Congratulations to the 2021 AOS Student and Postdoc Research Award Winners

AOS is proud to recognize the students and postdoctoral researchers who have been awarded funding through our 2021 Student and Postdoctoral Research Awards program! These annual awards, each up to $2,500, honor early-career ornithologists doing research that advances our understanding of avian biology and bird conservation. The Research Awards Committee puts a great deal of time and effort into evaluating applications each year and we thank them for their efforts. 

This year, AOS Council has made a commitment to support our next generation of ornithologists with special funds in 2021. The AOS COVID Relief Fund provides expanded support for the AOS research award programs, targeting students and early professionals who are coping with the myriad disruptions to their career advancement.

AOS Student Research Award

Valentina Alaasam, University of Nevada, Reno, “Effects of Urbanization on Population Genomics in a Hotspot of Avian Biodiversity”

Jarome Ali, Princeton University, “Do colorful parrot pigments defend feathers against bacterial damage?”

Meredith Anderson, Texas A&M University, “Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure in wild passerines: investigating links in an avian population crisis”

Kenneth Askelson, University of British Columbia, “Cryptic Speciation of a North American Songbird”

Stephanie Augustine, West Virginia University, “Spatial Demography and Migratory Ecology of Canada Warblers in Central Appalachia”

Kyla Beguesse, North Carolina State University, “New approach for discriminating medullary bone from pathologic bone in living birds”

Eliphaleth Carmona-Gómez, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, “Worthen’s Sparrow density and reproductive success on fallow croplands on different stages of plant succession on GPCA El Tokio, Galeana, Nuevo León”

Hazel Carr, University of Colorado Denver, “Identifying mechanisms of speciation among divergent populations experiencing secondary contact”

Maria Castano, University of Rochester, “Genomic analysis of parallel hybrid zones: Are patterns of introgression consistent among independent contact zones of the same species pair?”

Kathryn Chenard, University of Arizona, “Influence of maternal stress on personality and brain organization in Zebra Finches”

Hannah Clipp, West Virginia University, “Multi-species avian occupancy of wildlife openings in a forested landscape”

Dave Colucci, Binghamton University, “30 years of population structure and adaptation in urban and rural American Crows”

Abigail Dennis, North Dakota State University, “Developmental Plasticity and Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF) Expression in the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Response to Temperature”

Devon DeRaad, University of Kansas, “Identifying the genomic basis of hybrid incompatibility in Scrub-Jays”

Rachael DiSciullo, Illinois State University, “Multivariate sexual selection on male song in northern house wrens”

Sarah Dobney, University of Windsor, “Early Acoustic Environment and Song Complexity in Savannah Sparrows”

Silas Fischer, University of Toledo, “Drought-induced fledgling mortality as the mechanism underlying declining desert songbird communities”

Lindsey Forg, Lindsey Forg, “Effects of a lengthening green season on the diet of insectivorous forest songbirds”

Matthew Fuirst, University of Guelph, “Quantifying natal dispersal and the costs and benefits of delayed dispersal in Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis)”

Nick Gabry, Indiana State University, “Investigating food resource disparities between ecological niches in a polymorphic bird with alternative life-history strategies (Zonotrihica albicollis)”

Audrey Guyonnet, University of Lethbridge, “Profiling predator-prey interactions using drones, dynamic telemetry, and the domestic pigeon”

Trey Hendrix, Princeton University, “Evolution of Territoriality in the Neotropics: A Natural Experiment Among the Spotted Antbirds (Hylophylax naevioides) of Panama”

Katherine Henson, Duke University, “Assessing the potential signaling function of barred plumage in a songbird”

Samuel Lane, Virginia Tech, “The effects of urbanization on female songbird behavior and physiology”

Courtney Linkous, Kennesaw State University, “Anthropogenic Food Preferences and Nestling Health in European Starlings Across a Rural to Urban Gradient”

Fernando Machado-Stredel, University of Kansas, “The genomic footprint of mating systems in Neotropical blackbirds”

Michaek Mann, University of New Mexico, “Testing the link between migratory behavior and lung fungal pathogens in Sandhill Cranes”

Parks Marion, Western Michigan University, “Detection and analysis of avian community response to threats using a novel soundscape approach”

Shane McFoy, Villanova University, “Assessing Hybrid Chickadee Cognition and Social Networks”

Natasha Murphy, Mississippi State University, “The ecology and biological control agent potential of the Barn Owl in the southeastern U.S.”

Libby Natola, University of British Columbia, “Genetic determination of plumage traits in sapsuckers”

Alyssa Neuhaus, University of Vermont, “Prevalence and Distribution of Malaria Parasites in the Common Loon (Gavia immer)”

Madelyn Ore, Cornell University, “Is the Grass Always Greener: The response of a Neotropical passerine to Environment over a century of change”

Neil Paprocki, University of Idaho, “Differential Migration in North American Rough-legged Hawks”

Sarah Ramirez, Colorado State University, “Nesting Behavior, Home Range Size, and Habitat Use of Ferruginous Hawks in Western Wyoming”

Jessica Roberts, George Mason University, “New Evidence-based Methods in Passerine Reintroduction Science”

Bryce Robinson, Cornell University, “Phylogenomics and the genomics of plumage polymorphism in the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)”

Rosa Salazar, Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, “Bird diversity in humid mountain forests in the Sierra de Atoyac de Álvarez, Guerrero, México”

Stephanie Schmidt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “The Influence of Water Manipulations on Predation Risk at Marsh Bird Nests”

Matteo Sebastianelli, University of Cyprus, “Does hybridization affect song stability in birds that develop songs innately?”

