Vol. 59, No. 3 | August 2014

2014 Awards


The Warder Clyde Allee Symposium for best student paper is always a highlight of the conference as it features outstanding graduate student research, with an award for the best paper and talk. The session honors Dr. Warder Clyde Allee (1885–1955) who was very influential in the development and direction of animal behavior research in the 20th century. Allee was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1951 and ranks among the leading twentieth century ecologists. In the 2014 ABS Allee Session, 10 finalists were selected to present their research based on the quality of their papers. These presenters cannot have completed their defense of the doctoral dissertation before the preceding ABS annual meeting. All of the presentations were of exceptionally high quality. After considerable discussion, the judges – Sue Bertram, Vanessa Ezenwa, Ken Yasukawa, and Chair Second President-Elect Emilia Martins – decided to split this year’s first prize and award $1000 each to Erin McCullough (University of Montana) and Conor Taff (University of California Davis). Erin McCullough presented on Structural Adaptations to Diverse Fighting Styles in Sexually Selected Weapons; Conor Taff presented on Sophisticated Surveillance of Neighborhood Fertility Generates Variable Signaling Effort.



Each year a poster competition, named for a Founder of the Animal Behavior Society, is held at the annual meeting (“A founder is defined as a person active in the period prior to 1966 who held at least two administrative positions, elected or appointed, in ABS or the ESA Section on Animal Behavior and Sociobiology or the ASZ Division of Animal Behavior as recorded by the ABS Historian.”). This year, twenty posters were entered into the Founders Award. The judges were: Regina Macedo (Chair, First President Elect), Beth Jakob, Christie Riehl, Jonathan Pruitt, Lilian Manica and Chris Templeton. There were many excellent posters, and a lot of fascinating science shared. The judges identified two outstanding posters (one grand prize winner and one winner) that were notable for their innovative science, and clear presentation. The $700 grand prize winner of the Founders Award for 2014 was: Katherine E. L. Worsley-Tonks (University of Georgia) for her poster entitled “Parasite Infection Influences Host Behavioral Trade-Offs”, co-authored by Vanessa O. Ezenwa. A $300 prize was presented to Vlad Demartsev (Tel Aviv University) for his poster entitled “Harsh Vocal Elements Affect Counter-Singing Dynamics in Male Rock Hyrax”, co-authored by Einat Ziv and Eli Geffen.



This year, 24 undergraduate students submitted posters for the Genesis Undergraduate Poster Competition, and the standard was high. The judges were led by Genesis Award Subcommittee Chair Matt Wund, and included Jennifer Mather, Nathan Harness, Carrie Hall and Laura Stein. This team worked extremely hard to carefully review all posters. The $250 grand prize was awarded to Levi Storks (Michigan State University) for his poster “Calling in the Face of Danger: Risk, Calling, and Condition in the Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor)”, co-authored by Michael Kuczynski and Tom Getty. Two honorable mention prizes of $100 each were awarded to Gabrielle Dominguez (The College of New Jersey) for the poster “Does the Intensity and Duration of Alarm Cue Exposure Affect Stickleback Anti-predator Behavior?”, co-authored by H.A. Poquette and M.A. Wund, and Kathryn Grabenstein (Cornell University) for the poster on “No Experimental Support for Resource-Dependent Offspring Sex Allocation in a Migratory Songbird”, co-authored by S.A. Kaiser and M.S. Webster. This year the judges also awarded three semi-finalists of $50 each to: Annette Califano (The College of New Jersey) for the poster on “Associative Learning in Three-Spine Stickleback” co-authored by M.A. Wund, Micah Fletcher (University of Missouri) for the solo-authored poster on “Competitive Disruption of Male-Female Duets in Mate Searching Treehoppers”, and Omar Hurtado-Mejorada (Universidad Veracruzana) for the poster on “Human effects on the vocal activity of captive Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus)”, co-authored by I. Martínez-Serrano and C. Bazúa-Durán.











