LOYE AND ALDEN MILLER RESEARCH AWARD
The recipients of the 2003 Loye and Alden Miller Award for lifetime achievement in ornithological research, Drs. B. Rosemary and Peter R. Grant, are a true research team. Their 30-year research program on the evolutionary dynamics of Darwin's finches on Isla Genovesa and Isla Daphne Major in the Galapagos is classic. Over the past 40 years, they have produced volumes of data that have been published in several books, monographs, and more than 180 journal articles. Nearly two dozen of their papers have appeared in Science, Nature, and American Naturalist.
The Grants' research has evolved across a diversity of topics, from their early work on ecological compatibility of bird species on islands and competition of small mammals to the speciation and adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches. Their studies have been instrumental in developing an understanding of speciation in birds and of how microevolutionary processes can account for macroevolutionary traits. They have demonstrated that selection acting on morphological variation can cause evolutionary change within observable periods of time. Their current work focuses on understanding the pattern of finch phylogenetic history through an analysis of microsatellite DNA variation, and the causes and consequences of hybridization.
Peter received his bachelor's degree from Cambridge University, England, and his doctorate from the University of British Columbia, Canada. Rosemary received her bachelor's degree from Edinburgh University, Scotland, and her Ph.D. from Uppsala University, Sweden. They served as research associates and professors at McGill University, Yale University, and University of Michigan before joining the faculty at Princeton University in 1985, where they are currently professors and scholars in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. They have mentored numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in a variety of evolutionary, ecological, and behavioral research questions pertaining to beetles, butterflies, birds, and mammals.
The Grants have been generous in contributing their time and expertise as plenary speakers, journal editors, officers, and committee members of several national and international professional societies, and university administrative positions. Rosemary is an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Peter is a Fellow of four societies: the Royal Society of London, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Ornithologists' Union, and the Linnean Society of London. The Grants have been recognized both individually and jointly for their contributions to evolutionary research on numerous occasions. They received The Wildlife Society's 1991 Wildlife Publication Award for their book “Evolutionary Dynamics of a Natural Population: the Large Cactus Finch of the Galapagos,” the 1994 Leidy Medal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, the 1998 E. O. Wilson Prize of the American Society of Naturalists, the Royal Society 2002 Darwin Medal, and now the Cooper Society's Loye and Alden Miller Research Award of 2003. Because their ornithological research has been true teamwork, the Cooper Ornithological Society jointly recognizes Drs. Rosemary and Peter Grant for their seminal and groundbreaking work on the evolution of Darwin's finches.
HARRY R. PAINTON AWARD
Every two years, the Cooper Ornithological Society bestows the Harry R. Painton Award upon the authors of the most significant and original research reported in The Condor during the preceding four years. The Painton Award for 2003 was presented to Charles R. Brown and Mary Bomberger Brown for their paper “Fitness Components Associated with Laying Date in the Cliff Swallow,” published in Condor 101:230–245 (1999). Timing of reproduction within a given season often has important consequences for reproductive success in many birds. This paper explores a phenomenon widely documented in birds, the seasonal decline in reproductive success. Although many studies have documented such a decline for a wide variety of bird species, the causes of this decline are unresolved despite the importance of this question for understanding avian life histories. A seasonal decline in reproductive success should lead to strong directional selection for earlier breeding times because laying date is a heritable trait and the decline in productivity related to late breeding has direct effects on fitness. That widespread directional selection has not occurred has perplexed ornithologists for decades and has led to suggestions that the advantages of early breeding are constrained, perhaps by life-history tradeoffs. Based on their study of almost 7000 nests, with greater than 87 000 banded birds at more than 25 colonies over 12 years, Brown and Brown (1999) explored the relationships among several life history traits and laying date in Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota). They documented the expected seasonal decline in clutch size and fledging success, but they also found that late-nesting females had higher survival compared to early nesters. This unexpected result suggests a tradeoff between reproduction and survival in this species. Field experiments that involved fumigating ectoparasites in nests from selected swallow colonies demonstrated that ectoparasites are the likely cause of the seasonal decline in clutch size and fledging success in Cliff Swallows. This laudable combination of observational and experimental approaches provided the authors with a critically important means of discriminating among competing hypotheses. Their innovative techniques, sound experimental design and methods, the duration of the study, and large sample sizes provided a keenly compelling case study of the consequences of laying date on the fitness of Cliff Swallows and the role of ectoparasites in the seasonal decline in their reproductive success.
