Michael J. Vanni
The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography presents the Ramón Margalef Award to a scientist or educator for excellence in teaching and mentoring in the aquatic sciences. The 2022 Margalef Award for Excellence in Education will be given to Dr. Michael J. Vanni, professor in the Department of Biology at Miami University, in recognition of his passionate and lifelong commitment to education, and outstanding mentoring contribution from a rare combination of passion for science and compassion for students. Dr. Vanni will receive his award at the 2022 Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA in May.
Dr. Vanni’s reputation for scientific excellence encourages his students in the broad areas of animal mediated nutrient cycling and watershed-lake interactions in agriculturally-dominated systems. He believes in collaborative and supportive research among undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and research associates. During his career of more than 30 years, Dr. Vanni has been exceptionally successful at training over 100 undergraduate students in research, many of them going on to publish their research as a first author or co-author or present at conferences. Undergraduates are able to gain a variety of experiences in the Vanni lab through direct support from his research grants or his longstanding support of the National Science Foundation’s REU program at Miami University.
In addition to his involvement in undergraduate education, Dr. Vanni has also advised dozens of graduate students and postdocs who now work in various sectors including academia, K-12 education, government, and private industry. Dr. Vanni’s colleagues and former students have noted the considerable impacts his thoughtful and inclusive mentorship style has had on their own approach to mentoring and often evaluate themselves based on his standards.
“Dr. Vanni truly embodies the spirit of Ramón Margalef through his student-centered approach to mentoring. He is fully committed to his aquatic science trainees, and that is reflected in their success. His infectious curiosity and devotion to aquatic science excellence, combined with his kind and open demeanor make Dr. Vanni a stellar example of what an effective leader and mentor in the field should be” says ASLO President, Roxane Maranger.