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The University of Alabama

UA Professor Elected to National Ecological Observatory Network Board

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Dr. Amelia K. Ward, professor of biological sciences at The University of Alabama, has been elected to a prestigious position with the National Ecological Observatory Network.

Ward will serve a three-year term on the 15-member NEON board of directors. The results of the election, held to fill the two vacant positions on the board, were announced during the annual NEON meeting held recently in Washington, D.C.

“NSF NEON will provide the foundation for many research and education opportunities for the University of Alabama and other institutions across the region and nation for decades to come.  I look forward to serving NEON, its member institutions, and the broader scientific community as a member of the board of directors,” Ward said.

NEON is a large facility project, funded by the National Science Foundation, created to manage large-scale ecological observing systems and experiments on behalf of the scientific community. Their goal is to contribute to global understanding and decisions in a changing environment using scientific information about continental-scale ecology obtained through integrated observations and experiments.

Ward has participated in the NEON Design Consortium and Microbial Workshop in the past and currently serves as chair of the Domain 8 Science and Education Coordinating Committee.

She has been a U.S. representative to the International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology and has served as president, treasurer and on the board of directors for the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers.

Ward also serves as director of UA’s Center for Freshwater Studies, where her research focuses on the ecology of microbial communities and aquatic plants from ecosystem perspectives. Additionally, she has acted as primary investigator and co-primary investigator on several distinguished grants in her field and served on numerous review panels, site review teams and advisory committees for various funded research projects.

Ward received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of South Alabama. She earned her master’s degree in aquatic botany and her doctorate degree in limnology from Michigan State University.



The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.