Professor Ben Sheldon awarded prestigious Edward O. Wilson award

Congratulations to Professor Ben Sheldon who has been awarded the prestigious Edward O. Wilson Naturalist Award by the American Society of Naturalists.

The Edward O. Wilson award is given annually to an active mid-career scientist who has made significant contributions to the knowledge of a particular ecosystem or group of organisms, and who through this work has illuminated key principles of evolutionary biology and an enhanced appreciation of natural history. 

The committee awarded Professor Sheldon the honour in recognition of his prolific and remarkably diverse record of research revolving around ecology, evolution and behaviour of birds.  Important features of his work are his early and clever use of molecular methods for quantifying reproductive success, his integration of observational studies with experiments that provided critical tests of his hypotheses and his continued inventiveness in developing new observational and experimental methodologies.  

Professor Sheldon was one of the first to apply new molecular methods for paternity identification and hence more accurate assessment of reproductive success, and his more recent research has combined innovations in social network theory with new techniques to record behaviour of many individuals to scale up our understanding of social behaviour of birds.  

Upon receiving the award, Professor Sheldon said: “I’m delighted and honoured by this award from the American Society of Naturalists which represents very much the kind of integrative science aiming to understand organisms in their natural environments that I’ve always aspired to. Of course, none of this would have been possible without support from many colleagues and, particularly, talented students and postdocs who’ve worked with me over the years.”


To read more about the award, please visit: