Scott Edwards

AOU 2015 Elliot Coues Award to Nuttall Member Scott Edwards

The Elliott Coues Achievement Award recognizes outstanding and innovative contributions to ornithological research regardless of the geographic location of the work. The AOU established this award in honor of Elliott Coues, a pioneering ornithologist of the western United States and a founding member of the AOU. The award consists of a medal and an honorarium provided through the society's Elliot Coues Achievement Award Fund.

The AOU is deeply honored to present the 2015 Elliott Coues Achievement Award to Dr. Scott Edwards, Museum of Comparative Zoology and Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University. Scott's passion for birds took flight while a young intern working with Roxie Laybourne at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1986, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California in 1992. During the course of his career, Scott has made many major contributions to the study of genomic structure and molecular evolution, phylogeography, and the systematics of birds. Scott is recognized for his innovative research programs on the phylogeography of the Australasian avifauna, molecular evolution and disease interactions of the avian major histocompatibility complex, and pioneering work using coalescent approaches to assess gene versus species trees. He has creatively applied the most cutting-edge tools of molecular biology and data analysis to his research on birds, and in his pursuit of answers to fundamental questions in his fields of study — often well before any other ornithologists had inkling to do so.

For his important, varied, and significant contributions to many novel areas of research in avian evolutionary biology and genomics, his commitment to training and enhancing diversity of students at all levels, and for his exceptional service to the scientific community, the AOU is proud to recognize Dr. Edwards with the 2015 Elliot Coues Award and medal.