Congratulations to the 2020 Student & Postdoc Research Award Winners

AOS is proud to recognize the students and postdoctoral researchers who are receiving funding through our 2020 Student and Postdoctoral Research Awards! These annual awards, each up to $2500, honor early-career ornithologists doing research that advances our understanding of birds and their conservation. The research awards committee puts a great deal of time and thought into evaluating applications each year, and we appreciate their efforts.

AOS Award

Melanie Florkowski, Texas A&M University, “Effect of the microbiome on immunity and aggression in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)”

Donald L. Bleitz Award

Meredith Kernbach, University of South Florida, “Effects of light pollution on host responses to West Nile Virus in a peri-urban passerine reservoir species, Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis)”

Melanie Kimball, Louisiana State University, “The neurobiology of personality: potential mechanisms mediating variation in neophobia behavior”

Herbert and Betty Carnes Award

Priscilla San Juan, Stanford University, “Host-microbe-parasite interactions in wild versus captive Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli)”

Joseph Grinnell Award

Eric Gulson-Castillo, University of Michigan, “Comparative evolution of magnetoreception across passerine birds”

Werner and Hildegard Hesse Award

Dustin Brewer, Central Michigan University, “A test of environmental DNA as a tool for detecting a rare marsh bird species”

Susanna Campbell, University of Michigan, “Migration and the adaptive immune response”

Eamon Corbett, Louisiana State University, “What is the genetic basis of eye color variation in birds?

Spencer DeBrock, Texas A&M University, “The role of migratory birds in the spread and dispersal of parasites “

Valerie Gaulke , The Ohio State University, “Are seasonal interactions mediated by stress responses in a short-distance migratory bird?”

Samantha Gillette, Portland State University, “Climatic impacts on vertebrate life-history evolution: Geographic variation in eggs, nests, and incubation behavior of a neotropical migrant songbird”

Emily Graves, UC Davis, “Risks and mechanisms of Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor) exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides in Central Valley habitats”

Kyle Koller, University of South Florida, “Life history trade-offs and host competence: The effect of molt and reproduction on West Nile Virus competence in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)”

Alicia Korpach, University of Manitoba “The influence of artificial light at night on migratory routes of an obligate nocturnal bird”

Emily Lessner, University of Missouri , “Trigeminal nerve morphology mediating tactile sensory behaviors in birds”

Jenna McCullough, University of New Mexico, “Island Kingfishers as an emerging model system to study the genomics of speciation”

Hannah Moon, University of Hawaii at Manoa, “Molecular drivers of spectral perception in Hawaiian seabirds”

Grace Musser, University of Texas at Austin, “Building a new morphological dataset for basal Neoaves: Resolving relationships of latest Paleocene-earliest Eocene taxa from the Fur Formation of Denmark”

Kristen Orr, East Carolina University, “Effects of nutritional supplements on captive bird health and microbiome composition”

Meelyn Pandit, University of Oklahoma, “Does mesoclimate drive singing phenology in desert songbirds?”

Madison Rittinger, Illinois State University, “Sex-specific effects of hatching order and synchrony on nestling baseline corticosterone levels”

Marina Rodriguez, Colorado State University, “Evaluating the effects of climate change on Yellow Warblers using telomeres as a biomarker of fitness”

Nicholas Russo, UC Los Angeles, “Using ICARUS and remote sensing to investigate the drivers of seed dispersal by hornbills”

Karina Sanchez, University of Northern Colorado, “Does anthropogenic light, noise, and landscape composition affect American Robin song and reproductive output in a recently urbanized area?”

Reyd Smith, University of Windsor, “Interactive effects of climate change and mercury on incubation behaviour in an Arctic seabird”

Katie Talbott, Indiana University, “Understanding trade-offs in reproduction and infection response in male dark-eyed juncos”

Eric Tymstra, UC Davis, “You are what you eat: Connecting diet quality and reproductive success in Greater Sage-Grouse”

Chris Tyson, UC Davis, “Evaluating the behavioral basis of the ‘mate familiarity effect’ in a long-lived seabird”

Mewaldt-King Award

Amanda Navine, University of Hawaii at Hilo , “Identifying genetic mechanisms underlying resistance or tolerance to avian malaria in Hawaii Amakihi”

Margaret Morse Nice Award

Elora Grahame, University of Guelph, “Linking migration with the breeding period for two declining nightjars”

Josselyn Van Tyne Memorial Research Award

Alexander Di Giovanni, University of Illinois, “Examining avian embryonic heart rate: How brood parasitism affects incubation strategies and the embryo”

Sereena Moore, McGill University, “Changes in neurogenesis leading up to fall migration in juvenile and adult European Starlings exposed to chlorpyrifos, a widely-used organophosphate pesticide”

Alexander Wetmore Memorial Research Award

Kevin Bennett, University of Maryland, “Gene expression underlying sexually selected plumage variation in a manakin hybrid zone”

Sarah Hood, San Diego State University, “Migratory genetics and subspecies intergradation in the Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)”

Johnathan Hruska, Texas Tech University, “Learning from the past: An evaluation of Pleistocene climate changes on the evolutionary trajectories of northern Central American ensembles”

Pearl Rivers, Florida State University , “How does the major histocompatibility complex influence patterns of sexual selection in a tropical lekking passerine?”

Amanda Savagian, Princeton University, “Does chorusing facilitate group bonding in a cooperatively breeding cuckoo?”

Jessie Williamson, University of New Mexico, “The roles of migration and metabolic flexibility in diversification history and genomic connectivity of a cryptic species complex: The Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas)”

Postdoctoral Research Awards

Stephen Ferguson, University of Kentucky, “The dawn chorus as a Zeitgeber in songbirds”

Tosha Kelly, Louisiana State University, “Testing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as a mediator of resistance and tolerance to acute malaria infection in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)”

Facundo Palacio, Museo de La Plata, “The effect of urbanization in altering bird-mediated selection on fruit traits”

Cynthia Ursino, Princeton University, “Mating systems of two Neotropical brood parasites: Contrasting reproductive strategies in Shiny and Screaming Cowbirds”

Elin Videvall, Smithsonian Institution, “The hidden link between the microbiome and malaria infection in Hawaiian honeycreepers”

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