Vol. 65, No. 2 | Fall 2020

2020 Meeting 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. Dr. Allee earned his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1912, was a faculty member at the University of Illinois, University of Oklahoma, University of Chicago, and University of Florida. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1951 and ranks among the leading twentieth century ecologists.

In the 2019 ABS Allee Session, 15 finalists were selected to present their research based on the quality of their papers. Any independent graduate student research is eligible, but the students must have had the principal responsibility for the conceptualization and design of the research, the collection and analysis of the data, and the interpretation of the results. These presenters also cannot have completed their defense of the doctoral dissertation before the preceding ABS annual meeting.

This year, J. Colton Watts (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) was co-awardee for their talk and paper entitled “Mate Sampling Behavior Determines the Density-Dependence of Sexual Selection”. Additionally, Natalie S. Roberts (University of Maryland Baltimore County) was co-awardee for their talk and paper entitled “The evolution and significance of male mate choice in behavioral isolation”.

Runner-up was awarded to Rickesh N. Patel (University of Maryland Baltimore County) for their talk and paper entitled “Mantis shrimp navigate home using path integration".


Now in its 38th 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 the film committee chair (Barbara Clucas and) received 3 film submissions that were ranked based on their accuracy, quality of narration, quality of videography, degree of anthropomorphism, and overall appeal. They narrowed the field down to one commercial film and one non-commercial film. Based on results compiled from an online survey, and input from all audience members the Film Committee was happy to announce that the ABS Jack Ward Film of the Year in the Non-Commercial category was “Wings & Wetlands – A Story of Migration” directed by Raghunath Belur & Sugandhi Gadadhar. The ABS Film of the Year in the Commercial category was “Mt. Suswa – Life in a Volcano” directed by Oliver Goetzl.


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 selected twelve Charles H. Turner Fellows to host 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 year’s deserving Turner award winners include: Chelsea Sinclair, Emily Miller Kristie Falconer, Tasia Slater, Ana Pemberton, Apsara Gurung , Blanca Ortega, Ebony Taylor, Lizbeth Jardon, Valeria Perez, Elena Gomez, and Cesar Estien.

Special thanks goes to ABS Diversity Committee members: Program facilitators: Dr. Jen Hamel, Elon University Dr. Kasey Fowler-Finn, St. Louis University Dr. Carrie Hall, University of New Hampshire Facilitator and Sponsor: Dr. Damian Elias, Chair of the ABS Diversity Committee, University of California Berkeley The Diversity Committee of the Animal Behavior Society ”


Now in its 36th 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 the film committee (Barbara Clucas, Cassandra Nunez, John Swaddle, Chris Templeton, and Michael Noonan) received 44 film submissions that were ranked based on their accuracy, quality of narration, quality of videography, degree of anthropomorphism, and overall appeal. They narrowed the field down to one commercial film and one non-commercial film.

After careful deliberation, and input from all audience members the Film Committee was happy to announce that the ABS Jack Ward Film of the Year in the Non-Commercial category was “Now or Never” directed by Matt Senior. The ABS Film of the Year in the Commercial category was “Power of Play” directed by Erin Oakes.


Chris Templeton, 1st Member-at-Large
Chair, 2020 Student Research Grant Committee

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Student Research Grants and the Developing Nations Research Awards. We received many high-quality proposals, but as in previous years, the number of applications exceeded the number we could fund. We received a total of 168 applications across award categories, and were able to award funding to 59 applicants.

Each proposal was reviewed independently by at least 2 referees, who provided evaluations and constructive feedback for the student grant writers. As always, members of the Society went above and beyond to provide constructive reviews. The Research Grant Committee extends a very heartfelt thank you to the following (150!) volunteer referees:

