In the lead-up to our annual meeting in Anchorage, we’ll be highlighting the winners of this year’s AOS awards on the blog. This week, the 2019 Marion Jenkinson Service Award.
The Marion Jenkinson Service Award is given to an individual
who has performed continued extensive service to the American Ornithological
Society (AOS), including holding elected offices but emphasizing volunteered
contributions and committee participation. The award honors Marion Jenkinson
Mengel, who served the American Ornithologists’ Union as treasurer and in other
capacities for many years, and consists of a framed certificate and an
honorarium. The 2019 award is presented to Dr. Alice Boyle.
Alice is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of
Biology at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. She earned a B.Mus. in
viola performance at the University of British Columbia, then changed her
career path to avian ecology, completing her Ph.D. in 2006 at the University of
Arizona. Following her Ph.D., she spent the next five years on prestigious
postdoctoral fellowships at the Universities of Western Ontario and British
Columbia before taking up her present faculty position in 2012. While Alice has
an impressive record of research achievement, with 34 publications in ecology
and ornithology, she has also tirelessly served the Cooper Ornithological
Society, American Ornithologists’ Union, and now AOS in the six years since she
became a faculty member at Kansas State. From 2013 to 2016, for example she
served on the COS Board, simultaneously serving on their Student Presentation
Awards Committee and chairing their Publications Committee from 2014 to 2016. When
the AOU and COS began to jointly publish The
Auk and The Condor, she became
co-chair of the societies’ joint Publications Advisory Committee. Alice
continues to chair this committee today, and provided leadership throughout the
merger of the two societies in 2016 and the transition to the new journal
publishing partnership with Oxford University Press in 2018. She also chaired
the committee to identify a new editor for The
Auk in 2018.
In recognition of her outstanding and diverse service to AOS
and its predecessor societies, the society is proud to name Alice Boyle as the
recipient of the 2019 Marion Jenkinson Service Award.
This year, AOS is providing a record amount of travel funding — over $125,000 — to students and postdoctoral researchers attending our upcoming annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. These awards make it possible for early-career ornithologists who lack other funding sources to participate in our annual meetings, present their research, and take advantage of professional development opportunities. Congratulations to all of this year’s travel award recipients, and thank you to the awards committee for their hard work in evaluating the applications!
In the lead-up to our annual meeting in Anchorage, we’ll be highlighting the winners of this year’s AOS awards on the blog. This week, the 2019 Katma Award.
The American Ornithological Society’s Katma Award is
intended to encourage the formulation of new ideas that could challenge
long-held accepted views and possibly change the course of thinking about the
biology of birds. This award, proposed and sponsored by Dr. Robert W. Storer,
is to be given to the author(s) of an outstanding paper related to ornithology
and published in any journal that offers unconventional ideas or innovative
approaches, backed by a well-reasoned argument.
The American Ornithological Society is pleased to present the 2018 Katma Award to Benjamin M. Winger, Giorgia G. Auteri, Teresa M. Pegan, and Brian C. Weeks of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology for their paper “A long winter for the Red Queen: rethinking the evolution of seasonal migration,” which appeared in Biological Reviews in 2018.
Winger and his colleagues provide a cogent review of
existing theories for the evolution of migration, but unlike previous authors,
they identify migration as just one mechanism that organisms have evolved for
dealing with seasonally inhospitable conditions; alternative strategies found
in non-avian species include diapause and hibernation, and non-migratory birds
possess a variety of other life history strategies for dealing with seasonal
conditions as well. The capacity for flight clearly provided birds with the
option of geographic escape, but Winger and his coauthors argue that if viewed
as only one of several alternative strategies for winter escape, the
fundamental connection between all “escape strategies” is to survive and breed
in the same place following the return of favorable conditions. Benefits of
breeding site fidelity are well documented, and given such benefits, the
evolution of migration can be seen as an escape strategy that allows a bird to
return to a former breeding location to draw on those reproductive benefits.
Without such benefits, there is no selection to remain site faithful, and thus
the authors see migration as a means by which organisms travel long distances
to ultimately stay in the same place, just as hibernation allows an animal to
emerge in spring to breed again in the same place. The authors’ perspective is “agnostic”
regarding the geographic origins of migratory behavior (southern home or
northern home), is strongly compatible with the importance of studying
migratory connectedness between breeding and nonbreeding areas of seasonal
residency, and can accommodate idiosyncratic migratory behaviors because
migration is viewed as a highly labile trait, but one that comes with the baggage
of the species history. Winger et al.’s contribution is an exciting new
perspective on migration that justifies it acknowledgment as the 2019 Katma
The Katma Award is given only when it is merited, no more than once a year. The award consists of approximately $2,500 plus a certificate and is presented at the annual meeting of the American Ornithological Society. A full explanation of the Katma Award was published in The Condor in 2003.
AOS is proud to recognize the students and postdoctoral researchers who are receiving research funding through our 2019 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!
In the lead-up to our annual meeting in Anchorage, we’ll be highlighting the winners of this year’s AOS awards on the blog. This week, the 2019 Painton Award.
Every two years, the American Ornithological Society bestows the Harry R. Painton Award for a paper published during the preceding two years in The Condor: Ornithological Applications that has made an exceptional contribution to ornithology. The Harry R. Painton Award for 2019 is presented to Jason D. Carlisle (University of Wyoming and Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc.), Anna D. Chalfoun (US Geological Survey and University of Wyoming), Kurt T. Smith (University of Wyoming), and Jeffrey L. Beck (University of Wyoming) for their paper “Nontarget effects on songbirds from habitat manipulation for Greater Sage-Grouse: Implications for the umbrella species concept,” published in 2018.
The authors addressed what is likely to become an
increasingly important issue in avian conservation: do efforts to mitigate and
improve conditions for an “umbrella” species actually benefit other
“background” species that share their habitat? The authors used a rigorous
before-after control-impact design over a three-year period to determine
whether management of habitat for the habitat specialist Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) would benefit
a trio of songbird species that co-occur with sage-grouse by comparing songbird
abundance, nest density, and nest success before and after mowing of sagebrush
intended to improve brood-rearing habitat for sage-grouse. The authors showed
that mowing benefitted the non-sagebrush specialist Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus), but that the
sagebrush-steppe dependent Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella breweri) and Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus) experienced a different fate. Sage Thrasher abundance
declined after habitat modification for sage-grouse, while nest abundance
dropped to zero for both Brewer’s Sparrow and Sage Thrasher in managed (mowed)
habitat. Ultimately, the authors caution that a more “nuanced” view is needed
that considers the varied responses of species syntopic with so-called umbrella
species and that long time scales are likely needed to evaluate fully the
utility of the umbrella species concept.
This year, the AOS Publications Awards Committee felt that two additional papers deserved recognition as runners-up for the Painton Award: “Migratory connectivity of Semipalmated Sandpipers and implications for conservation” by S. Brown, C. Gratto-Trevor, R. Porter, E. L. Weiser, and 19 others, and “Island life and isolation: The population genetics of Pacific Wrens on the North Pacific Rim” by C.L. Pruett, A. Ricono, C. Spern, and K. Winker, both published in The Condor in 2017. The Harry R. Painton Award is given in odd-numbered years and consists of a cash prize of $1,000; funds for the award come from a bequest from Mr. Painton. A list of previous Painton Awardees can be found at americanornithology.org/content/aos-painton-award.