The Elliott Coues Award recognizes outstanding and innovative contributions to ornithological research regardless of the geographic location of the work. The AOU established this award in honor of Elliott Coues, a pioneering ornithologist of the western United States and a founding member of the American Ornithologists’ Union. The award consists of a medal and an honorarium provided through the society’s Elliott Coues Achievement Award Fund. Past recipients at this meeting include Michael Sorenson, Scott Edwards, Bob Montgomery, Jeff Walters, and Ellen Ketterson. The 2017 Elliot Coues Award goes to Dr. Kevin J. McGraw.
Dr. McGraw is a Professor of Evolutionary and Systems Biology, Arizona State University whose research has focused on identifying the chemical nature, distribution, and functions of natural carotenoid pigments. This innovative work on animal coloration constitutes an outstanding example of integrating multiple levels of biological organization, relating animal coloration to immune activity and infections, sensory perception, social behavior, nutrition, endocrine physiology, and effects of urbanization. His work has focused broadly on birds of the world, from passerines, to hummingbirds to parrots, to penguins. His research has wide-ranging implications for understanding organismal adaptations to environmental constraints. He has authored well over 150 scientific articles, in addition to co-editing a well-received two-volume book on Bird Coloration in 2006. Moreover, Dr. McGraw has mentored an impressive number of Ph.D. and undergraduate students.
In recognition of these contributions to ornithology, AOS is pleased to name Dr. Kevin McGraw as the 2017 Elliott Coues Award recipient.