The Pamela and Alexander F. Skutch Keystone Grant supports minimally invasive research into the life histories, especially social relations and reproduction, of little known birds of the continental Neotropics, including Trinidad and Tobago.
This grant is supported by a fund that was established by Dr. and Mrs. Skutch following the joint meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists, Asociacion Ornitologica de Costa Rica, and the American Birding Association in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 1997. At that meeting, Dr. Skutch was honored by AFO for more than sixty years of contributions to Neotropical ornithology.
Dr. Skutch is known for his hundreds of scientific papers and more than forty books, which focused on the behavior and life histories of birds. His intention in establishing the Skutch Fund was to support the kind of research to which he devoted his life, and especially, to encourage studies by people who live in the Neotropics. For this reason, preference will be given to Neotropical-based applicants proposing research projects that involves a substantial amount of observation of birds in the field.
PLEASE NOTE: beginning in 2024, the grant programs have been reorganized and expanded in an effort to make more funds available to researchers, as well as honor the wishes of those who established the grant endowments. Materials for these restructured programs are currently being developed, so please bookmark this page to revisit for updates.
Previous Grant Recipients
2023: Tatjiana Washington – Avian nests in the face of climate change
2023: Lisandro Moran – Entendiendo el comportamiento alimenticio y requerimientos de hábitat del Cardenalito de Venezuela (Spinus cucullatus). Understanding the feeding behavior and habitat requirements of Spinus cucullatus.
2022: Tobias Nicolas Rojas – Cambios en la dieta de aves frugívoras en un gradiente de disturbio: entendiendo procesos para conserver funciones (Changes in the diet of frugivorous birds across a disturbance gradient: understanding processes to conserve functions)
2021: Esther Vallejo – Autumn raptor migration monitoring and conservation initiative in central Colombia
2020: Santiago David Rivera, University of British Columbia – Life-history traits and breeding strategies of tropical high elevation species in the Eastern Andes of Colombia
2019: Greg Davies, Marsupialism, nesting biology, and spatial deployment in the Sungrebe Heliornis fulica (Aves: Gruiformes: Heliornithidae). You can read more about Greg’s work on our blog.
2018: Sergio Chaparro-Herrera, Ecología y conservación del Gorrión-Montes Paisa (Atlapetes blancae) en el norte de Antioquia-Colombia
2018: Sandra Cuadros, Distribution update, habitat use and conservation status assessment of the Grey-bellied Comet (Taphrolesbia griseiventris)
2017: Felicity Newell, Peru, In Search of ‘Tropical Spring’: Does Variation in Tropical Montane Microclimate Shift Breeding Seasons Through Rainfall-Induced Increases in Food Abundance?
2016: Nils Navarro, Cuba to search for the Cuban endemic Zapata Rail
2015: Renata Biancalana, Brazil to study cypseloidine swifts
2014: Dr. Rodrigo W. Soria Auza, Bolivia, to study habitat availability and reproductive biology of the Palkachupa Cotinga to assess its conservation status and guide habitat restoration efforts
2013: Pablo Toledo-Monsonis, Estudio del Estatus Actual y Éxito Reproductivo de La Colonia de Garza Agami (Agamia agami) Del Lago Cocococha, Reserva Nacional de Tambopata, Perú
2012: Roni Martinez, Belize, to study the Breeding Biology of the Enigmatic Solitary Eagle Harpyhaliaetus solitarius.
2011: Sergio Nolazco, Peru, for a study entitled: Aspectos ecológicos y biológicos de la especie endémica y en peligro cortarrama peruana (Phytotoma raimondii) (Peruvian Plantcutter): información crucial para su conservación.
2010: Gustavo Londono, Peru, for a study entitled: How does avian nesting behavior change along an Andean altitudinal gradient?
2009: Noemi Esther Huanca Llanos, Breeding biology and habitat use of the endangered endemic Cochabamba Mountain-finch (Poospiza garleppi); Biología reproductiva y uso de hábitat de la endémica y en peligro Cochabamba Mountain Finch (Poospiza garleppi)
2008: Juan Ignacio Areta, Argentina, for a study entitled: Aves especialistas en semillas de bambú: historia natural de Claravis godefrida, Sporophila falcirostris, Sporophila frontalis y Tiaris fuliginosus durante una floración de la Takuarusu (Guadua chacoensis)
2007: Mieko Kanegae, Brazil, to study Habitat use and population size of endemic and threatened birds of Cerrado in the Ecological Station of Itirapina, Southeastern Brazil.
2007: Sandra V. Valderrama, Colombia, to study the Natural History and Landscape Influence on Vocal Variation of a Critically Endangered Songbird, Niceforo’s Wren (Thryothorus nicefori)
2006: Ursula Valdez, Peru, to study Ecology of forest-falcons (Micrastur) in Amazonian rainforest of southeast Peru
2005: Harold Greeney, Ecuador, to study the behavior and reproductive biology of little known montane passerines in eastern Ecuador
2004: Carlos Humberto Pereira de Oliveira, Brazil, to study the behavior and reproductive biology of the Restinga Antwren (Formicivora littoralis)
2003: Sandra Victoria Rojas Nossa, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, to study the ecology of a community of Andean Flowerpiercers (Diglossa and Diglossopis)
2002: Juan Diaz Alvan, Peru, to study the behavior of the recently described Antwren (Percnostola arenarum)