The Henri Seibert Award was initiated in 1992 to provide recognition for the best student papers given at the annual meeting of the SSAR. These awards are named in honor of Henri C. Seibert, an early and tireless supporter of SSAR (having served as an officer for over 20 years) in recognition of outstanding student presentations at the annual meeting.
To be eligible, the presented paper must be the result of research conducted by the presenter. The research must have been done while the student was in either an undergraduate or graduate degree program. The presentations will be judged by the SSAR student prize committee. One Seibert Prize of US $200 may be given in each of the following four categories:
For recommendations to students entering the Henri Seibert competition, please see the links immediately below:
Henri Seibert recommendations documentation in Adobe pdf format – Seibert Recommendation (PDF)
Henri Seibert recommendations documentation in MS Word or rich text format – Seibert Recommendation (RTF)
Students entering the competition must be members of SSAR. Students can win the Henri Seibert competition only once. Please indicate the category to which you are submitting your abstract on the abstract form in the Call for Papers.
Rafe M. Brown, Chair
The 24th annual SSAR Seibert Awards were presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the SSAR, hosted by the University of Kansas, Lawrence, 30 July– 3 August 2015. These awards are named in honor of Henri C. Seibert, an avid supporter of SSAR who served as an officer for over 20 years. In recognition of outstanding student presentations at the annual meeting, an award was given in each of the following categories: Evolution/Systematics (35 presentations), Ecology (14), Physiology/Morphology (9) and Conservation (10). All awardees will receive a check for U.S. $200 and a book from CRC Press. Winners and runners up will be announced in a forthcoming issue of Herpetological Review.
- Systematics/Evolution: Carl Hutter et al. (University of Kansass), “Molecular systematics of Malagasy bright-eyed tree frogs (Mantellidae: Boophis), with discussion of the evolutionary history of breeding strategies.”
- Ecology: Nick Huron et al. (University of Oklahoma), “Community assembly of a morphologically diverse skink genus (Brachymeles).”
- Conservation: Tyler Hoskins (Miami University), “Tracking the legacy of larval atrazine exposure throughout the lifecycle of Blanchard’s cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi).”
- Physiology/Morphology: David Penning et al. (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), “The ontogeny of constriction in the ball python (Python regius): performance, experience, and Growth.”
- Systematics/Evolution: (1) Jesse Grismer (University of Kansas)“The great exchange: dispersal, vicariance, and biogeography of the Draconinae” et al., “Phylogenetic Relationships of South African Geckos in Pachydactylus geitje Species Complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae),” and (2) Pascal Title (University of Michigan) “Spatial macroevolutionary patterns in Australian squamates,” and (3) “Alexa Warwick (Florida State University) “Natural replication for testing the influence of landscape processes on genetic structure in the Pine Barrens tree frog”
- *Special undergraduate honorable mention! Out of six excellentundergraduate presentations is this category, one was particularly impressive: “Matt Buehler (University of Kansas): “The phylogenetic placement of Ogmodon (Elapidae) and a discussion of colonization patterns of Fijian squamates”
- Ecology: Alex Rohtla and Aaron Bauer (Villanova), “The call of the gecko: an acoustic and morphological examination of gecko vocalizations.”
- Conservation: Daniel Quinn et al. (Truman State University), “Site fidelity and survivorship of headstarted Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) used to augment depleted populations in managed areas.”
- Physiology/Morphology: (1) Melissa Van Kleeck et al. (University of Hawaii at Manoa), “Prey-associated head-size variation in an invasive lizard in the Hawaiian Islands,” and (2) Anil Zacharia, Robin Abraham, Sandeep Das Jayan and Ronald Altig (University of Kansas). “Reproductive strategy ofNasikabatrachus sahyadrensis (Anura: Nasikabatrachidae), the only extant member of an archaic frog lineage
SSAR thanks this year’s Seibert Judges Committee for their service: Rayna Bell, Jennifer Dever, Raul Diaz, Richard Durtsche, Ben Evans, Eric Juterbock, Jim McGuire, Cameron Siler, Stephen Tilly, Rafe Brown (Chair).
