CORVALLIS, Ore. - Dan Donato, a forestry graduate student at Oregon State University, has received the 2008 Outstanding Student Research in Ecology Award made by the Ecological Society of America.

The award was presented at the annual meeting of the ESA in Milwaukee, Wisc., for Donato's studies on post-fire harvest effects on natural vegetation regeneration after the 2002 Biscuit Fire in Southwest Oregon.

The research by Donato and other scientists was published in the journal Science, concluding that post-fire logging significantly reduced natural regeneration of Douglas-fir trees and increased fire fuel loads. The study generated considerable academic, private industry and political controversy, and was the subject of two hearings by Congressional committees.

Officials in the Student Section at the ESA said they were "honoring Dan for his research and integrity as a student ecologist." Donato received the "most outstanding graduate student" award, and a Stanford University student was recognized for her undergraduate research accomplishments in ecology.

OSU last year was ranked as the best of 315 programs in the nation in conservation biology.

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Beverly Law,