Abraham Miller, Amanda Melin, Amber Kincaid, Amy Bishop, Andrè Guaraldo, Andrea Bierema, Andrea Grunst, Andrea Presotto, Anita Aisenberg, Ann Paterson, Anna Bastian, Anne Clark, Anne Jacobs, Arrilton Araujo, Barbara Clucas, Blair Costelloe, Boris Almonacid, Brent Stoffer, Bret Pasch, Bruce Cushing, Bryan Arnold, Caitlin Wells, Carley Faughn, Carolin Sommer-Trembo, Charles Gunnels, Charles Walcott, Chris clark, Clare Rittschof, Claudia Rauter , Cristina Romero Diaz, Damian Elias, Dan Charbonneau, Darren Minier, David Fisher, David Wilson, Debottam Bhattacharjee, Dhanashree Paranjpe, Diego Pereira Nogueira, Doris Audet, Eli Baskir, Eliane de GonÁalves, Elizabeth Hobson, Emilie Snell-Rood, Emily DuVal, Enrique Font, Eric Walters, Erica Westerman, Gabriella Gall, Ginny Greenway, Hangkyo Lim, Heather Auld, Ivana Schoepf, Jaime Grace, James Hare, Jan Murie, Jane Waterman, Janice Enos, Jason Keagy, Jason Watters, Jay Mager,, Jean-Nicolas Audet, Jennifer Essler, Jennifer Gleason, Jennifer Hellmann, Jennifer Mather, Jennifer Stynoski, Jessica Cusick, Jianqiang Li, Jill Goldman, Jimena Aracena, Joao Menezes, Jodee Hunt, Joel Slade, Joseph Leese, Julie Miller, Kacharat Phromkhunathon, Katherine Houpt, Kathleen Church, Katie LaBarbera, Kelly Kissane, Ken Yasukawa ,Kenneth Chapin, Kevin McGraw, Lauren Guillette, Leonie Baier, Leslie Curren, Lilian Manica, Luis Robledo, Luiz Henrique Santana, Luiz Varzinczak, Lynne Beaty, Malini Suchak, Maria Abate, Maria Albo, Maria Florencia Scaia, Mariana de Carvalho, Mariana Pueta, Marie Claire Chelini,Melissa Shyan-Norwalt, Michael Cramer, Michael Reichert, Michael Sheehan, Molly Morris, Natalia Albuquerque, Natalie Freret Meurer, Natalie van Breukelen, Nobuaki Mizumoto, Nora Carlson, Nora Prior, Paul Nealen, Peter Bednekoff, Pierre-Paul Bitton, Rachel Chock, Ratna Ghosal, Rebecca Adrian, Rebecca Fox, Robert Dale, Robert Hegna, Robert Srygley, Sarah Fauque, Sarah King, Sayantan Das, Sean Walker, Shala Hankison, Shannon Digweed, Sheryl Walker, Stacey Weiss, Stacy Goodman, Stephen Ferguson, Stephen Nowicki, Stuart Leonard, Sue Margulis, Susan Jenks, Susan Parks, Tamra Mendelson, Tasmin Rymer, Theresa Rueger, Todd Freeberg, Tom Contreras, Trevor Price, Trish Schwagmeyer, Trish Sevene, Ummat Somjee, Vicki Fishlock, Vinicius Caldart, Wendi Wolfram, Wendy King, William Searcy, Ylenia Chiari, Yvonnick Le Pendu, Zachary Shaffer.

We were helped immensely by Lorena McMahon and Adam Kohm at SPLTrak, who administered the online grant submission and review system, which ran smoothly. Thank you also to Suzy Renn (2nd Member-at-Large) and Lilian Manica (3rd Member-at-Large), who made important contributions during the entire process. Most important, we want to thank all the members of the Society who have supported this program over the years and who have donated funds to make this program such a success. 

Eduardo Sampaio, MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Collective behaviour and social cognition during interspecific collaborative hunting between octopus (Octopus cyanea) and multiple fish species.

Madeleine Ostwald, Arizona State University, Behavioral Effects on Pesticide Exposure in Wild and Managed Bees

Mohammad Alyetama, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Investigating the Effects of Chronic Infection of Toxoplasma gondii on the Domestic Cat


