Tom Smith, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, was honored by the American Ornithological Society for decades of work studying birds.
The Elliot Coues Award is given annually to “outstanding and innovative contributions to ornithological research, regardless of the geographic location of the work.”
In naming Smith as the award’s recipient, the society cited his leadership at the Congo Basin Institute, the Center for Tropical Research and the Conservation Action Research Network. It also noted his 35 years of work in Africa and South America, including use of genomic tools to research Black-billed Seedcrackers. As an educator, Smith has mentored 27 postdocs and 34 graduate students who now work with birds around the world.
The American Ornithological Society is the United States’ largest professional organization for scientists who study birds. It was formed in 2016 by a partnership between the Cooper Ornithological Society and the American Ornithologists’ Union, which was founded in 1883.