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Endowments and Awards

GGE Endowment Funds

Jim MichelettiJames P. Michelletti Research Fellowship

Named in honor of James (Jim) Micheletti, an avid sports fisherman, the Michelletti Fellowship is awarded to students in the Graduate Group in Ecology. The endowment was established in 2006 by Dr. Julita Fong who spent countless hours in Jim's company pursuing good catches and developing a deep concern for marine ecology.

Michelletti Fellowship Recipients:

2010: Karrigan Bork, Brian Cheng, Alison Gardell, Robert Lusardi
2009: Kristy Deiner and Alpa Wintzer
2008: Rebecca Quinones
2007: W. Wesley Dowd


Julieta Fong and Jim MichelettiEcology Graduate Student Endowment

Inspired by the standard of excellence in t he Graduate Group in Ecology, Dr. Julita Fong and Jim Micheletti expressed their appreciation by establishing the Ecology Graduate Student Endowment. True to their passion for fishing, Dr. Fong and Mr. Micheletti treated friends and fellow benefactors to a halibut dinner, halibut which they had personally caught and prepared. Proceeds from the dinner, along with additional anonymous donations, enabled the Graduate Group in Ecology to establish this endowment for student support in 2002.



  • Winifred Spurr Service Award - in recognition of outstanding outreach to the general public in the field of Ecology.

Winifred (Winnie) Blair Spurr - November 3, 1916 - January 22, 2003

In recognition of the GGE's 40th Anniversary, we're pleased to announce a service award named in honor of one of the people who shaped the GGE in its first four decades, Winnie Spurr.

Winnie was a former staff adviser for the Graduate Group in Ecology in its' formative years. She was loved by both students and faculty. In recognition of her service, both to the Ecological community at UC Davis and to the Davis community, the Graduate Group in Ecology has named a service award in her honor.

The Spurr award is awarded to an Ecology student each year in the Spring. This award provides the winning candidate with a monetary award of $400.



Other former Graduate Group in Ecology staff (some dates are approximate):

  • Silvia Castillo Hillyer - September 1989 to April 2011
  • Judy Stewart - January 1984 to September 1989
  • Betty Rudd - June 1977 to February 1978
  • Winnie Spurr - February 1973 to December 1983 when she retired
  • Sandy Motley - July 1970
  • Mary Major - April 1970
  • Silvia Castillo Hillyer Service Award - in recognition of outstanding outreach/service to the Graduate Group in Ecology.
  • Shapiro Award, Past Recipients:
  • 2010: Steven Fonte and Matthew Hufford
  • 2009:
  • 2008: Karen Pope
  • 2007: Richard Lankau
  • Merton Love Award for Outstanding Dissertation

The Merton Love Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Ecology and Evolution goes to the student with the most outstanding PhD dissertation in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Davis each year. The Ecology & Evolution seminar committee judges applicants primarily by the strength of their dissertation accomplishments but also by other academic accomplishments as appropriate. Applicants are solicited from all relevant graduate groups each spring from students who are finishing in the upcoming summer or have finished during the previous year. Awardees give a presentation in the widely-attended Ecology & Evolution seminar series and receive an honorarium.

The award is named for Dr. R. Merton Love, who served on the UC Davis faculty from 1940 to 1994, including service as the chair of the Graduate Group in Ecology. He was an accomplished and internationally renowned range scientist and agronomist as well as a valued member of the Davis community. For more information on Dr. Love's extraordinary career and service, see here and here. We are proud to honor his legacy of dedication to both scientific excellence and graduate education with this award.

Past recipients of the Merton Love Award are:

  • 2010: Robert Thompson
  • 2009: Brent Sewall
  • 2008: Susan E. Cameron
  • 2007: Dave Collar
  • 2006: Louie H. Yang
  • 2005: Evan L. Preisser
  • 2004: Dan Bolnick
  • 2003: James Fordyce
  • 2002: Ralph Haygood
  • 2002: Jason Hoeksema
  • 2002: Todd Palmer
  • 2001: Marcella Kelly
  • 2000: Lynn Adler
  • 1999: Anurag Agrawal
  • 1998: Cynthia Brown
  • 1997: David Parichy
  • 1996: Curt Daehler
  • 1995: Hal Liscinsky
  • 1994: Marc Tatar
  • 1993: Laura Galloway
  • 1992: Amos Bouskila
  • 1991: Susan Keen
  • 1990: Nathan Rank
  • 1989: Michael Savarese