdoch.  1987.  Cyclic and stable populations:  Plankton as paradigm.  American Naturalist 129: 97-121.

Ananthasubramaniam, B., E. McCauley, K.A. Gust, A.J. Kennedy, E.B. Muller, E. J. Perkins, and R.M. Nisbet 2014.  Relating suborganismal processes to ecotoxicological and population level endpoints using a bioenergetic model.  Ecological Applications (in press).

Cressler CE, Nelson WA, Day T and E. McCauley.  2014 Starvation reveals the cause of infection-induced castration and gigantism. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 281: 20141087 (in press).

Stevenson LM, Dickson J, Klanjscek T, Keller A, Nisbet, R. and E. McCauley. 2013. Environmental feedbacks and engineered nanoparticles: Mitigation of silver nanoparticle toxicity to Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by algal-produced organic compounds. PLos ONE 8(9): e74456. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074456

Lutscher, F. and E. McCauley. 2012. A probabilistic framework for nutrient uptake length. Theoretical Ecology. 6: 71-86. 

Flanagan, K.M. and E. McCauley. 2010. Experimental warming increases CO2 saturation in a shallow prairie pond. Aquatic Ecology 44: 749-759.

Anderson, K.E., A.J. Paul, E. McCauley, L.J. Jackson, J.R. Post and R.M. Nisbet.  2006.  Ecological dynamics and the management of instream flow needs in rivers and streams.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4: 309-318.

Kendall, B., S.P. Ellner, E. McCauley, S.N. Wood, C. Briggs and W. W. Murdoch.  2005.  Population Cycles in the Pine Looper Moth (Bupalus piniarius): Dynamical Tests of Mechanistic Hypotheses.  Ecological Monographs 75(2): 259-276.

Turchin, P., S.N. Wood, S.P. Ellner, B.E. Kendall, W.W. Murdoch, A. Fisschlin, J. Casas, E. McCauley, and C.J. Briggs.  2003.  Dynamical effects of plant quality and parasitism on population cycles of Larch Budmoth.  Ecology 84: 1207-1214.

Downing, J.A., S. Watson and E. McCauley.  2001.  Predicting cyanobacteria dominance in lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 58:  1905-1908.

Downing, J.A. and E. McCauley.  1992.  The nitrogen:phosphorus relationship in lakes. Limnology and Oceanography  37:936-945.