Melinda Pruett-Jones, Executive Director

aos staff member melinda pruett-jones

Melinda Pruett-Jones applies her decades of experience leading mission-based conservation and science organizations to advance AOS’s vision for ornithology. Her previous roles include Executive Director of Chicago Wilderness, VP for Applied Research at Chicago Zoological Society/ Brookfield Zoo, and Director of Major Gifts at The Field Museum. Melinda also has a research background in the ecology and population biology of birds.

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Crystal Ruiz, Director of Operations & Administration

aos staff member crystal ruiz

Crystal joined AOS in March 2015 and holds a BS/BA degree in accounting and Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential. Prior to AOS, Crystal worked as an administrator at a regional-based environmental non-profit and as an international accountant in a private firm. She enjoys looking at the big picture and figuring out how to successfully roll out programs while keeping the lights on and people smiling. Photo by KayBee Photos.

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Rebecca Heisman, Communications Specialist

aos staff member rebecca heisman

Rebecca joined AOS full-time in January 2019 after four years as an independent contractor. Her experiences prior to her role with AOS include working as an ornithology field assistant in Canada and Australia, leading environmental education programs in Georgia, Wisconsin, and Oregon, and writing about conservation for publications including Audubon and Sierra Magazine.

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Chris Mulvaney, Member Services & AMS Coordinator

aos staff member chris mulvaney

Chris joined AOS as in independent contractor in 2017 and transitioned to a full-time role with the Society in January 2019. Previously, he served thirteen years with Chicago Wilderness, a regional conservation alliance of more than 200 organizations, where he helped to foster partnerships, facilitate regional biodiversity recovery strategies, and develop and monitor metrics toward collective impact.

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Mark Penrose, Managing Editor

mark penrose

Mark originally served as managing editor for The Auk under three editors: Kimberly Smith, Spencer Sealy, and Michael Murphy. After a break, he rejoined the newly established joint publication of The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Condor: Ornithological Applications in 2014. Over the years, Mark has worked on everything from journal management to design and layout to typesetting. He is a Jersey boy and a long-suffering Jets fan.

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Mint Jang, Administrative Assistant

Mint joined AOS part-time in August 2019 and assists staff with day-to-day operations. She hails from the Peachtree state of Georgia, loves to travel (especially for food!), and enjoys following rabbit holes of information. Her current areas of interest include sustainable living and traditional food cultures.

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From the field

Congratulations to all of the recipients of this year's AOS awards! Our annual awards honor members for their research and volunteer work. The work of the 2020 awardees spans a diversity of ornithological disciplines from genetics to landscape ecology in a range of habitats around the world, as well as invaluable service to AOS and ornithology. This year’s slate of awardees represents just a small sample of the broad diversity of our members and the contributions they are making to the scientific study and conservation of birds. Learn more about all of them at the link in our profile! #ornithology #science #biologyThe charismatic Euphonia and Chlorophonia finches are small, colorful birds that inhabit forests and woodlands from Mexico to Brazil as well as much of the Caribbean, and how exactly they fit into the songbird family tree has been debated for 20 years. The researchers behind a paper recently published in The Auk used tissue specimens and study skins from every species in this group to generate 40 *billion* base pairs of sequence data, including nearly 5,000 loci from the nuclear genome and near-complete mitochondrial genomes for every species. This amazing dataset shows has helped resolve their relationships once and for all. It also suggests that this group likely dispersed from South America into the Caribbean and North America multiple times between 2 and 4 million years ago, lending support to a younger geological timeframe for the formation of the Isthmus of Panama than argued by some other recent studies. Photos by Daniel J. Field (University of Cambridge) and Tyler Imfeld. #ornithology #science #birds #wildlife #neotropicalbirds #taxonomy #biology #finchesOne final #NationalVolunteerWeek post! Meet Rebecca Kimball, longtime AOS volunteer and Treasurer of the society since 2015, one of the leaders helping shape AOS's future. We hope you've enjoyed celebrating Volunteer Week with us!Today for #NationalVolunteerWeek we're featuring Brian Peer, who's given his time to chair the AOS Research Awards Committee for the past eight years, leading the group that evaluates applications for Student Research Awards. Thank you, Brian!AOS is celebrating #NationalVolunteerWeek! Today, meet Kyle Horton, who volunteered his time to judge student presentations at last summer's AOS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.Today for #NationalVolunteerWeek, meet Lori Hargrove! Lori works at the San Diego Natural History Museum and is a regular reviewer for AOS journal The Condor. Scholarly journals can't function without reviewers like Lori, who volunteer their time to read and assess the papers that are submitted.We're celebrating #NationalVolunteerWeek! AOS couldn't function without the many members who volunteer their time to assist with our meetings, publications, awards, and other programs, and we'll be introducing you to one of those volunteers every day this week. Today, meet Juita Martinez, a PhD student who helped staff the registration desk at last year's annual AOS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska!
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