The Cooper Ornithological Society is pleased to honor Dr. Thomas E. Martin as the recipient of the Loye H. and Alden Miller Research Award for 2012. This award is presented by the Cooper Society for an extensive record of original research and significant advancements and major breakthroughs in our understanding of the biology of birds that have stood the test of time.
Throughout his career, Tom Martin's research has been instrumental in influencing our understanding of the ecology of birds. His work has provided several conceptual breakthroughs, regarding the evolution of life-history trade-offs such as clutch size and life span, and demonstrating the importance of interactions at the level of individuals to the production of population-level patterns. The importance of his work on the relevance of nest predation in explaining everything from community structure to clutch size to individual incubation behavior cannot be overstated. As one colleague put it, “Tom Martin has been a heavy hitter for a long time. He has always been on the edge of what's important, and has always conducted excellent experimental research to match his ideas.” His elegant ecological experiments have been accompanied by natural-history descriptions of the breeding biology of the birds he and his students have studied. These studies have taken him around the globe, to Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa, New Zealand, and Tasmania. His work in Arizona, which began in 1985, still continues, and in 2009 he began a new project in Borneo. We can look forward to his continuing contributions to the biology of birds.
Tom Martin received his B.Sc. degree from Washington State University (1975), his M.Sc. from South Dakota State University (1978), and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois (1982). He taught at Arizona State University from 1982 to 1988, then moved to the University of Arkansas from 1988 to 1993, and then to the University of Montana, where he is Assistant Unit Leader of the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit.
In addition to his stellar scientific contributions to the field of avian biology, Tom Martin's contributions have strengthened scientific societies and have influenced the careers of many ornithologists. He always involves assistants—from naïve to experienced—in his field work, and he has inspired many to embark on field research of their own. He has mentored a large number of young ornithologists—graduate students and post-doctoral fellows—who have gone on to become leaders themselves. He has been editor of the Auk, president of the Cooper Ornithological Society, and has served ornithological societies in many other ways.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to understanding of the biology of birds, the Cooper Ornithological Society is honored to present the 2012 Loye and Alden Miller Research Award to Thomas E. Martin.