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2018 AOS Student and Postdoctoral Research Award Winners

The AOS proudly recognizes the students receiving research awards for 2018. These awards are not ranked, but honor research that advances our understanding of birds and their conservation. The 2018 awardees (listed in alphabetical order based on last names for categories with multiple awardees) are:

Donald L. Bleitz Award

Austin Spence,University of Connecticut
Using molecular scatology to reveal novel biotic interactions induced by climate change

Herbert and Betty Carnes Award

Heather Skeen, University of Chicago
Characterizing the gut microbiome of Kirtland's Warblers on the wintering and breeding grounds

Joseph Grinnell Award

Jessica Hernandez, Virginia Tech
Sexually transmitted microbes as a cost to extra-pair fertilizations in female tree swallows

Werner and Hildegard Hesse Award

Stepfanie Aguillon, Cornell University
Using hybridization to understand the genomic underpinnings of phenotypic differences

Juan Benito, University of Bath
The origin of the modern bird body plan: Cretaceous Ornithurae from the Old World

Gemma Clucas, University of New Hampshire
Multi-colony analysis of the diet of adult Atlantic puffins with novel DNA metabarcoding techniques.

Brittany Coppinger, University of Tennessee
Flock Density and Its Influences on Social and Vocal Complexity

Nikole Freeman, University of Guelph
Carry-over effects of early-life food availability on stress physiology and survival: A supplementation experiment in a winter breeding passerine

Chauncey Gadek, University of New Mexico
Replicated adaptation to altitude in marsh-dwelling songbirds: a natural experiment

Rebecca Garlinger, Villanova University
Sociality and dominance: Behavioral mechanisms in a moving songbird hybrid zone

Kathryn Grabenstein, University of Colorado - Boulder
Disturbance-mediated hybridization: An experimental assessment of species’ barriers

Haley Hanson, University of South Florida
Epigenetic Potential in Native and Introduced Populations of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)

Michael Hanson, Yale University
The Evolutionary Origins and Development of the Avian Cranial Kinetic System

Suzanne Hartley, North Carolina State University
Eggshell characteristics as predictors of heavy metal concentration in house sparrow eggs

Johanna Harvey, University of Connecticut
Evolution of host defenses against introduced parasites of Darwin's finches

Shanta Hejmadi, University of Minnesota
Evolutionary history and extinction risk in raptors (Falconiformes and Accipitriformes): A new framework for integrating phylogeny and community assembly in risk assessment and conservation

Amanda Hund, University of Colorado
The role of early environment in the expression of a lifelong melanin-based sexual trait.

John Jones, Tulane University
Proximate mechanisms of female multimodal signal expression in a tropical songbird

Todd Jones, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Do pre- to post-fledging carryover effects drive patterns of differential post-fledging survival in altricial songbirds?

Sarah Khalil, Tulane University
Flexible and variable carotenoid-based ornamentation in the red-backed fairywren: proximate mechanisms and adaptive consequences

Shelby Lawson, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
Investigating the Neural and Perceptual Basis of Functional Reference Calls in Yellow Warblers

Anna Lello-Smith, Cornell University
Understanding Drivers of Avian Community Assembly in Regenerating Cattle Pastures

Marisa Martinez, Florida Atlantic University
Predicting Wading Bird Foraging Habitat in Dynamic Intertidal Systems

Molly McDermott, University of Colorado - Boulder
How does non-breeding environment affect sexual signaling? A comparative analysis in two subspecies of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Lucas Pavan, Stanford University
Avian community response to patterns of defaunation in Central Africa and its effect on understorey seed predation.

Subir Shakya, Louisiana State University
An Investigation of the Genetics of Coloration in Black-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus atriceps) of Southeast Asia.

Naima Starkloff, University at Albany, SUNY
Geographic variation in host immunogenetics and malarial parasite infection in breeding populations of Catharus thrushes

Andrew Stillman, University of Connecticut
An empirical test of two hypotheses explaining patch-based population dynamics in the Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)

Sheela Turbek, University of Colorado - Boulder
Explaining mismatches between genetic and phenotypic divergence in a rapid radiation of finch-like birds

Mewaldt-King Award

Vitek Jirinec,Louisiana State University
Does microclimate change explain declines of terrestrial insectivores in Central Amazonia?

Margaret Morse Nice Award

Fernanda Duque, Georgia State University
Diversification of vocal communication in Andean hummingbirds.

Josselyn Van Tyne Memorial Research Award

Stefanie Siller, Columbia University
Epigenetic Mediation of Early Environmental Influences on the Stress Response

Alexander Wetmore Memorial Research Award

Marion Donald, Rice University
Avian and floral microbiomes as an early warning signal of avian pollinator loss in fragmented forests

Jordan Herman, University of Utah
Do ecologically distinct parasites have interacting effects on host fitness?

Benjamin Lagasse, University of Colorado - Denver
Assessing an Arctic-breeding Shorebird's Capacity for Adapting to Environmental Change Along Three Major Flyways of the World

Kara Leimberger, Oregon State University
Effects of keystone species loss on a tropical plant-hummingbird network

Brian Trevelline, University of Pittsburgh
Dietary shifts over the annual cycle of a Neotropical migratory songbird


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