This award is given annually to the author or co-authors of the most meritorious body of work (book, monograph, or series of related papers) on birds of the Western Hemisphere published during the past ten years. The award consists of a medal and an honorarium provided through the endowed William Brewster Memorial Fund. It is named in honor of William Brewster, one of the founding members of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

Nomination Guidelines

Before submitting a nomination, please review the lists of previous recipients below. In recognition of the large number of ornithologists making outstanding contributions to our science, the AOS Council recommends that the Brewster Award be conferred upon individuals who have not previously received the award. However, under exceptional circumstances the Council may consider and approve a nomination to confer a second award to an individual, if the new work to be recognized (1) involves a substantially different problem in ornithology than was recognized by the first award and (2) is of significantly greater quality than the work of other eligible ornithologists who have not yet been recognized with the award. Note that nominees for the Brewster Award need not be members of AOS at the time of their nomination.

Submit a Nomination

To submit a nomination for the Brewster Award:

  1. Login to the Member Portal.
  2. Upload a written summary (no more than 2 pages) describing the nominee’s contributions to ornithology and why they should be recognized with the award.
  3. Upload a current CV of the nominee.

Previous Winners

2019 Helen James & Craig Benkman
2018 Bette A. Loiselle
2017 James D Nichols
2016 Patricia Parker
2015 Rosemary Grant
2014 Geoffrey E. Hill
2013 J. V. Remsen, Jr.
2012 Robert C. Fleischer
2011 Sandra L. Vehrencamp
2010 Steven R. Beissinger
2009 Joanna Burger
2008 Spencer Sealy
2007 Allan J. Baker
2006 Sidney A. Gauthreaux, Jr.
2005 Robert M. Zink
2004 Russell P. Balda 
and Alan C. Kamil
2003 Douglas W. Mock
2002 James N. M. Smith
2001 Stephen I. Rothstein
2000 Cynthia Carey
1999 Walter D. Koenig
1998 Frank B. Gill
1997 John C. Avise
1996 Kenneth P. Able
1995 Eugene S. Morton
1994 D. Frank McKinney
1993 Richard T. Holmes
1992 Ned K. Johnson
1991 Lewis W. Oring
1990 Fred Cooke
1989 Noel F. R. Snyder
1988 Robert B. Payne
1987 Jerram L. Brown
1986 Val Nolan Jr.
1985 John W. Fitzpatrick
and Glen E. Woolfenden
1984 Stephen Thompson Emlen
1983 Peter R. Grant
1982 Robert E. Ricklefs

1980 Frank A. Pitelka
1979 William R. Dawson
1978 Pierce Brodkorb
1977 Rudolphe Meyer de Schauende
1976 Gordon H. Orians
1975 Jürgen Hafner
1974 James R. King
1973 Rudolf Armando Philippi B. and Alfred W. Johnson
1972 David W. Snow and Barbara K. Snow
1971 Charles G. Sibley
1970 No Award
1969 No Award
1968 Wesley E. Lanyon
1967 W. E. Clyde Todd
1966 George A. Bartholomew
1965 Ernst Mayr
1964 Herbert Friedmann
1963 Ralph S. Palmer
1962 Albert Wolfsbon
1961 Harold F. Mayfield
1960 Donald S. Ferner
1959 Alexander Wetmore
1958 Arlie William Schonger
1957 Robert P. Allen
1956 George H. Lowery, Jr.
1955 William H. Phelps
1954 James Bond
1953 Hildegarde Howard
1952 John T. Zimmer
1951 S. Charles Kendeigh
1950 Alexander F. Skutch
1949 No Award
1948 David Lack
1947 Francis H. Kortright
1946 No Award
1945 H. Albert Hochbaum

    Nominate yourself or a colleague for recognition

    Must be an AOS Member to submit