Faces of AOS: L. Scott Johnson Bio

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• My position with AOS:
Chair, Birds of North America liaison committee

• My current full-time title and institution:
Professor, Towson University

• My current career stage:
Senior Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
M.S., Dr. Russ Balda, Northern Arizona University
Ph.D., Dr. Ross Lein, University of Calgary
Postdoc, Dr. Bill Searcy, University of Pittsburgh

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
Have spent my life trying to figure out what birds do to make more birds.

• My favorite bird and why:
House Wren. The “Prince of Passerines.” Always busy; almost never seen loafing. Plethora of interesting behaviors. Uses Homo sapiens to their advantage, but does not seem to care much about them.

• I am involved with AOS because:
Major reason: It makes me better able to advance ornithology as a science. Minor reason: It makes me feel more like a professional.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
I can fly my “avian freak flag” and the result is camaraderie, not confusion.

• Birds are important to me because:
Birds are just too fascinating not to spend a lifetime studying.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Only chase the “latest hot topic” if/when it will get you a job/promotion/tenure. Otherwise leave a legacy by doing research the results of which will be as useful 50 or 100 years from now as they are today.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Why do females pair with already mated males? (The early and intriguing “polygyny threshold hypothesis” was never thoroughly tested!)

• Fun random fact about myself:
I have a secret desire to study Cedar Waxwings, my favourite bird when I was a kid.


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