Vol. 66, No. 2 | Fall 2021

2021 Meeting Awards


The Warder Clyde Allee Symposium for best student paper was, as it always is, a highlight of the ABS 2021 conference. The Symposium features presentations of graduate student research, and honors Dr. Warder Clyde Allee (1885–1955) who was influential in the development 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.

Each year, prospective presenters at the Allee Symposium submit their research to the Allee committee, and a subset are selected for presentation. Any independent graduate student research is eligible for submission, 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. The presenters cannot have completed their defense of the doctoral dissertation before the preceding ABS annual meeting.

This year, the symposium featured 18 outstanding graduate student research presentations, and included topics in many areas of animal behavior research, including sexual selection, cognition and communication, behavior and life history, applied animal behavior, conservation behavior, and parental care. Two Allee Co-awards and one Honorable Mention were awarded. Co-awardee Shelby Lawson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) gave a talk entitled “Cooperative heterospecific eavesdropping on an anti-parasitic referential alarm call." Co-awardee Matthew N. Zipple (Duke University) gave a talk entitled "Intergenerational fitness effects of early adversity in a wild primate: behavioral mechanisms." Honorable Mention went to Watcharapong (WiN) Hongjamrassilp (UCLA), whose talk was entitled “Studying migratory behavior in parading shrimps to inform conservation and ecotourism management."


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.” The Founders’ award is for outstanding posters presented at the annual meeting. This year the Founders Memorial Poster Competition was named to honor William N. Tavolga, an expert in sensory ecology and fish bioacoustics. There were 67 posters, and a lot of great science shared. The judges identified three outstanding posters, notable for their innovative science and clear presentation.

Our first winner is Iona Chivers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and The University of Liege in Belgium with the poster title: Vocal and acrobatic display differences in a sub-species of the Golden-collared Manakin. Iona will be receiving a $400 award from ABS.

Our next winners are: Steven Smit from the University of Florida for the poster titled: Double limb loss does not reduce female fitness and Abigail Robinson from Monash University in Australia for the poster titled: Manipulating breeding female quality reveals subtle helper effects. Both Steven and Abigail will receive $300 awards from ABS.


Education Outreach Grants (The Education Committee offers $1000 grants to support outstanding community engagement efforts by ABS members, and celebrates projects that engage with the general public and involve non-scientists in the study or understanding of animal behavior. Five grants were awarded in 2020-2021).

Grant Recipients:

Anita Aisenberg & Team (Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Uruguay) Program: Walk on the Wild Side: A Journey With Explorers of the Tiny World. This program strives to promote STEM vocations in children from rural schools in Uruguay by bringing them together with empowered women biologists and investigators who crisscross Latin America studying animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and ecology in arachnids, praying mantids, and millipedes.

Yi-Ru Cheng (Columbia University, NY, USA). Program: Trash for Treats. This program aims to solve environmental problems by integrating animal behavior research, innovative design, and conservation actions. It engages high-school students in designing, conducting and analyzing behavioral experiments that test cognition and other behaviors in birds. One goal is to train crows and gulls to pick up thrashed bottle caps near the city dump in Jamaica Bay, NY, and exchange them for treats.

Lindsay R. Mehrkam (Monmouth University, NJ, USA). Program: Unleashing Applied Animal Behavior Science to Underserved communities. This program expands the Human-Animal Wellness Collaboratory’s Applied Animal Behavior Research Clinic to provide free, evidence-based, behavioral services to pet owners in economically disadvantaged communities through virtual classes on animal behavior, learning, and cognition.

Heungjin Ryu (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea). Program: Citybats: Citizen Science-based Bat Acoustic Monitoring Program. This is a public education program to help bat conservation, particularly in light of a backlash against bats due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The goal is to help the public understand bats better by holding virtual workshops that train citizen scientists to survey bats and identify their calls by using sound files. Data gathered are uploaded to a central database.

Doug Wacker (University of Washington Bothell, and Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation, USA). Program: Urban Bird Project: Calling Urban and Suburban Bird(er)s! This program uses virtual resources and training to involve the general public in bird species identification and observations of bird behaviors in local parks. The data gathered by these citizen-scientists will provide long-term data on avian diversity and will be used to inform park management decisions.


ABS Newsletter

Send general correspondence concerning the Society to Danielle J. Whittaker, Public Affairs Officer, at: publicaffairs@
. Deadlines for materials to be included in the Newsletter are the 15th of the month preceding each issue. The next deadline is July 15, 2022. Articles submitted by members of the Society and judged by the Secretary 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.

Animal Behavior Society Website: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org

Animal Behavior

Animal Behavior, manuscripts and editorial matters: Authors should submit manuscripts online to Elsevier’s Editorial System (http://ees.elsevier.com/anbeh/). For enquiries relating to submissions prior to acceptance, contact the Journal Manager (yanbe@elsevier.com). For enquiries relating to submissions after acceptance, visit Elsevier at http://www.elsevier.com/journals. For other general correspondence, contact Kris Bruner, Managing Editor, Animal Behaviour, Indiana University, 407 N. Park Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA. E-mail: krbruner@indiana.edu. Phone: 812-935-7188.

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