JOHN T. ROTENBERRY
The Cooper Ornithological Society is happy to name Dr. John T. Rotenberry an Honorary Member of the Society. Dr. Rotenberry received his B.A. from the University of Texas-Austin, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 1974 and 1978. His dissertation research with Dr. John Wiens led to a long collaboration and many papers on shrubsteppe bird communities.
Following a postdoctoral appointment at the University of New Mexico, he was a professor at Bowling Green State University from 1980–1990 before moving to the University of California-Riverside in 1990, where he is now Professor of Biology. He also serves as Campus Director of the university's Natural Reserve System and is Associate Director of its Center for Conservation Biology. He has served as major professor for nine masters and six Ph.D. students completing their degrees at the two universities. Currently, he has four masters and nine Ph.D. students working under him.
Dr. Rotenberry's research centers on community ecology and conservation biology, particularly how environmental factors interact to determine species diversity and community composition, and how the relative importance of those factors varies, focusing on communities in semiarid shrublands. He is also interested in aspects of behavioral ecology such as habitat and diet selection, reproductive biology, and community ecology, and in modeling habitat associations of passerine birds and documenting changes in these associations. He has published 74 papers in refereed journals and presented 83 papers and posters at professional meetings.
His other honors include election as a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union in 2000, election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2002, and Mellon Fellowships in 1984, 1985, and 1986.
Dr. Rotenberry and his students regularly present their research at meetings of the Cooper Ornithological Society. He has been a member of the COS Publications and Bylaws committees, and this year he completes his extraordinary 10-year term as editor of Studies in Avian Biology. Dr. Rotenberry's other professional service includes serving on the editorial boards of Ecology and Ecological Monographs and as a reviewer and panelist for the National Science Foundation.
His public service includes membership on the inaugural Science Advisory Committee, Audubon California, serving as a scientific advisor to the California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program, membership on the Board of Directors of Point Reyes Bird Observatory, and membership on the Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency Technical Advisory Committee. The Cooper Ornithological Society is thus proud to name Dr. John T. Rotenberry as an Honorary Member in recognition of his service to the Society and to ornithology in general.
THERESA L. BUCHER
The Cooper Ornithological Society is happy to name Dr. Theresa (Terry) L. Bucher an Honorary Member of the Society. Dr. Bucher received her B.S., M.A., and Ph.D degrees from the University of California-Los Angeles. After completing her Ph.D. in 1982, she remained at the university as a postdoctoral fellow until 1985. Dr. Bucher has also worked as a research biologist at University of California-Riverside, and as a research associate at the University of Washington and at Iowa State University. Presently she is an assistant research biologist at UCLA.
Dr. Bucher's research interests are avian energetics (especially of embryos and chicks), avian metabolic and ventilatory patterns as functions of ambient temperature, age in growing chicks, and torpor in birds. She has published 34 refereed papers.
Dr. Bucher regularly attends meetings of the Cooper Ornithological Society. Her extensive service to the Society includes serving two terms on the Board of Directors and providing outstanding assistance to the Society through her many years of service on the Finance, Fund Raising, and Investment committees. She has also served on the Nominating for Directors, Paper Awards, Centennial Meeting, and Annual Meeting committees. Additionally, she served on the American Ornithologists' Union Finance Committee and on the Board of Trustees for the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.
She has also been very active in community service including the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, Junior League of Los Angeles, Marlborough School Board of Trustees, Symphonians, Las Madrinas, Big Hole River Planning Group Steering Committee, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Nature Conservancy (California and Montana), and West Coast Equestrians. The Cooper Ornithological Society is thus proud to name Dr. Theresa L. Bucher as an Honorary Member in recognition of her service to the Society and to ornithology in general.