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Sally Hacker walking along beach with grass samples in backpack

Sally D. Hacker

Professor
Department of Integrative Biology

Sally D. Hacker

Professor
Department of Integrative Biology

Background

Biography

Sally D. Hacker has been a faculty member at OSU since 2004. Dr. Hacker’s research explores the structure, function, and services of natural and managed coastal ecosystems under varying contexts of species interactions and global change. She has taught courses in introductory ecology, community ecology, field ecology, and marine biology. In addition to the textbooks "Ecology" (Bowman and Hacker, Oxford University Press) and "Life: The Science of Biology" (Hillis et al., Macmillan), she is an author or coauthor on numerous articles and book chapters exploring themes in community ecology and coastal ecosystem functions and services. She is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow.

Education

   • PhD, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, 1996.
   • M.S., Department of Zoology, University of Maine, 1998.
   • B.S., Department of Zoology, University of Washington, 1984.

Research

I am a coastal ecologist interested in natural and managed ecosystems under varying contexts of species interactions and global change. As a community ecologist, I have conducted research with plants and animals in rocky intertidal, estuarine, and coastal dune ecosystems. I have collaborated with other coastal scientist around the world to understand the ecosystem services of coastal interface habitats and their value to coastal management. There are three major themes that guide my research and that of my students:
   • The processes important to community structure and function at local and regional spatial scales in dune, estuary, and rocky intertidal communities
   • The mechanisms important to the protective role of ecosystems in mitigating coastal vulnerability from climate change
   • The invasion, hybridization, and restoration dynamics of invasive coastal vegetation

Teaching

I teach courses in introductory ecology, community ecology, field ecology, and marine biology. Whether the enrollment is large or small, my goal is to create a safe, equitable, and stimulating learning environment. I want students to build confidence in fundamental ecological concepts so that they can apply that knowledge in practical ways throughout their life. I am particularly interested in exposing students to experiential field experiences through courses at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and through independent research opportunities. My teaching and research are enhanced as an author of two textbooks, "Ecology" (Bowman and Hacker, Oxford University Press) and "Life: The Science of Biology" (Hillis et al., Macmillan).

Courses Taught

   • Bi370 – Ecology (3 credits). The study of interactions between organisms and their biotic and abiotic environments at the population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere levels of organization.
   • Bi450 – Marine Biology and Ecology (15 credits). A comprehensive lecture and laboratory introduction to the flora and fauna of the marine environment approached from the level of the organism to ecosystem. Ecological patterns and processes characteristic of marine communities will be emphasized. Taught at Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR.
   • Ib594 – Community Ecology (5 credits). Theory and analysis of multispecies associations. Emphasis on extent to which existing ecological theory is supported by natural phenomena. Considers how biotic and abiotic mechanisms interact to regulate community organization and stability in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats.

Awards

   • Mote Eminent Scholar Honoree, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
   • Authors and Editors Recognition Honoree, Office of Provost, Oregon State University
   • AAAS Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science
   • Faculty Research Excellence Award, Washington State University Vancouver, Washington
   • Young Investigator Prize, American Society of Naturalists
   • Murray F. Buell Award, Ecological Society of America
   • Mellon Doctoral Fellowship, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
   • Clare Boothe Luce Women in Science Fellowship, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

College strategic research areas

Biomedical Science Marine Science