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Animal Behavior Society
Animal Behavior Society

Working towards a better understanding of animal behavior

Animal Behavior & Education

The Animal Behavior Society's Conservation Committee was formed to assist society members who want to apply their professional skills to solve conservation problems. Animal behaviorists approach the study of behavior from at least four different angles (mechanisms, development, adaptive function, evolutionary history), each of which may provide insight to managing effectively a species or population.


Conservation Committee Award:
Richard Buchholz Conservation Behavior Award 

The Animal Behavior Society Conservation Committee established the Richard Buchholz Conservation Behavior Award in 2020. The award recognizes ABS members for their outstanding contributions to the integrative field of Conservation Behavior. The award was named to honor Richard Buchholz for his foundational and continuing work in integrating the fields of animal behavior and conservation biology. One recipient is selected annually and presented with a plaque at the ABS Awards Ceremony.

Nominee Requirements: Nominees must be ABS members. Members and members-elect of the Executive Committee or the Conservation Committee are not eligible for nomination until 18 months after completion of their service on the Committee. Nominees must have a research program that uses animal behavior to address conservation related issues, from management to theoretical aspects. Nominees should also have a positive reputation among peers and the public for advancing the subfield of Conservation Behavior.

Award Criteria: Criteria that will be used to assess nominees include:

  1. Publication history in the field of Conservation Behavior
  2. The number of students who have gone on to work in Conservation Behavior
  3. Courses designed and taught that are related to Conservation Behavior
  4. The number of conservation programs that have been affected through the nominee’s work
  5. The variety of approaches used by the researcher

Note: Nominees must show evidence of achievement in at least 3 of these 5 criteria.

Nomination Process: Nominations are open until January 15 annually. Persons wishing to make a nomination should complete the nomination form found in the link below (including a list of relevant publications, and names and contact information for at least two peers that can speak to the nominee’s work). The form found in the link below, along with a letter detailing how the nominee fits the award criteria, should be submitted to the ABS Conservation Committee Chair, by January 15 ; please use PDF or Word formats. If needed, the Conservation Committee will solicit additional supporting materials from the nominee and they will contact suggested peers and conservation practitioners.


The recipient of this award will receive recognition at the annual ABS Awards Ceremony, and will be given a plaque from the Society.


Richard Buchholz Conservation Behavior Award:

Bruce A. Schulte, Western Kentucky University
Dr. Schulte has transformed the field of conservation behavior through seminary publications, service work, and by shaping the people and careers of up-and-coming conservation behaviorists. His main project areas include studies of animal behavior and enrichment with animals living in ex situ situations, human wildlife interactions and understandings and mitigation of conflict, and elephants and sustainable agriculture in Kenya. Bruce’s contribution to resolving conservation issues arises from his training as a behavioral biologist, but his efforts and approaches have developed to encompass a broader perspective and a valued team of collaborators and students.

Daniel T. Blumstein, University of California Los Angeles
Dr. Blumstein is recognized as a leader in science, not only in animal behavior and conservation, and as one of the most important authors in Conservation Behavior. He has mentored students who themselves have gone on to be leaders in the field, and his work extends far beyond academic conservation. Dan brings boundless energy, enthusiasm and intensity for the field of Conservation Behavior.

Colleen Cassady St. Clair, University of Alberta
Dr. St. Clair, recipient of the inaugural award in 2020, is a leader and innovator in the study of how habitat fragmentation and urbanization affect the behavior of birds and mammals. She not only employs the entire toolkit of behaviorists, but threads them through the ecological methods that are more traditional in conservation science. She has trained over 70 students in conservation behavior research, published widely, and perhaps most importantly has translated her science into conservation action by making sure that government and corporate policy makers use evidence-based decision-making.