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2015 Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award

The Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award recognizes work by an ornithologist early in his/her career who shows distinct promise for future leadership in the profession. The AOU established this award in 2006 to honor Ned K. Johnson, a lifelong supporter of the AOU and its former President (1996-1998). The award consists of a framed certificate and an honorarium provided by the Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Fund.

2015_AOU_Johnson_Elliott_web.pngThe AOU is honored to present Dr. Kyle Elliott the 2015 Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award. Dr. Elliott received a PhD from the University of Manitoba in 2013, was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph from 2013-2015, and is now an Assistant Professor at McGill University.

Kyle has a truly outstanding record of research and leadership that would be very difficult to match by anyone at a similar stage of their career. To date, Kyle has published 66 peer-reviewed papers (28 since 2013), including articles in top journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Animal Ecology, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biology Letters, and Animal Behaviour. With nearly 900 citations and an h-Index of 17, Kyle’s scholarly achievements are remarkable for someone who defended his PhD a little more than 2 years ago.

Kyle's doctoral research focused on seabird physiology and senescence, studying two populations where many birds were of known age as a result of being banded as nestlings: one in Alaska and one in northern Hudson Bay. He made extensive use of the latest techniques in bio-logging and blood chemistry analysis to assess changes in behavior and physiology with age, allowing him to determine that ageing in his study species involved a gradual reduction of performance in certain physiological traits, but that birds adjusted their behavior to compensate for changes in their physical limits and maintained a uniform foraging performance over time. While a doctoral student, Kyle received the NSERC PhD Scholarship in Canada (Vanier), as well as numerous other awards including scholarships from the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Arctic Institute of North America.

The AOU is confident Kyle will further expand his already prodigious contributions to the scientific community, and we look forward to witnessing the new frontiers he will explore as a leader in ornithology. We are pleased to recognize Kyle with our Young Investigator Award in 2015.

Photo courtesy of Kyle Elliott (at the Kittiwake Laboratory on Middleton Island)

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