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2018 AOS Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award Winner

The Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award recognizes work by an ornithologist early in his or 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 and former President (1996-1998) of the AOU. The award consists of a framed certificate and an honorarium provided by the Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Fund. The 2018 Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award is presented to Dr. Scott Taylor.

Scott Taylor.jpgDr. Scott A. Taylor joined the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder in August 2016. His lab applies genomics and field experiments to natural hybrid zones and closely related taxa to investigate reproductive isolation—the hallmark of speciation—and the genetic bases of traits relevant to speciation. This research also provides insight into the impacts of anthropogenic change, including climate change, on species distributions, interactions, and evolution.

Scott was previously a Fuller and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where he worked with Dr. Irby Lovette using genomic tools to understand hybridization and species boundaries in chickadees, warblers, and redpoll finches. He obtained his Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where he worked with Dr. Vicki Friesen and studied the ecology and evolution of South American seabirds, including the charismatic Blue-footed Booby, the Peruvian Booby, and the Peruvian Pelican. Dr. Taylor's publications detail his diverse research interests on topics ranging from evolutionary genetics to foraging ecology.

Born and raised on the coast of Lake Huron in southwestern Ontario, Dr. Taylor’s passion for natural history extends as far back as he can remember. He has worked extensively as a naturalist, leading groups of all ages on excursions exploring the diversity of the globe from Antarctica to Ascension Island, the Galápagos Islands, and the high Arctic. Dr. Taylor is an enthusiastic and dedicated scientist and educator, is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion in STEM, and is a passionate natural historian at heart.

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