2020 Brewster Award Winner: John Rotenberry

Over the course of this spring and summer, we’re highlighting all of the previously announced recipients of this year’s AOS awards on the blog. This week, the 2020 William Brewster Memorial Award.

The William Brewster Memorial Award recognizes the author or coauthors of an exceptional body of work on birds of the Western Hemisphere. Established in 1921, the award consists of the Brewster Memorial Medal and an honorarium.  This award honors William Brewster, one of the founding members of the American Ornithologists’ Union. In 2020, AOS presents two separate William Brewster Awards, one to Regina Macedo and one to John Rotenberry.

Dr. Rotenberry is a distinguished ecologist who has made many contributions to avian ecology during his career. He received his Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 1978, completed a postdoc at the University of New Mexico, and was a faculty member at Bowling Green State University for 10 years and the University of California-Riverside for 23 years before moving to a new post at the University of Minnesota in 2012. Dr. Rotenberry  was elected as a Fellow of  AOS in 2000 and served as editor for the Studies in Avian Biology book series for a decade, from 1994 to 2004. Dr. Rotenberry’s body of work includes a series of important papers on the community dynamics and habitat associations of shrub-steppe birds in the western United States. He has been particularly interested in questions of spatial scale and understanding how birds select and use habitats at a local versus regional scale. His work on understanding niche requirements and competition led to studies of the ecological factors that affect species at the edge of their range distributions. His more recent work focuses on threats to shrub-steppe birds due to habitat loss and other ecological changes in sagebrush habitats. His research productivity includes over 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, with highly cited articles in the top journals in ornithology and ecology, including The Condor, The Auk, American Naturalist, Ecological Monographs, Ecology, Evolution, Oecologia, and Oikos. Dr. Rotenberry served as the President of the Cooper Ornithological Society from 2005 to 2007.

In recognition of his meritorious body of research on birds over a long and distinguished career, AOS is deeply honored to award John Rotenberry a 2020 Brewster Award.

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