The American Ornithologists' Union welcomes the 2016 class of Elective Members

August 21, 2016

At the opening of the 134th stated meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) in Washington, D.C., today, the society welcomed 33 new Elective Members, each selected by their peers for their significant contributions to ornithology and/or service to the AOU. In keeping with the AOU's geographic focus, Elective Members are residents or citizens of the Western Hemisphere and represent the global ornithology community.

This year's newly recognized Elective Members are Juan Ignacio Areta (Instituto de Bio y Geociencias del Noroeste de Argentina), Matthew Gregory Betts (Oregon State University), Michael William Butler (Lafayette College), Santiago Claramunt (American Museum of Natural History), Emily B. Cohen (Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park), Matthew A. Etterson (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), David Charles Evers (Biodiversity Research Institute), Valentina Ferretti (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales), Elizabeth A. Gow (University of British Columbia), Jennifer L. Grindstaff (Oklahoma State University), Sebastian K. Herzog (Asociación Armonía/BirdLife International), Peter A. Hosner (University of Florida), Jerry W. Hupp (Alaska Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey), Alvaro P. Jaramillo (San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory), Erik I. Johnson (Audubon Louisiana), Jeff A. Johnson (University of North Texas), John N. Mager III (Ohio Northern University), Ryan D. Norris (University of Guelph), Gail Lisa Patricelli (University of California, Davis), Anna M. Pidgeon (University of Wisconsin), Margaret A. Rubega (University of Connecticut), Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez (Cornell Lab of Ornithology), Janet M. Ruth (U.S. Geological Survey), Daizaburo Shizuka (University of Nebraska), Alison R. Styring (The Evergreen State College), Corey Elizabeth Tarwater (University of Wyoming), Jose G. Tello (Long Island University), Elaina M. Tuttle (Indiana State University), Al Uy (University of Miami), Maren N. Vitousek (Cornell University), Jared D. Wolfe (Pacific Southwest Research Station, U.S. Geological Survey), L. LaReesa Wolfenbarger (University of Nebraska, Omaha), and Jean L. Woods (Delaware Museum of Natural History).

New Elective Members are nominated each year by current Elective Members, Fellows, or by AOU's nominations committee, and are confirmed through a vote of the current Fellows at the annual meeting. "Being named an Elective Member of the AOU means that ornithological leaders have chosen to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments and contributions to the scientific community. Joining the ranks of Elective Members is an important event in our professional society," says Scott Lanyon, president of the AOU. "For over a century, the American Ornithologists' Union has made a point of formally recognizing excellence among our colleagues working to advance our understanding of birds and contributing to our scientific knowledge in order to conserve them."
For more information on AOU Elective Members and the society's special membership classes, visit

About the American Ornithologists' Union

The American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) is an international society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of birds, enriching ornithology as a profession, and promoting a rigorous scientific basis for the conservation of birds. The AOU produces scientific publications of the highest quality, hosts intellectually engaging and professionally vital meetings, serves ornithologists at every career stage, pursues a global perspective, and informs public policy on all issues important to ornithology and ornithological collections.

The AOU was founded in 1883 by William Brewster, Elliott Coues and Joel Allen out of concern for bird conservation and interest in developing the field of ornithology in North America. Early AOU efforts led to formation of the National Audubon Society and the Biological Survey (now known as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). Today, the AOU is the largest ornithological society in the Western Hemisphere and one of the oldest organizations in the world devoted to the scientific study and conservation of birds.

The AOU publishes The Auk: Ornithological Advances, which has one of the highest scientific impact ranking among ornithological journals worldwide. The Auk is an international journal that advances fundamental scientific knowledge in two ways: increase in the basic knowledge of bird species, both living and extinct; and increase in the knowledge of broad biological and conservation concepts through studies of bird species.

The AOU Checklist is the accepted authority for scientific nomenclature and English names of birds in North and Middle America. The AOU has recently completed a complementary checklist for South American birds. The AOU also sponsors The Birds of North America Online, in partnership with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

Central Ornithology Publication Office

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