Eric Sándor Nagy

Go to University of Virginia

Associate Director
Mountain Lake Biological Station

University of Virginia

Mountain Lake Biological Station
Department of Biology
P.O. Box 400327
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4327 USA
street address:  485 McCormick Road / 219 Gilmer Hall
campus messenger mail: MLBS, P.O. Box 400327

Full Curriculum Vita available upon request.

Tel: 434-243-4989 (540-626-5227 summer)
Cel: 434-906-3122
Fax: 434-982-5626 (540-626-5229 summer)
Web: [this page] [departmental page]

Associate Director Mountain Lake Biological Station University of Virginia 1996 pres.
Assistant Professor
General Faculty
Department of Biology University of Virginia 1996 pres.

University of California, Davis Population Biology Ph.D. 1995
University of California, Davis Ecology M.A. 1993
Oberlin College Biology B.A. 1985

Field Station Activities and Responsibilities:

The Mountain Lake Biological Station is a remote mountaintop research and teaching facility in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia. It was established in 1929 as a branch of the Biology Department at the University of Virginia for research and advanced training in field biology. As Associate Director since 1996 I have the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Field Station Research Coordinator
  • Executive Administrator / Staff and Project Supervisor / Long-Range Planner
  • Data and Collections Manager / Web Master / Database Developer
  • Network Administrator / Equipment Manager
  • Training, Research, Education, Outreach, Diversity Program Supervisor
  • Animal Care and Use Officer
  • NSF Grant P.I., inc. NSF REU-Sites and FSML / REU Coordinator
  • NEON and OBFS Representative

Grants and Awards: Recipient of six NSF awards totaling $1,368,664; see CV

Research - Plant Population Biology and Ecological Genetics:

Plant Population Biology and Ecological Genetics: Hybridization can cause increases in genetic diversity, create novel gene combinations, transfer adaptations from one taxon to another, break down or build up reproductive barriers, and create wholly new taxa. There is little doubt that hybridization between plants, especially when followed by geographic or reproductive isolation, represents enormous evolutionary potential and has been responsible for the evolution of a large number of species. The ecological and evolutionary dynamics of gene exchange are the subjects of my research.

Restrictions to gene flow between taxa can occur at two levels. First: local selection may favor a native over an immigrant genome (local adaptation), and reproductive barriers can restrict effective gene exchange. Second: the distribution of potential mates (population diversity and density) may determine mating options and individual immigrant fitness, especially since immigrants are often rare. Thus frequency- and density-dependent selection may be as important as, and interact with, natural selection in regulating gene flow between divergent populations. I study how natural and frequency-dependent selection and reproductive biology affect hybridization between divergent plant populations and the potential for evolution of novel taxa.


Porter, J.H, E. Nagy, T.K. Kratz, P. Hanson, S.L. Collins and P. Arzberger. 2009. New eyes on the world: advanced sensors for ecology. BioScience 59(5). Invited. Porter_etal_2009_BioSci_59(5)

Rice, K.J. and E.S. Nagy. 2000. Oak canopy effects on the distribution patterns of two annual grasses: the role of competition and soil nutrients. American Journal of Botany 87: 16991706. Rice_and_Nagy_2000_AJB_87(11)

Nagy, E.S., L. Strong, and L.F. Galloway. 1999. Contribution of delayed autonomous selfing to reproductive success in Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia (Ericaceae). American Midland Naturalist 142: 39-46. Nagy_etal_1999_AMN_142(1)

Nagy, E.S. 1997. Selection for native characters in hybrids between two locally adapted plant subspecies. Evolution 51: 1469-1480. Nagy_1997_Evol_51(5)

Nagy, E.S. and K.J. Rice. 1997. Local adaptation in two subspecies of an annual plant: Implications for migration and gene flow. Evolution 51: 1079-1089. Nagy_Rice_1997_Evol_51(4)

Nagy, E.S. 1997. Frequency-dependent seed production and hybridization rates: Implications for gene flow between locally adapted plant populations. Evolution 51: 703-714. Nagy_1997_Evol_51(3)

Zimmerman, M., E.S. Nagy and L. Galloway. 1987. Nectar dispersion patterns in three Australian plant species. Australian Journal of Ecology 12:183-188.

Other Print Products:

Nagy, E., S. Lohr, A. McKee and S. Shapiro. 2005. Organization of Biological Field Stations Strategic Plan 2005-2010. Organization of Biological Field Stations Pub. No. 3. Nagy_etal_2005 OBFS_Plan

Offices, Synergistic Activities, and Professional Affiliations:

Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS,

  • Board of Directors, 2000 pres.
  • Chair, Governance Committee, 2006 pres.
  • Past-President, 2004 2006
  • President, 2002 2004
  • Vice President, 2000 2002
  • Annual Meeting Host, 1999
  • Member Station Representative, 1996 - pres.
American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS,
  • Board of Directors, elected to two three-year terms, 2006 pres.
  • Finance Committee, 2006 pres.
  • "Year of Science" Committee, 2007 pres.
  • Council Member and OBFS Representative, 2002 pres.

National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON,

  • Voting Member and AIBS Representative, 2007– pres.
  • “Red Team Review”  6-7 April, 2006, Washington, D.C.
  • Consortium Development Committee, NEON Design Consortium, 2004 2005
  • Steering Committee, Infrastructure for Biology at Regional to Continental Scales (IBRCS), 2002 2004

Mid-Atlantic Region Ecological Observatory (MAREO,

  • Co-Leader, 2003 2006
  • Chair, Facilities Committee, 2003 2006
  • Representative, Consortium of Regional Ecological Observatories (COREO), 2004 – 2006.

SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC, an initiative of The Society of Herbarium Curators)

  • Steering Committee, 2005 pres.

Resource Discovery Initiative for Field Stations (NSF Project)

  • Steering Committee, 2002 2006

Wilderness Conservancy at Mountain Lake

  • Advisory Board, 2001 pres.
  • Environmental Consultant, 2000 and 2007
University of Virginia
  • Chair, Arboretum and Landscape Committee (link), Office of the Executive Vice President, 2007 pres.
  • Arboretum and Landscape Committee (link), Office of the Executive Vice President, 2002 pres.
  • Committee on Public Art, Office of the Executive Vice President, University Committee
    Member 2007 – pres.
  • Faculty-Student Mentoring Program (link), Office of African American Affairs, 2003 pres.

See full CV for details including:
Grant History
Invited and Contributed Research Presentations and Workshops
Teaching Experience
Reviews and Panels

Guiding Principles:

The Core Principles of the Callahan Academy for Interpersonal Sensitivity and Political Correctness.
Tom Callahan’s Four Maxims
1) Treat everyone decently.
2) Learn to laugh at yourself.
3) Know that everyone makes mistakes, So Get Over It!
4) Don't call the authorities unless there is fire or blood.

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