Mentors, Consider Involving Your Students in Peer Review

The American Ornithological Society is committed to providing professional development opportunities for our members. With that in mind, if you’re a faculty member and are invited to review a paper for The Auk or The Condor, we encourage you to consider involving graduate students you mentor in the peer review process.

If you have an advanced graduate student who has completed or is close to completing at least the first paper of his or her dissertation, have them join you in preparing a review as follows.

  • Read the paper under review with your student, discuss it, and talk about how to write a valuable review, emphasizing the importance of confidentiality throughout the review process.
  • Have your student write a draft review, then go over the strengths and weaknesses of the draft together.
  • From there, your student could write a second draft for further discussion if necessary, or you could complete and submit the review yourself.

We emphasize that the manuscript should be carefully reviewed by the mentor and that the submitted review should reflect the evaluation of both mentor and student. If a mentor and student follow this process, we request that the name, degree being pursued, and year in program of the student be provided in the confidential comments to the editor when the review is submitted. Mentors do not need to check with editors before involving students.

If you’re a graduate student interested in participating in this process to learn the art of peer review, let your mentor know! For more information, contact

Congratulations to This Year’s Student Membership Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2019 recipients of AOS’s Student Membership Awards! These awards provide one year of free membership to students who have not previously been members of the society. Winners, we hope you will take advantage of the many benefits of AOS membership and consider joining us at our annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, this June!

Fernando Lòpez, National University of La Plata, Argentina
Dilini Abeyrama, University of Lethbridge, Canada
Roxan Chicalo, University of Guelph, Canada
Matthew Fuirst, University of Guelph, Canada
Kiirsti Owen, University of Windsor, Canada
Marc-Olivier Beausoleil, McGill University, Canada
Ignacio Gutierrez Vargas, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Pablo Muñoz, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Priti P. Bangal, Indian Institute of Science, India
Patience Shito, University of Limpopo, South Africa
Stephen Edwards, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Garima Gupta, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Kevin Krajcir, Arkansas State University, United States
Elliott Bloom, California State University Northridge, United States
Kristen S. Ellis, Colorado State University, United States
Seth Inman, Yale University, United States
Graham Montgomery, University of Connecticut, United States
Liam U. Taylor, Yale University, United States
Karen Gallardo Cruz, University of Hawaii at Hilo, United States
Kathleen Callery, Boise State University, United States
Patricia Kaye Dumandan, Boise State University, United States
Hannah Scharf, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States
Nicholas Antonson, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States
Stephanie Stanton, Western Michigan University, United States
Dylan Smith, Kansas State University, United States
Mallory Young, Louisiana State University at Alexandria, United States
Michael Rowley, Villanova University, United States
Eliza Foli, Western Michigan University, United States
Amber Ng, Western Michigan University, United States
Stephanie Cunningham, University of Missouri, United States
Taylor Heuermann, Villanova University, United States
Sarah Clements, University of Missouri, United States
Rachael Mady, Cornell University, United States
Marae Lindquist, University of North Carolina Wilmington, United States
Lauren Schaale, University of North Carolina Wilmington, United States
Leanna DeJong, The Ohio State University, United States
Aaron Skinner, The Ohio State University, United States
Daniel Stoner, Kutztown, United States
William Harrod, Allegheny College, United States
Luke Wilde, University of South Carolina, United States
Drew Finn, Texas A&M University, United States
Ryan Howell, Brigham Young University, United States
Lynn Walter, Virginia Commonwealth University, United States

Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

AOS_logo-k375k_stackedAOS members should have received an email last week reminding them of important upcoming dates and deadlines! In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of AOS dates you may want to add to your calendar.

2019 Meeting: Our 2019 annual meeting will be June 24-28 in Anchorage, Alaska. Registration is open now, and we hope you’ll be joining us to celebrate the summer solstice at 61° North latitude!

  • Symposium and Round Table proposal deadline: 15 December 2018
  • Abstracts submission & travel grant deadline: 15 February 2019
  • Early Bird Registration deadline: 15 March 2019

Council & Officer Nominations: We invite all members to submit nominations for four AOS Elective Councilor positions, AOS Secretary, and AOS Treasurer. Nominations require the consent of the nominee and should be emailed to AOS Secretary Andy Jones at Deadline: 30 November 2018.

Fellow & Elective Member Nominations: These special membership classes recognize members for their contributions to ornithology and/or service to AOS. Deadline: 30 November 2018.

Senior Professional, Early Professional, Service, & Katma Award Nominations: Nominate yourself or your colleagues for AOS’s prestigious ornithology awards. Full information available at the pages linked. Deadline: 14 December 2018.

Student Membership Awards: Please encourage eligible ornithology students to apply for AOS Student Membership Awards, which provide one year of free AOS membership to interested students who have not previously been members of the society. Deadline: 31 December 2018.

Calling all AOS students — We want to recruit you as a member of the Student Affairs Committee!

This is a cheerful call for students interested in getting more involved in the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) within the AOS.

The SAC is a committee started by and run by student members of the AOS. We organize a multitude of popular events for the ornithological conferences each year, including the Silent Auction, student-led workshops and discussion panels, student-professional mixers, student-mentor lunches, and the popular Quiz Bowl. We create and lead these events to encourage mentorship opportunities, provide avenues for students to build their professional network, and improve the conference experience for members of all professional stages.

We can always use more membership and participation in the Student Affairs Committee and would love to get you involved. This can include remote tasks leading up to the conference as well as on-the-ground help during the conference itself. It’s a great way to get more involved in the ornithological community and contribute to ornithology in ways that go beyond your research!

Please send all inquiries to the Student Affairs Committee chair, Amelia J. Demery, at if you would like to learn more about what the Committee does and how you can participate. In the e-mail, please outline your interests in member participation and whether you plan to attend the 2019 AOS meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

Congratulations 2018 AOS Research Award Recipients!

The AOS proudly recognizes the students receiving research awards for 2018. These awards are not ranked, but honor research that advances our understanding of birds and their conservation. The 2018 awardees (listed in alphabetical order based on award name then recipient last name) are:

Donald L. Bleitz Award

Austin Spence, University of Connecticut
Using molecular scatology to reveal novel biotic interactions induced by climate change





Herbert and Betty Carnes Award

Heather Skeen, University of Chicago
Characterizing the gut microbiome of Kirtland’s Warblers on the wintering and breeding grounds





Joseph Grinnell Award

Jessica Hernandez, Virginia Tech
Sexually transmitted microbes as a cost to extra-pair fertilizations in female tree swallows





Werner and Hildegard Hesse Award

Stepfanie Aguillon, Cornell University
Using hybridization to understand the genomic underpinnings of phenotypic differences





Gemma Clucas, University of New Hampshire
Multi-colony analysis of the diet of adult Atlantic puffins with novel DNA metabarcoding techniques





Brittany Coppinger, University of Tennessee
Flock Density and Its Influences on Social and Vocal Complexity







Nikole Freeman, University of Guelph
Carry-over effects of early-life food availability on stress physiology and survival: A supplementation experiment in a winter breeding passerine







Chauncey Gadek, University of New Mexico
Replicated adaptation to altitude in marsh-dwelling songbirds: a natural experiment





Rebecca Garlinger, Villanova University
Sociality and dominance: Behavioral mechanisms in a moving songbird hybrid zone






Kathryn Grabenstein, University of Colorado – Boulder
Disturbance-mediated hybridization: An experimental assessment of species’ barriers







Haley Hanson, University of South Florida
Epigenetic Potential in Native and Introduced Populations of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)







Michael Hanson, Yale University
The Evolutionary Origins and Development of the Avian Cranial Kinetic System







Suzanne Hartley, North Carolina State University
Eggshell characteristics as predictors of heavy metal concentration in house sparrow eggs







Johanna Harvey, University of Connecticut
Evolution of host defenses against introduced parasites of Darwin’s finches







Shanta Hejmadi, University of Minnesota
Evolutionary history and extinction risk in raptors (Falconiformes and Accipitriformes): A new framework for integrating phylogeny and community assembly in risk assessment and conservation







Amanda Hund, University of Colorado
The role of early environment in the expression of a lifelong melanin-based sexual trait







John Jones, Tulane University
Proximate mechanisms of female multimodal signal expression in a tropical songbird







Todd Jones, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Do pre- to post-fledging carryover effects drive patterns of differential post-fledging survival in altricial songbirds?







Sarah Khalil, Tulane University
Flexible and variable carotenoid-based ornamentation in the red-backed fairywren: proximate mechanisms and adaptive consequences







Juan Benito Moreno, University of Bath
The origin of the modern bird body plan: Cretaceous Ornithurae from the Old World






Shelby Lawson, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
Investigating the Neural and Perceptual Basis of Functional Reference Calls in Yellow Warblers







Anna Lello-Smith, Cornell University
Understanding Drivers of Avian Community Assembly in Regenerating Cattle Pastures







Marisa Martinez, Florida Atlantic University
Predicting Wading Bird Foraging Habitat in Dynamic Intertidal Systems





Molly McDermott, University of Colorado – Boulder
How does non-breeding environment affect sexual signaling? A comparative analysis in two subspecies of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)







Lucas Pavan, Stanford University
Avian community response to patterns of defaunation in Central Africa and its effect on understorey seed predation







Subir Shakya, Louisiana State University
An Investigation of the Genetics of Coloration in Black-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus atriceps) of Southeast Asia







Naima Starkloff, University at Albany, SUNY
Geographic variation in host immunogenetics and malarial parasite infection in breeding populations of Catharus thrushes







Andrew Stillman, University of Connecticut
An empirical test of two hypotheses explaining patch-based population dynamics in the Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)





Sheela Turbek, University of Colorado – Boulder
Explaining mismatches between genetic and phenotypic divergence in a rapid radiation of finch-like birds





Mewaldt-King Award

Vitek Jirinec, Louisiana State University
Does microclimate change explain declines of terrestrial insectivores in Central Amazonia?






Margaret Morse Nice Award

Fernanda Duque Mendoza, Georgia State University
Diversification of vocal communication in Andean hummingbirds







Josselyn Van Tyne Memorial Research Award

Stefanie Siller, Columbia University
Epigenetic Mediation of Early Environmental Influences on the Stress Response







Alexander Wetmore Memorial Research Award

Marion Donald, Rice University
Avian and floral microbiomes as an early warning signal of avian pollinator loss in fragmented forests







Jordan Herman, University of Utah
Do ecologically distinct parasites have interacting effects on host fitness?





Benjamin Lagasse, University of Colorado – Denver
Assessing an Arctic-breeding Shorebird’s Capacity for Adapting to Environmental Change Along Three Major Flyways of the World





Kara Leimberger, Oregon State University
Effects of keystone species loss on a tropical plant-hummingbird network







Brian Trevelline, University of Pittsburgh
Dietary shifts over the annual cycle of a Neotropical migratory songbird