Now in its 32nd year, the ABS Film Festival featured top films that were produced in the preceding five years that portray important concepts in animal behavior research and education. Categories included both amateur (non-commercial) and professional (commercial) films. This year’s ABS Film Festival was attended by an enthusiastic 100 people.

After careful deliberation, the Film Committee was happy to announce that the ABS Jack Ward Film Award in the non-commercial category would be awarded to “The Bearded Capuchin Monkeys of Fazenda Boa Vista” directed by Elisabetta Visalberghi and Alessandro Albani.

The ABS Film Award in the Commercial Category was awarded to “Wild Australia - Desert of the Red Kangaroo” directed by Jens Westphalen and Thoralf Grospitz.




In 2002, the Animal Behavior Society created the Charles H. Turner Program for undergraduate participation at the annual society meetings. Charles Turner was the first known African American researcher in animal behavior. He earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1907. Among other things, his research showed that insects can hear and exhibit trial-and-error learning. By naming the undergraduate program after him, the ABS Diversity Committee emphasizes its goal of increasing the diversity of its membership by encouraging researchers of all ages, levels and ethnic groups to participate in the annual meetings. The ABS Diversity Committee brought a group of eight undergraduates to the Anchorage meeting this year, covering all expenses and providing a full program of events including a pre-meeting workshop and direct mentorship from junior and senior scientists.

This years deserving Charles H. Turner Award winners were Jose Alvarez (Augustana College), Monica Bailey (Augustana College), Ashley Bothwell (University of North Carolina Wilmington and Semester by the Bay, Homer, Alaska), Ciara Main (University of California at Davis), Sade McFadden (Clark University), Montrai Spikes (University of Missouri, Columbia), Mykell Reifer (Carleton University), and David Vasquez (Virginia Tech).

ABS 2014 Career Awards

Distinguished Animal Behaviorist: JEFF GALEF
For an outstanding lifetime achievement in animal behavior
For his contribution to the field of behavioral ecology through his studies concerning mate choice, food habits, and foraging behavior and their impacts on ecological communities. Jeff is also generally acknowledged as the ‘father’ of social learning. In addition to being past president of the Animal Behavior Society and former executive editor of Animal Behaviour, he has been awarded Lifetime Achievement Award from St. Andrews University of Scotland, and was selected one of the 20 Leaders in Animal Behavior in a recent collection of autobiographical essays. Jeff received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and is currently Emeritus Professor of Psychology at McMaster University.

For an outstanding seminal contribution to research in animal behavior
For his outstanding work with the evolution of sex roles and sex role reversals as well as his work with insect sexual behavior. In 1991, his research was listed as one of the five advances in entomology in the Life Sciences section of the 1991 Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year. Daryl received his PhD from Colorado State University in 1979 and is currently a Professor in the Biology Department at the University of Toronto at Mississauga.

For a major long-term contribution to research in animal behavior
For his work in multiple cores of his field, including communication, sexual selection and mating systems among others and his work is cited over 100 times each year. He was also editor for multiple journals, including executive editor of Animal Behaviour, and his work improving the published work of others has been influential. Bill received his PhD from the University of Seattle in 1977 and is now a Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami.

For an outstanding contribution by a new investigator
For her work on how animals vary in their ability to learn and adapt to their local environment by exploring all four of Tinbergen’s questions. Emilie is committed to research, education, and outreach. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona in 2007 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

For teaching in the classroom or informal education setting
Letters made it clear that Alex is an inspiration to students, guides them to make their own choices about their future, and supports and understands them. Students wrote:“Dr Basolo’s approach to teaching centers on getting her students to gain an appreciation for complexity, and understanding behavior from all angles, in all of its subtleties“ and “she takes time to ensure that each student understands why an experiment is being conducted so that we learn from the results. She teaches us about animal behavior, and why our swordtail fish act the way that they do. We are encouraged to ask questions”. Alex is a professor of biology at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.


ABS Newsletter

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Animal Behavior

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