Shawn Smith, George Mason University, “Understanding the effects of COVID-19 shutdowns on the songs of white-crowned sparrows”

Elizabeth Steell, University of Cambridge, “Elucidating the evolutionary origins of a major passerine radiation using high-resolution 3D imaging”

Eliza Stein, Louisiana State University, “Does habitat management influence prey selection by a declining aerial insectivore?”

Jeremy Summers, University of Rochester, “The fitness impact of immigration in a population of Florida Scrub-Jays”

Angela Theodosopoulos, University of Colorado at Boulder, “Examination of the effect of avian malaria infection on nestling survival in two closely related songbird species and the potential implications of immune gene diversity”

Frederique Tremblay, McGill University, “Measuring energy expenditure using accelerometry and triiodothyronine in an arctic seabird: Rissa tridactyla

Daniel Wait, University of California, Berkeley, “A test of vocal discrimination and prezygotic isolation in contact zones of Spotted Towhee”

Cynthia Wang-Claypool, University of California, Berkeley, “Comparative morphology of nectar-feeding birds”

Amber Wendler, Virginia Tech, “Investigating variation in cooperative breeding behavior between bird populations”

Hayley Wilson, University of Guelph, “Effects of local population density on songbird development and survival: Lessons in social distancing from the Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)”

Chelsea Wright, The Ohio State University, “Experimental test of the role of bare parts UV color signaling during male-male competition in a lek-mating bird”

Dorothy Zahor, Eastern Michigan University, “Migratory tracking of American robins (Turdus migratorius) with high blood lead levels in Flint, Michigan”

Donald L. Bleitz Research Award

Sara Richards, Virginia Tech, “Effect of temperature on behavior and contact rates in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus)”

Keegan Stansberry, Louisiana State University, “The effects of experimentally induced hatching synchrony and asynchrony on altricial nestlings”

Betty and Herbert Carnes Research Award

Zena Casteel, Cornell University, “Testing the Magic Trait Hypothesis: Appraisal of Geographic Variation in Song Sparrow Beak Morphology and its Connection to Song Characteristics”

Joseph Grinnell Research Award

Elizabeth Aguilar, Indiana University Bloomington, “How does nature build an aggressive female? An experimental approach using a metabolic challenge”

Werner and Hildegard Hesse Research Award

Andrea Estandia, University of Oxford, “Island-hopping silvereyes and a resolution to ‘the paradox of the great speciators’”

Don-Jean Léandri-Breton, McGill University, “Carry-over effects on winter movement behaviour mediated by breeding energy investment and stress physiology in a sub-Arctic seabird”

Kelly Miller, University of Memphis, “The effect of coloration on mate choice and reproductive allocation in a wild bird population”

Whitney Tsai Nakashima, UCLA, “Genomic signals of climate adaptation in Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia)”

Mewaldt-King Research Award

Alicia Brunner, Cornell University, “Physiological consequences of breeding later in a Neotropical migratory bird: implications for responses to a warmer, greener Autumn”

Margaret Morse Nice Research Award

Alix Matthews, Arkansas State University, “Evaluating how feather mite dietary selection influences the functional nature of the symbiotic relationship with avian hosts”

Josselyn Van Tyne Memorial Research Award

Timothy Forrester, University of Montana, “Why do birds lose mass during reproduction? An experiment and a comparison among species”

Young Ha Suh, Cornell University, “Tracking prospecting movement to understand dispersal and habitat selection”

Alexander Wetmore Memorial Research Award

Murry Burgess, North Carolina State University, “Metabolic Health and Physical Development of Barn Swallow Chicks Under Natural Photoperiod and Artificial Light at Night”

Samuel Case, University of Wyoming, “How avian seed predators mediate avian seed dispersal in Hawaiian forests”

Ethan Gyllenhaal, University of New Mexico, “Comparative evolutionary genomics of two geographic radiations of Pacific starlings”

Anna Hiller, Louisiana State University, “What are the genomic correlates of ‘leapfrog’ plumage colors in the Diglossa flowerpiercers?”

Holly Jackson, University of Montana, “Understanding Thermal Constraints on Reproductive Effort”

Rosalyn Price-Waldman, Princeton University, “The evolution of sex-specific modifications in feather microstructures in tanagers”

Brian Tsuru, The Ohio State University, “Post-breeding Ecology in the Prothonotary Warbler: Evaluating potential tradeoffs between breeding, molt, and migration phenology”

AOS Postdoctoral Research Awards

Pedro Diniz, Universidade de Brasilia, “Does coordination of avian duets improve signal propagation?”

Joao Marcos Guimaraes Capurucho, Field Museum of Natural History, “In Search of a Ghost Species: The Biogeography of Gallinago undulata (Giant Snipe)”

James Mouton, Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, “Prey naivete and proactive management of an endemic island bird”

Anusha Shankar, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “Hot and cold hummingbirds: Investigating the genes underlying a bird torpor spectrum”

Charles van Rees, University of Montana, “Do Freshwater Nutrient Subsidies Have Population-Level Impacts in Birds?”

Ben Vernasco, Washington State University, “Assessing the Diet and Distribution of an Alpine Specialist, the Wallowa Rosy-finch”

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