2018 meeting recap

Between the 7th and 9th June, 2018 AFO held its annual meeting jointly with the Wilson Ornithological Society at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The meeting offered nearly 100 oral and poster presentations. Highlights from the program included the 2018 Margaret Morse Nice lecture given by Dr. Reed Bowman (Archbold Biological Station) entitled “The challenges of long-term research: getting the work done and keeping it relevant”, and the AFO plenary delivered by Dr. Valentina Ferretti (Universidad de Buenos Aires) entitled “Variation in extra-pair paternity: lessons learned from studying birds in South America”. The program also included a symposium focused on the ecology and conservation of high elevation birds in the southern Appalachian Mountains, and a Student and Early Professional luncheon and an LGBTQ+ luncheon, both hosted by the Student and Early Professional Committee.

Plenary by Reed Bowman. Photo by Jennifer Smith.

AFO Student Presentation Awards were given to Abigail Reed for her talk entitled “Implications for using singed feathers in determining geographic origin with wildlife forensics approaches”, and William Fetzner for his talk entitled “The effect of whisper calls on settlement decisions in female Veeries (Catharus fuscescens)”. The Alexander Wilson Award for Best Oral Presentation went to Lee Bryant (“Evaluating relationships between eastern hemlock decline and Louisiana Waterthrush demographics and behavior in Great Smoky Mountains National Park”), the Lynes Jones Award for Best Poster Presentation Award went to Mariamar Gutierrez Ramirez (“Evaluating the impact of overnight en route weather over the Gulf of Mexico on lean mass of spring migrants”), the William and Nancy Klamm Award for Best Undergraduate Poster Award went to Veronica Schabert (“Migratory patterns in male and female Common Yellowthroats (Geothlypis trichas) at different spring migratory sites”), and the William and Nancy Klamm Award for Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation Award went to Luke Hamilton (Three undergrads, three metabolites, in three years: a story about Baltimore Oriole physiology). Congratulations to all award recipients!

Poster Session. Photo by Jennifer Smith.

Presentation award winners. Photo by Matthew Shumar.

At our annual member’s business meeting held as part of the conference Angela Tringali (Archbold Biological Station), Ernesto Ruelas Inzunza (Universidad Veracruzana), and Claire Varian-Ramos (Colorado State University-Pueblo) were elected as new members to the AFO council (class of 2021), and Jen Smith (The University of Texas at San Antonio) and Matt Reudink (Thompson Rivers University) were elected as returning members. Here is some more information about the new members and class of 2021: http://afonet.org/wp_english/about/afo-council/

AFO Council members at the meeting’s closing reception

The meeting venue, nestled in the southern Appalachia Mountains between Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River, offered numerous birding and hiking opportunities, and scenic vistas. The meeting wrapped up with the conference banquet held at the beautiful Tennessee Aquarium where a good time was had by all. Thanks to the Organizing Committee (Mark Deutschlander, Paul Rodewald, David Aborn [Chair]) for another successful joint AFO-WOS meeting! Be sure to join us in Cape May this October!