Ed McCauley

About the President

Dr. Edward McCauley has served as the University of Calgary’s ninth president and vice-chancellor since January 2019 and has subsequently been re-appointed to a second term, ending in December 2028. He was previously engaged as the Vice-President (Research), a professor in Biological Sciences, and a NSERC Tier I Canada Research Chair in Population Ecology at the University of Calgary. His academic record also includes two separate periods working at the University of California, Santa Barbara—first as a postdoctoral fellow, and later in his career as a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, and as the Director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

Dr. McCauley completed a B.Sc. (Biological Sciences) in 1976 and a M.Sc. (Ecology) in 1978 at the University of Ottawa. He later earned a Ph.D. (Ecology) in 1983 at McGill University. A highly regarded scholar in ecology, population biology and aquatic ecosystems, Dr. McCauley has attracted significant external funding for his multidisciplinary research in population dynamics and ecological processes. His notable impact in Biological Sciences and reputation as a champion of research has offered Dr. McCauley even more professional opportunities: as a member of Research Committees for Universities Canada and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, as a panel member for the Canada Research Chairs Program, on NSERC grant selection committees, and a board member of Mitacs, TRIUMF, Genome Alberta, Compute Canada, Universities Canada and the Digital Research Alliance of Canada.

Since first appointed as president and vice-chancellor, Dr. McCauley has engaged extensively with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders, to explore what they needed from the University of Calgary. This consultation has since evolved into Ahead of Tomorrow, a strategic plan that shapes an ambitious future for the university. Its foundational commitments have buoyed UCalgary into the top ranks of research intensive universities in Canada and the number one post-secondary start-up creator in the country.

Previous Professional Appointments

Previous Professional Appointments Service
Professor, University of California Santa Barbara France-Canada Research Council
Director, US National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara Strategic Advisor, French Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB)
Le Studium Distinguished International Professorship, Institute for Advanced Studies, France Science Panel, Foundation for Science and Technology, Ministry of Science, Portugal
Fellow, Centre for Advanced Studies, Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Oslo, Norway Reviewer for U.S. National Science Foundation Ecology Panel, Applied Mathematics Panel, NERC (U.K.) Ecology Panel, Leverhulme Trust (U.K.)
Distinguished Visiting Professorship, University of Umeå, Sweden Associate Editor, Limnology and Oceanography
Max Planck International Fellowship, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Plön, Germany Subject Editor, Ecology Letters
Visiting Professorship and National Lecturer in Programme on Nonlinear Dynamics, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands  
Science and Engineering Research Council (United Kingdom) Visiting Fellowship, Department of Physics & Applied Physics, Glasgow, Scotland; Imperial College, London, England  
Vice-President Research, University of Calgary NSERC Synergy Awards – Adjudication Committee
Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, University of Calgary (renewed) Member, Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee, Canada Research Chairs Secretariat
Co-Director, Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Water Research Member, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research of Council (NSERC) Accelerator Award Committee
Alberta Water Research Institute (Principal Investigator and Project Leader) Member and Co-Chair, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research of Council (NSERC)
  Grant Selection Committee, Evolution and Ecology
Chair, Ecology Division, University of Calgary Research Advisory Board, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
  Director, Universities Canada
  Vice-Chair/ Executive Committee, U15
  Member, Board of Directors, Compute Canada
  Member, Board of Directors, MITACS (National network)
  Member, Board of Directors, Triumf
  Member, Board of Directors, Genome Alberta
  Leadership Council for Digital Research Infrastructure (LCDRI)
Chair, BioCore, University of Calgary Member, College of Reviewers, Canada Research Chairs.

Selected examples of research publications (h-index 56 Google Scholar)

Dr. McCauley’s research has covered a wide scope, from mathematical theory, to experiments, to applications in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. He has authored over 110 refereed publications and over 120 refereed abstracts/conference presentations. Below are some highlights of papers in the major categories and a brief citation analysis. Refereed papers have been cited over 14,000 times.

Royal Society of Canada Induction Citation: “Dr. Edward McCauley is among the most productive and imaginative ecologists nationally and internationally and is one of the few people who have undertaken ground breaking research in both theoretical and empirical ecology. He has established mechanisms underlying the presence and absence of cycles in population size in several species, concentrating on zooplankton and algae as a model system. He has also developed models that provide the best predictions of the impacts of nutrient addition on the diversity and abundance of algae in lakes and has shown how the special characteristics of flowing water affect ecological interactions in streams and rivers.”

Theory Empirical Applications
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. 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]  Stevenson, Louise M., Krattenmaker, Katherine E., McCauley, E, and Nisbet, Roger M. Extrapolating Contaminant Effects from Individuals to Populations: A Case Study on Nanoparticle Toxicity to Daphnia Fed Environmentally Relevant Food Levels. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol (2022). In press
Lutscher, F. and E. McCauley. 2012. A probabilistic framework for nutrient uptake length. Theoretical Ecology. 6: 71-86.  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. Ananthasubramaniam, B., E. McCauley, K.A. Gust, A.J. Kennedy, E.B. Muller, E. J. Perkins, and R.M. Nisbet.  2015.  Relating suborganismal processes to ecotoxicological and population level endpoints using a bioenergetic model.  Ecological Applications 25: 1691-1710.
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. 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. 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.
Anderson K.E., R.M. Nisbet, and E. McCauley.  2008.  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. 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
Transient responses to spatial perturbations in advective systems. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 70: 1480-1502. 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. Flanagan, K.M. and E. McCauley. 2010. Experimental warming increases CO2 saturation in a shallow prairie pond. Aquatic Ecology 44: 749-759.
Lutscher, F., E. McCauley and M. A. Lewis.  2007.  Spatial patterns and coexistence mechanisms in rivers. Theoretical Population Biology 71: 267-277. 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. 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.
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. 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] 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.
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. 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]  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.
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. McCauley, E.  1993.  External versus internal causes of dynamics in a freshwater plant-herbivore system.  American Naturalist 141:  428-439. Downing, J.A., S. Watson and E. McCauley.  2001.  Predicting cyanobacteria dominance in lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 58:  1905-1908.
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. McCauley, E. and W.W. Murdoch.  1987.  Cyclic and stable populations:  Plankton as paradigm.  American Naturalist 129: 97-121. Downing, J.A. and E. McCauley. 1992. The nitrogen:phosphorus relationship in lakes. Limnology and Oceanography 37:936-945.
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.