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30 December 2015 William Brewster Memorial Award 2015, to Rosemary Grant

Rosemary Grant holding the William Brewster Medal in the Field Museum of Natural History. Photo credit: John Weinstein © 2015 The Field Museum


The American Ornithologists' Union is deeply honored to present the 2015 William Brewster Memorial Award and medal to Dr. Rosemary Grant, Senior Research Scholar at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.

Rosemary has produced an exceptional, long-term body of work on birds of the Western Hemisphere, specifically the suite of “Darwin's finches” from the Galápagos Islands. She began her work on Darwin's finches in 1973 with her husband, Peter Grant. Her more than 40 years of research into the ecology of these species is chronicled in well over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and five books. Fundamental to her research has been the integration of meticulous observational data, long-term morphological data, genetics, and behavior. Most notably, her work has given the world a picture of natural selection and evolution in action, something that was certainly never foreseen by Darwin.

Rosemary's research has been published in Science (4 papers), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (8 papers), and Nature (2 papers). Along with Peter, she has received a wide array of honors for her innovative work, both nationally and internationally. These include the E.O. Wilson Naturalist Prize (1998), the Darwin Medal from the Royal Society of London (2002), the Darwin-Wallace Medal of the Linnean Society (2008), and the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences (2009).

Rosemary's unique contribution to our understanding of natural selection and evolutionary processes truly embodies the attributes of the Brewster Award. Her work on Darwin's finches has not only created an outstanding legacy of scientific work, but has helped bring the topic of evolution to a wider public.

The American Ornithologists' Union proudly honors Dr. Rosemary Grant with the prestigious 2015 William Brewster Memorial Award and medal.

Award criteria

The William Brewster Memorial Award is bestowed each year by the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) on the author or coauthors (not previously so honored) of the most meritorious body of work on birds of the Western Hemisphere published during the 10 calendar years preceding a given AOU Annual Meeting. The award consists of a medal and an honorarium provided through the endowed William Brewster Memorial Award Fund of the AOU. The award is in honor of William Brewster, one of the founding members of the AOU.

"William Brewster Memorial Award 2015, to Rosemary Grant," The Auk 133(1), (30 December 2015).
Published: 30 December 2015

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