medal presented with aos coues award

AOS’s Coues Award recognizes outstanding and innovative contributions to ornithological research, with no limitation with respect to geographic area, sub-discipline(s) of ornithology, or the time course over which the work was done. It consists of a medal and an honorarium and is named in honor of Elliott Coues, a pioneering ornithologist of the western United States and a founding member of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

Coues Award 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 Coues Award be conferred upon individuals who have not previously received another senior award from AOS. 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 than nominees for the Coues Award need not be members of AOS at the time of their nomination.

Submit a Nomination

Nominations are due 13 December 2019. Nominations must be submitted through our online Member Portal.

  • Clicking “Apply Now” on the page linked above will direct you to a login screen. If you have previously created an account, your Login ID is your email address. After logging in, you will be redirected to the Senior Professional Award nomination page.
  • If you have not previously created an account, click Create Account at the lower left to set up your profile.
  • You can also navigate to the submission page from the Member Portal homepage under “Open Competitions” in the lower right.

To submit a nomination for the Coues Award, you will need to upload 1) a written summary (no more than 2 pages) describing the nominee’s contributions to ornithology and why they should be recognized with the award, and 2) a current CV of the nominee.

Previous Coues Award Winners

2019   Linda Whittingham & Peter Dunn
2018   Peter P. Marra
2017   Kevin J. McGraw
2016   Michael Sorenson
2015   Scott Edwards
2014   Staffan Bensch
2013   Russell Greenberg
2012   F. Gary Stiles
2011   Timothy Birkhead
2010   Robert Montgomerie
2009   Charles R. Brown and Mary Bomberger Brown
2008   P. Dee Boersma
2007   Keith A. Hobson
2006   Sievert A. Rohwer
2005   Nicholas B. Davies
2004   Jared Verner
2003   Donald E. Kroodsma
2002   Jeffrey R. Walters
2001   Raymond A. Paynter, Jr. and Melvin A. Traylor, Jr.
2000   Thomas E. Martin
1999   Sir John R. Krebs
1998   Jared M. Diamond
1997   Chandler S. Robbins
1996   Ellen D. Ketterson
1995   Ian Newton
1994   Wolfgang Wiltschko
1993   Joel L. Cracraft

1992   Frances C. James
1991   John A. Wiens
1990   No Award
1989   Peter Berthold
1988   Ralph W. Schreiber
1987   John C. Wingfield
1986   Fernando Nottebohm
1985   Thomas R. Howell
1984   Thomas J. Cade
1983   Masakazu Konishi
1982   No Award
1981   Amos Ar, Charles Paganelli, and Hermann Rahn
1980   Nicholas E. Collias and Elsie C. Collias
1979   No Award
1978   Joseph J. Hickey
1977   Jean Delacour and Ernst Mayr
1976   Peter Marler
1975   Richard F. Johnston and Robert K. Selander
1975   Walter J. Bock
1974   Robert H. MacArthur
1973   John T. Emlen Jr.
1972   Niko Tinbergen
1972   Alexander Wetmore

    From the field

    Do you want to help shape the future of AOS? Consider running for a spot on the AOS Council! Here's what current Elective Councilor Lauryn Benedict has to say about her experience so far. Nominations are due November 29, and you can find more details at the link in our profile!Climate change means spring is arriving earlier in the Arctic, but not all Arctic-breeding geese are affected the same way — some (such as the Barnacle Goose pictured here) successfully produce more offspring in years with earlier springs, but some produce fewer. New research published in The Auk suggests that this is because timing of spring has different effects on two different stages of the breeding cycle: the pre-laying, laying, and nesting phase, and the hatchling, fledgling, and juvenile phase. When snow melts earlier, more geese initiate a nest, their clutch size is larger, and the chance that the eggs will hatch increases. However, the second stage (hatchling, fledgling, and juvenile) is negatively affected by earlier springs, because food quality is already declining by the time the eggs hatch, creating a trophic mismatch. Photo by Michiel Boom. #ornithology #science #nature #wildlife #birds #geese #conservation #ecology #climatechange #arcticDo you want to help shape the future of AOS? Consider running for a spot on the AOS Council! Here's what current President-Elect Tom Sherry has to say about his experience so far. Nominations are due November 29!Thanks for letting me take over the AOS Instagram for a week! I hope I’ve given a good glimpse into my research and experiences. For all of the undergraduate ornithologists out there, I encourage you to strive for new horizons in your research! I plan on beginning a Master’s or PhD program in the fall of 2020 to continue my studies in ornithology. My future research interests include studying the genomic, behavioral, spatial, and morphological effects of hybridization and the formation of hybrid zones. #ornithology #science #wildlife #biology #birds #dogsofinstagram #womeninstem
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[Thanks, Angelica! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]As a lover of the outdoors, I find myself looking for new experiences wherever I can. In the summer of 2018, I took part in a study-abroad intensive led by Dr. McRae and Dr. Kyle Summers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. I engaged in daily and nightly hikes through Pipeline Road and Barro Colorado Island and conversed with the resident scientists about their current studies and long-term research goals on Barro Colorado Island. My experiences in the rainforest encouraged me to pursue work in wildlife biology and conservation. #science #conservation #biology #wildlife #ecology #panama #womeninstem #ornithology
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]I began conducting field research in 2017. Since then, I’ve developed valuable skills and knowledge needed for working safely and effectively in the field, both with others and on my own. I’ve found that I’m never quite finished learning from the people and birds that I work with! Both photos belong to Dr. Susan B. McRae. #ornithology #birds #science #wildlife #bluebirds #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]As an undergraduate research assistant, I conduct routine nest checks of bluebird boxes. I enjoy watching the parents build nests through my binoculars! My thesis work investigates factors that affect nest size variation in a specific population of Eastern Bluebirds. I’ve found that the weights of the nests they build are positively correlated to mean daily maximum temperatures within boxes during the incubation period. I gave a poster presentation of my senior thesis work at the 2019 conference in Anchorage last summer! #AOSMember #ornithology #science #birds #wildlife #bluebirds #womeninstem
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[Our thanks to AOS member Angelica Reed (@angelicanreed), who's taking over this account for the week!]
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