Robert E. Turner, Ph.D
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Through his work as a professor and researcher at Louisiana State University, Gene Turner has contributed a great deal to wetland conservation and management. His most important contributions have stemmed from his ability to look at the big picture: He has an extraordinary talent for synthesizing large datasets to test broad hypotheses about wetland functions. Twenty years ago, his study on the relationship between commercial shrimp harvests and wetland acreage clearly showed the implications of wetland loss for coastal fisheries. His was one of the first works to quantify the economic value of coastal wetlands. Most recently, his research has focused on science-based, cost-effective management strategies for wetlands restoration. This work will help determine effective and economic restoration goals. He also has demonstrated the influence of estuarine processes on the continental shelf and examined nationwide losses of bottomland hardwood forest habitats.

Gene was instrumental in organizing the International Ecology (INTECOL) Wetlands Working Group, which he now chairs. He has served on multiple advisory committees relating to wetland resources in Louisiana and the Everglades. Through his contributions to our understanding of wetland ecosystem functions, his work on effective wetland restoration, and his emphasis on the use of science to guide policy, Gene has been a major influence on wetlands protection and management in the United States and abroad.

— Joy Zedler, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, and John Callaway, Ph.D., Gabrielle Vivianne-Smith, Ph.D., and Julie Desmond, M.S., Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory