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


Congratulations to the 2018 AOS Student Presentation Award Winners!

The AOS proudly recognizes the students receiving honors for the best oral presentations given at the 136th stated meeting of American Ornithology in Tucson, Arizona These awards are not ranked, but honor excellence in presenting original, significant science that advances our understanding of birds and their conservation. The 2018 awardees (listed in alphabetical order based on last names for categories with multiple awardees) are:

Nellie Johnson Baroody Award 

The Nellie Johnson Baroody Award recognizes an outstanding oral presentation by a student given on any topic. The award was established in 1980 by an anonymous donor, who endowed a fund in honor of the individual’s early mentor, Mrs. Baroody, an amateur birdwatcher in Berwyn, Illinois. The award includes an honorarium.

Calum Dixon, Colby-Sawyer College
Poster: Examining temporal changes in morphology, population dynamics, and wind migration patterns of raptor species migrating through Cape May, New Jersey







Robert B. Berry Award 

The Robert B. Berry Award recognizes the best oral presentation by a student on the subject of conservation. The award was established in 2007 at the annual meeting in Laramie, Wyoming, through the generous gift of Mr. Berry, a Wyoming rancher, philanthropist, Falcon Breeder, and conservationist. The award includes an honorarium.

Gavin Jones, University of Wisconsin
Presentation: Declining old-forest species as a legacy of large trees lost







Mark E. Hauber Award 

The Mark E. Hauber Award recognizes the most outstanding oral presentation by a student on avian behavior. The presentation must include statistical analysis of the behavior of individually identifiable birds in the wild or in captivity. The award was established in 2015 through a generous gift by Dr. Hauber, AOU’s 18th Editor of The Auk and a dedicated ornithologist and behavioral scientist. The award includes an honorarium.

Sara Lipshutz, University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Presentation: Female competition facilitates hybridization in sex-role reversed jacanas






Nadje Najar, University of Northern Colorado
Presentation: Latitude predicts repertoire size in migratory, but not sedentary, rock wrens (Salpinctes obsoletus)




AOS Council Awards 

The Council of the American Ornithological Society recognizes students at each annual meeting for their outstanding oral presentations given on any subject. The award includes an honorarium.

Erik Enbody, Tulane University
Presentation: Evolutionary genomics and transcriptomics of variable female plumage ornamentation in a New Guinea Malurus fairywren





Caroline Judy, Louisiana State University
Presentation: Genomic approaches to understanding speciation in Jamaican-endemic streamertail hummingbirds







Ahva Potticary, University of Arizona
Presentation: Stress-induced maternal effect links local competitive environment with large-scale changes in population demography







Elizabeth Schold, Virginia Commonwealth University
Presentation: A landscape approach to understanding breeding habitat of a rapidly declining migratory songbird







Anna Tucker, Auburn University
Presentation: Effect of resource mismatch on stopover mass gain dynamics for two Arctic-breeding shorebirds







Ryan Weaver, Auburn University
Presentation: Carotenoid metabolism strengthens the link between feather coloration and individual quality





AOS Council Awards Honorable Mentions

The Council of the American Ornithological Society recognizes students at each annual meeting for their outstanding oral presentations given on any subject.

Danielle Belleny, Tarleton State University
Poster: An evaluation of land restoration effects on northern bobwhite survival in north-central Texas 

Kristin Davis, Colorado State University
Presentation: Grazing and grassland birds: Does management affect abundance in Colorado’s shortgrass steppe

Brock Geary, Tulane University
Presentation: Condition-dependent foraging strategies of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Emily Griffith, University of Florida
Presentation: The Evolution of Tarsal Spurs in Galliformes

Chance Hines, Old Dominion University
Poster: An indirect mutualism between host-specific insects and Hackberry trees (Celtis spp), mediated by migratory songbirds

Logan Maxwell, University of New Hampshire
Presentation: Fitness consequences of hybridization in Saltmarsh and Nelson’s sparrows

Sabrina McNew, University of Utah
Poster: Epigenetic variation between urban and rural populations of Darwin’s finches

Corey Riding, Oklahoma State University
Presentation: Nocturnal lights affect bird-building collisions

Robert Taylor, California State University
Poster: Monitoring the Response of the Bird Community to Restoration of the Owens River, California

Joseph Welklin, Cornell University
Presentation: Winter mates impact summer dates: Linking non-breeding social environment and reproductive success in an Australian songbird

David Zonana, University of Colorado – Boulder
Presentation: Do birds of a feather covey together? Social networks and pair bonding within a sympatric Callipepla quail population

Faces of AOS: Amelia-Juliette Demery Bio

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• Website/Blog/Etc:

• My position with AOS:
Student Affairs Committee, Chair
Diversity and Inclusion Committee member

• My current full-time title and institution:
Master’s Candidate, San Diego State University

• My current career stage:
Graduate Student

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Undergraduate – A. Kristopher Lappin, C.S.U. Pomona
Master’s Degree – Kevin J. Burns, San Diego State University
Independent side project – Scott Edwards, Harvard University
PhD – Irby J. Lovette, Cornell University

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I like beaks, speciation, and ecology. I spend most hours measuring dead things, analyzing dead things, and going, “WOAH, that’s cool.”

• My favorite bird and why:
White-tailed Kite. Picture a beautiful piece of gray and white origami with life breathed into it. And then tack on some killer red eyes.

• I am involved with AOS because:
Being a part of the AOS makes me feel like the work I do actually benefits people and a mission larger than myself.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
I am part of an awesome community that improves every year in many aspects of societal progression. What’s not to love about bird people?

• Birds are important to me because:
I think birds are the best tool to inspire people about nature, especially if someone can’t experience nature due to disadvantages in life.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Always ask questions! Never listen to people who say you’re doing too much, especially if you’re having fun.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
All the ticking parts that influence how bill morphology and pigmentation work. Plus what happens when we view it across diverse taxa.

• Fun random fact about myself:
I am ambidextrous in my feet. And I am a dungeon master. 😀

• Something else birdy I’d like to share:
Contact me if you want to participate in the Student Affairs Committee!

AOS Diversity Survey – Participation Requested

4 April 2017

Dear members of the American Ornithological Society:

IMG_1027-X3 copyThe AOS is embarking on a new effort to increase diversity and inclusion in our Society.  Please take 5-10 minutes to fill out this anonymous survey to help us understand our current diversity and develop strategies for becoming a more diverse and inclusive Society.  Feel free to send the link to other colleagues who may not be current members of AOS.  Please complete the survey by April 30.

Thank you in advance for your time.


 Steve Beissinger, President, American Ornithological Society


Kevin Omland, Chair, AOS Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

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