Ottawa ecologist’s lifetime achievement award has roots in murky waters
Ottawa Citizen

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By Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen, August 24, 2017

He could have been happy studying turtles and plants that live in Canada’s wetlands, but Paul Keddy felt that ecology had bigger questions than that.

What about a model? he wondered. Physics has models, he notes; physicists have obtained billions of dollars for labs like CERN, looking for the Higgs boson and other particles in order to test the Standard Model of matter and forces.

“(Physicists are) very clever, and we ecologists are kind of hesitant to do that … But we can’t be continually collecting observations,” Keddy said Thursday. “We need an underlying body of theory to unify them. We have 350,000 species of plants in the world and no rules for how they get assembled into forests or wetlands.