Photo credits:
Stewen Quigley

Aaron M. Ellison

Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS.
Senior Research Fellow in Ecology (Emeritus), Harvard University

Aaron M. Ellison is the Senior Research Fellow in Ecology (Emeritus) at Harvard University
and a photographer, sculptor, and writer. For over thirty years, his research has focused on
studying the disintegration and reassembly of wetland and forested ecosystems following
natural and anthropogenic disturbances; the evolutionary ecology of carnivorous plants; the
response of plants and ants to global climate change; and the application of Bayesian statistical
inference to ecological research and environmental decision-making. His photographs have been
widely exhibited, published, and collected, and his sculptures have been exhibited at Harvard
and North Carolina State University.

In addition to his many technical papers and popular articles, Ellison is the author of A Primer
of Ecological Statistics
(2004/2012); A Field Guide to the Ants of New England (2012); Stepping
in the Same River Twice: Replication in Biological Research
(2017); Carnivorous Plants: Physio-
logy, Ecology, and Evolution
(2018); Causes and Consequences of Species Diversity in Forest
(2019); Scaling in Ecology with a Model System (2021); and Vanishing Point (2017),
a collection of photographs and poetry from the Pacific Northwest. He was the Associate Editor-
in-Chief of Ecology (2002–10) and Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Monographs (2009–15); and has
been a Senior Editor of Methods in Ecology & Evolution since 2018. He was elected a Fellow of
the Ecological Society of America in 2012 and retired from Harvard in July 2021.

For the last decade, Ellison has been exploring the intellectual history of ecology, its origins during
the Romantic Era of the 18th and 19th centuries, and its responses to Modernism as it matured as
a discipline in the early- and mid-20th century. While at SCAS, he will complete a book based on
these explorations: “Escaping the Crucible: The Emergence of a New Ecology from the Ashes of

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2021-22.