NC State Professor Named Executive Editor of the Bulletin
NC State professor Madhusudan Katti has been named the executive editor of the Ecological Society of America’s Bulletin, a quarterly publication covering ecological events, news and reports of interest to the ecological community.
Katti is an evolutionary ecologist who completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, and is currently an associate professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NC State, where he also serves on the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program for Leadership in Public Science.
“I am honored to serve as the new executive editor of the Bulletin,” Katti said in a news release. “As a leading organization for professional ecologists, the ESA has been at the forefront of action to address ecological crises, through critical research and communication efforts, on the ground as well as in the policy and governance arenas.”
As a reconciliation ecologist, Katti applies the tools of evolutionary ecology to understand dynamic interactions between human activities and other organisms, to find ways to reconcile biodiversity conservation with human wellbeing especially in cities defined by social inequality, systemic racism, casteism, classism and colonial histories. He uses a comparative approach to study how the dynamics of social-ecological systems shape urban biodiversity in cities worldwide, and to develop better policies and practices for nature conservation in partnership with local communities.
“The Bulletin has a vital role as the social glue of the ESA, and I hope to grow its role as a venue for broader conversations about the conduct and culture of ecological science within and outside the society. At a time when the world needs ecologists more than ever, and when ecology itself needs to be transformed to better represent the diversity of human experiences, the Bulletin can play a transformative role in communicating our science among ecologists and to the broader public that needs our science to be applied towards a more ethical and just governance of social-ecological systems,” Katti said.
One of Katti’s priorities is to engage local communities and the broader public in studying how human activities and histories of colonization and segregation shape the distribution of nature and biodiversity in urban areas, and the historical legacy effects of differential access to nature for disadvantaged human communities.
He is actively engaged in rethinking and redesigning his own research and the teaching of ecology and conservation biology within a broader framework of decolonizing science. Katti hopes to expand on these ideas in future Bulletin articles.
“While retaining its role as the primary record of the society’s conduct, I also invite members to engage in a more vigorous exchange of ideas about how to address such challenges as the colonial legacy of ecology, systemic racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of bias that continue to dog the discipline, and how to conduct ecological research safely and ethically in an increasingly complex and fractured world,” Katti said.
As a core faculty member in the Leadership in Public Science cluster at North Carolina State University, Katti engages the public in various aspects of the scientific research process, ranging from direct participation in research (e.g., citizen science) to learning about scientific discoveries through science communication via various media.
He has written extensively for the general public in various magazines, newspapers, and other media outlets, and has editorial experience with both academic journals and non-academic magazines and online media. He also founded the Central Valley Café Scientifique in Fresno, California, which is now in its 14th year, and hosted a monthly radio show and podcast on science. A founding member of the ESA’s Science Communication section, he won the ESA’s Science Café Prize at the 99th Annual Meeting in Sacramento in 2014.
“Dr. Katti has inspired many scientists through his research and public engagement, and is highly equipped to guide the Bulletin in becoming a platform for conversations about the culture and conduct of ecological science,” said ESA Executive Director Catherine O’Riordan. “I look forward to working with Dr. Katti as he carries out his vision for charting a new path forward for the publication.”
Disclaimer: A version of this article was originally published as a news release by the Ecological Society of America.