Victor Aguiar de S. Penha, Relationship between structural color pigments, corticosterone and malarial parasites in Myiothlypis leucoblephara (Passeriformes: Parulidae)
Meghan Barrett, Temperature Effects on the Stability of the Alternative Reproductive Tactics of Dimorphic Centris pallida Male Bees
Olivia Bauer-Nilsen, Effects of Bacterial Infection on Female Assessment of Male Courtship Signals in Wolf Spiders.
Jessica Briggs, The Behavioral Response of Female Australian Black Field Crickets, Teleogryllus commodus, Under Variable Noise Conditions
Melissa Burt, Habitat connectivity and ant-plant interaction networks in a biodiversity hotspot
Sarah Clements, The Influence of Social Structure on Survival and Productivity in a Wetland-Dependent Migratory Shorebird
Rebecca Czaja, Environmental Drivers of Intraspecific Behavioral Variation in Crayfish
Kyla Funk, Using Social Network Models to Understand Play Partner Choice Strategies in Wild Vervet Monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythus)
Kelsey Garner, Assessment of behavioral syndromes in Eastern Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus)
Amy Geffre, Communication and Contagions: Exploring changes in honey bee physiology and chemical communication during viral infection
Neil Gilbert, The role of noise pollution in shaping species interactions
Kenneth Glynn, Migratory Movements Following High Lead Levels During the Juvenile Stage in American Robins (Turdus migratorius)
Veronica Gonnet, Sex roles and size dimorphism in a spider from Uruguayan grasslands
Carly Hawkins, Effects of the acoustic signaling environment on comparative mate choice and sperm competition
Jessica Hernandez, Are Sexually Transmitted Pathogenic Bacteria A Cost To Females With Multiple Sexual Partners?
Karly Higgins, Assessing the genetic basis of symbiont mediated host behavior across real and evolutionary timescales: A single species to multi-family assessment of the Cnidarian-dinoflagellate holobiont
Sarah Jennings, The Scent of Family: Uncovering the Mechanisms of Olfactory Kin Recognition in a Wild Seabird
Christopher Johnson, Do eavesdropping migrants settle near heterospecific sentinels?
John Jones, An experimental test of signaling function of female ornaments across seven species of Malurus fairywren
Billi Krochuk,Using social network analysis to describe the structure of mixed-species flocks and identify nuclear species in an Afrotropical lowland forest
Emily Lessner, Origins of Crocodilian Tactile Sensory Behavior
Colleen Miller, The Potential Disruption of Chickadee Behavioral Cycles and Performance by Artificial Light at Night
Francisco Molina, Resource Availability as a Driver of Behaviorally-Mediated Trophic Cascades: Experimental Tests of Puma-Guanaco Interactions in Patagonia
Kathleen Munley, Aggression and the seasonal clock: Unwinding the central and peripheral actions of melatonin on aggressive behavior in a seasonally breeding rodent
Emily Nonnamaker, Multi-level dynamics in social communication: microbes, olfaction, and mating behavior
Mehrnoush Nourbakhsh_Rey, Metabolism Sensing Mechanisms in the Electric Organ Cells of a Weakly Electric Fish
Shannon O'Brien, Consequences of Sociality to the Gut Microbiome in a Facultatively Social Subterranean Rodent
Danielle Orrell, Quantifying the empirical benefit of marine protection using holistic models of animal movement
Mariela Anahi Oviedo Diego, What Is Behind the Plug: Determinants of an Inter-sexual Mating Plug in a Scorpion
Sitara Palecanda, Larval Stomatopod Behavior in Response to Ultraviolet Light
Angela Pitera, Pair bonds and female mate fidelity in socially monogamous mountain chickadees
Jenna Pruett, The influence of predation risk on nesting behavior in a lizard
Courtney Reed, Predation Risk Promotes Behavioral Diversity in a Kenyan Savanna
Ian Rines, Accessory-gland proteins as purveyors of reproductive manipulation: using RNAi to explore sexual conflict in crickets
Madison Rittinger, Sex-Specific Effects of Hatching Order and Synchrony on Nestling Baseline Corticosterone Levels
Selina Robson, Behavioral Evolution of the Camelidae†
Nicholas Russo, Exploring the Drivers of Seed Dispersal by Hornbills Across Spatial Scales in Cameroon
Joanna Sblendorio, Exploring Evolutionary Trade-offs in Multimodal Signals in North American Wood Warblers
Laura Segura Hernandez, Microclimate change and its effect on the reproductive behavior of a small ectotherm
Raunak Sen, Behavioral sterility in hybrids of a recently diverged species pair
Courtney Silver-Peavey, Carryover Effects of Pesticide Exposure and Pond Drying on Exploratory and Risk-Taking Behavior in a Vernal Pool-Breeding Amphibian, the Wood Frog †
Morgan Slevin, Smarts and symbiosis: Elucidating the Relationships between the Microbiome and Cognitive Performance in Birds
Maria Smith, Task Specialization and Division of Workload in a Cooperatively Breeding Bird
Samantha Stead, Allomaternal care and the energy balance of lactating Angolan colobus mothers
Madeline Strom, Examining the Association between Diet Composition and Habitat Type and the Influence of Intraspecific and Interspecific Competition on Individual Diet Specialization in Wild Mice
Young Ha Suh, Single, but are you ready to mingle? Investigating prospecting and dispersal in a cooperative breeder
Katie Talbott, Examining the role of testosterone in mediating immune and reproductive trade-offs in experimentally infected songbirds
Julia Tituskin, Effects of warming and temperature variability during development on dragonfly species interactions
Michelle Ward, Exploring the context of communication and how communication inhibition impacts behavior and reproduction in Nicrophorus beetles.
Kiah Williams, Determining the Causes of Nest Failure in Three Beach-nesting Bird Species Using Camera Surveillance
James Wright, Evaluating the Impacts of a Seed Dispersal Mutualism on American Chestnut Restoration in Appalachian Ohio
Allison Young, Investigating Molecular and Evolutionary Mechanisms of Exploratory Behavior Through a Comparative Study of Four Honey Bee Species 


Vanessa Cunha, Effects of Trophic Environment on Behavioral Changes in the Facultative Ectoparasite Blowfly Lucilia cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

Marìa Cecilia De M rsico, Nest prospecting behavior and eavesdropping in a specialist avian brood parasite

Maria Florencia, Scaia, Fighting cichlids: how estrogens promote female intrasexual aggression. 

Oswaldo Gil-Guevara, Multimodal principles and learning modulation by biogenic amines in Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

Palestina Guevara-Fiore, The effect of male mate choice on parasite transmission in guppies, Poecilia reticulata


ABS Newsletter

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. Deadlines for materials to be included in the Newsletter are the 15th of the month preceding each issue. The next deadline is February 15, 2021. Articles submitted by members of the Society and judged by the Public Affairs Officer to be appropriate are occasionally published in the ABS newsletter. The publication of such material does not imply ABS endorsement of the opinions expressed by contributors.

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Animal Behavior

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