Vol. 66, No. 2 | Fall 2021


By Zuleyma Tang-Martinez, ABS Historian
(All photos from the Internet)

Constraints imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic and a virtual meeting prevented the Awards Ceremony from taking place in person at the ABS Conference 2021. Therefore, we are pleased to highlight all the awardees in this issue of the ABS Newsletter.

ABS Career Awards: This year, the prestigious ABS Career Awards went to an impressive slate of animal behaviorists from around the world! Below is a list of awardees followed by excerpts from their nomination letters that highlight why each awardee was selected for their respective award.

Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Award

Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Award (For outstanding life-time achievements in animal behavior): Raghavendra Gadagkar, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.

“His work not only reshaped how we think about insect behavior, but fundamentally changed the way that animal behaviorists think about the evolution of sociality”
“He has been instrumental in developing this field of research in India.”
“He deserves to be recognized as the pioneer in this field in India and for paving the path for some of us to follow.”
ZTM observes further: I always looked forward to discussing Raghavendra’s papers in my “Evolution of Sociality” course because his incisive analyses and flawless, rigorous research inevitably forced my students to think critically and question accepted paradigms!

Exemplar Award

Exemplar Award (For major, long-term contributions to animal behavior): Maydianne Andrade, University of Toronto-Scarborough, Canada.

“She has … [explored] questions of sexual selection and mating strategies of diverse species of widow spiders.”
“She has established an excellent research group that studies questions from each of Tinbergen’s four levels of analysis.”
“Maydianne has been an ambassador for evolutionary biology, and for animal behavior in particular. She also has become a role model for many, especially for those that are underrepresented in science: women and racial minorities.”
Maydianne’s meticulous and fascinating studies have helped shape our understanding of male-female conflict, sexual cannibalism, and unusual male mating strategies.

Quest Award

Quest Award (For an outstanding seminal contribution to animal behavior): Luis A. Ebensperger, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

“Notably, Luis has almost single-handedly introduced behavioral biologists to the diversity of social systems found among South American caviomorphs.”
“Luis has truly transformed the field through his pioneering research into the evolution and ecology of social behavior.”
“He he has been a pioneer not only of one area of study, but of a field of behavior in a previously neglected and highly diverse taxon… Luis has used his research to inform theoretical discussions on the evolution of sociality… by incorporating new information and insights from caviomorph rodents into explanatory frameworks."
“As part of his scientific achievement, Luis has also contributed substantially to the growth of behavioral biology in Latin America by training students who are now becoming established as faculty researchers in Chile and Argentina.”

Outstanding New Investigator Award

Outstanding New Investigator Award (For outstanding contributions by a new investigator): Gerald Carter, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

“Gerry has developed an outstanding, innovative, and highly productive research program focusing on behavior in vampire bats, specifically the evolution of cooperative behaviors.”
“As well as rapidly emerging as one of the brightest young researchers in the field of animal behavior, Gerry has also proven to be a fantastic role model for anyone who has had the opportunity to work or engage with him.”
“Anyone who has met Gerry can’t help but notice the outstanding enthusiasm he has for animal behavior.” I am sure I am not alone in waiting to eagerly read every new paper that comes out of Gerry’s lab – it is sure to be captivating, very-well done, and great fun to read!

Penny Bernstein Distinguished Teaching Award

Penny Bernstein Distinguished Teaching Award (For a sustained record of excellent teaching in the classroom or in informal educational settings): Danielle Lee (Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, USA).

“Her science research efforts emphasize sharing sciences to general audiences, particularly underserved groups, via outdoor programming and social media.”
Danielle has an amazing knack for using popular culture to do outreach – an example is her use of hip hop to teach students about evolution and behavior.
Her educational efforts are not only local, but reach a national audience, as illustrated by her acclaimed Ted Talk and her acting as primary commentator for a PBS Nova program on Dog Tales”.

Richard Buchholz Conservation Award

Richard Buchholz Conservation Award (For outstanding contributions to integrating the fields of animal behavior and conservation biology). Dan Blumstein (University of California – Los Angeles, USA)

“Dan is the single, most important author in our field… I look to him for the pulse of conservation behavior.”
“[Dan] has boundless energy, enthusiasm, and intensity for the field of conservation behavior.”
“One of the most influential scientists in the field …he puts forward key ideas to move the field forward [and] develop opportunities to facilitate the implementation of conservation behavior into practice.”




Honors members of ABS who have been engaged in research on animal behavior for at least 10 years and have made distinguished contributions. No more than 10% of members may be fellows at any one time.


Allison Bell (University of Illinois – Urbana-Champagne, USA).
Research: Behavioral syndromes and animal personalities, including proximate and ultimate causes of individual variation and behavioral flexibility in three-spined sticklebacks.

Thore Bergman(University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA).
Research: Social behavior and cognition from an evolutionary perspective, with a focus on how cognitive abilities of primates underlie social behavior; also vocal communication.

John Christy (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama).
Research: Natural history, behavior, and ecology of crabs and other intertidal animals; sexual selection and communication; courtship and use of displays in deception, coercion and harassment.

Rafael Rodríguez Sevilla (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, USA).
Research: Communication and mate preferences in insects, particularly involving substrate-borne vibrational signals; phenotypic plasticity in mating signals and mate preferences.

Gil Rosenthal (Texas A & M University, College Station, TX. USA).
Research: Mechanisms, evolution, and consequences of mate choice, in a natural hybrid zone of swordtail fish; genomic, morphological, behavioral, and neurobiological studies of sexual communication.

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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