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James “Jim” Elser, an internationally renowned freshwater ecologist, will become the next director of UM’s century-old Flathead Lake Biological Station. UM President Royce Engstrom announced in July that Elser accepted the position.
Elser, a lake ecologist who serves as a Regents Professor at Arizona State University, was selected for the position after an extensive international search. Elser will begin his new duties December 1. He will succeed Jack Stanford, who will remain director until Elser arrives and stay on until June 1 as a UM faculty member to complete research, write, and mentor his final graduate students. Stanford then plans to retire after serving the University for forty-four years.
“I was thrilled when President Engstrom offered me the position,” Elser says. “The Flathead Lake Biological Station is really well-known in my field of limnology as an amazing place to work and study. I was drawn to the position by that reputation, including the terrific research program established by Jack Stanford and the other bio station faculty, but it was all solidified when I visited. The location is unrivaled, the facilities are impressive, the station is impeccably maintained, and, perhaps most importantly, the staff is so outstanding and so clearly committed to the mission of the station.”