Andy Sih receiving Distinguished Animal Behaviorist award

Dr. Andy receives the Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Award

At the 2023 Animal Behavior Society meeting in Portland, Oregon Andy Sih was given the Distinguished Animal Behaviorist Award, which recognizes an outstanding career in animal behavior!  Andy was recognized for his seminal work on behavioral syndromes, phenotypic plasticity, response to human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC), and for his work in integrating behavior into community ecology. Andy has also been extremely active in service to the ABGG and to the field of animal behavior. To name just a few contributions—Andy served as President of the Animal Behavior Society and Chair of the ABGG. Andy was the driving force behind creating the ABGG core course (ANB218A and B) and has taught one quarter every year since; as part of this course, he has co-authored dozens of highly-cited review and synthesis papers with students. Andy is also an extraordinary mentor to graduate students and postdocs. His former mentees are now postdocs, lecturers or professors at universities all over the world, or professional researchers at zoos or government agencies, or have positions in conservation or computational biology. He has served on too many QE and dissertation committees to count. This is Andy’s third major career award from the Animal Behavior Society--he was awarded the Quest Award in 2010 and the Exemplar Award in 2015. 

Dr. Lea Pollock, who graduated from Andy’s lab with a PhD in Ecology in 2021, won the Allee Award. Lea presented her PhD research investigating the role of social information use in shaping how animals respond to human-caused environmental change. While it is well recognized that animals use social information to guide behavior, less attention has been given to the role of social information use in shaping responses to novel situations, such as those introduced by rapid environmental change. Lea presented her dissertation experiments that explored how variation between and within groups could drive differences in foraging behavior towards familiar and novel foods, including the common maladaptive behavior of eating plastic debris. Lea is currently an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of Professor Julia Saltz at Rice University (another honorary ABGGer from the Stamps and Sih labs who won the Allee award).