The Winners – Systematics/Evolution: Elyse Freitas et al. (Villanova University), “Molecular Phylogenetics and Patterns of Limb Loss in the Genus Scelotes.” Ecology: Chris Thawley et al. (Penn State University), “The cost and benefits of adaptation: a case study using native fence lizards and invasive fire ants.” Conservation: Drew Davis et al. (University of South Dakota), “Effects of Agricultural Tile Drainage on Amphibians in Eastern South Dakota.” Physiology/Morphology: Patrick Moldowan et al. (Laurentian University), “Turtles with teeth: tomiodont morphology and functional significance in the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta).”
Honorable Mentions: Systematics/Evolution: Rachel Skinneret al. (Villanova University), “Phylogenetic Relationships of South African Geckos in Pachydactylus geitje Species Complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae).” Ecology: (A) Meagan Thomas and Steve Mullin (Eastern Illinois University), “Quantifying dietary overlap in a community of invertebrate feeding snakes.”Special undergraduate honorable mention! (B) Mark Herr et al. (James Cook University), “Stressed snakes strike first: hormone levels and defensive behavior in free-ranging cottonmouths.” Conservation: Brian Crawford et al. (University of Georgia), “Does pride work? Evaluating an NGO’s integrative model for promoting community conservation behavior.” Physiology/Morphology: Matthew Dickson et al. (California State – Northridge), “Rapidly Adapting to the Neighborhood: Physiological Responses of Mediterranean House Geckos to their Introduced Climates.”
The Winners – Systematics/Evolution: Phillip Skipwith (University of California); coauthors Aaron Bauer, Todd Jackman, “Diversification Rates of New Caledonian Diplodactylid Geckos Inferred From Concatenated and Coalescent Divergence Time Estimates” Ecology: Julia Riley (Laurentian University); coauthors Steve Freedberg, Jacqueline Litzgus “Natural Variation in Incubation Temperatures Influence Locomotor Performance of Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) Hatchlings.” Conservation: James Baxter-Gilbert (Laurentian University); coauthors: David Lesbarrères, Jacqueline Litzgus, “On The Road Again: The Effectiveness of Mitigation Structures for Reducing Reptile Road Mortality and Maintaining Habitat Continuity.” Physiology/Morphology: Christopher Peterson (University of Arkansas); coauthors Jason Ortega, Si Hong Park, Irene Hanning, Jacques Hill, Steven Beaupre,“Gastrointestinal Microbes Do Not Influence Digestive Efficiency in African House Snakes (Boaedon fuliginosus).”
Honorable Mentions – Systematics/Evolution: Benjamin Lowe (University of Minnesota); coauthor Kenneth Kozak “Assortative Mating in Hybridizing Southern Appalachian Plethodon and Implications for Hybrid Zone Dynamics.” Ecology: James Nifong (University of Florida); coauthor Brian Silliman, “Impacts of a Large-bodied, Apex Predator (Alligator mississippiensis Daudin 1801) on Salt Marsh Food Webs.”Conservation: Rochelle Stiles (Indiana State University); co-authors Chris La Rue, Michael Hawkins, Michael Lannoo, “Amphibian Response to Restored Prairie Potholes.” Physiology/Morphology: Shelly C. McCain (Sam Houston State University); coauthors William Lutterschmidt, Clifford Fontenot, Jr. “Behavioral Sensitivity to Salinity and Osmoregulatory Capacity of the Fully Aquatic Salamander, Amphiuma tridactylum.”
The Winners – Systematics/Evolution: Sara Ruane (College of Staten Island), “Speciation in the Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum).” Ecology: Thomas Luhring (University of Missouri), “Islands in the Sun: Nutrient Cycling is Isolated Systems is Mediated by Canopy Cover, Predation, and the Complex Life-Histories of their Transient Tenants.” Conservation: Shawn McCracken (Texas State University, San Marcos), “Living on the Edge: Oil Road Effects on the Occupancy and Abundance of Anurans Inhabiting an Upper Canopy Tank Bromeliad (Aechmea zebrina) in Lowland Rainforest of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Amazonian Ecuador.” Physiology/Morphology: Rory Telemeco(Iowa State University),“Effects of Temperature During Development on the Offspring Phenotype of a Facultative Thermoregulator, the Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata: Anguidae).”
Honorable Mentions – Systematics/Evolution: Hilton Oyamaguchi (University of California, Los Angeles), “Divergence along a Brazilian rainforest-savanna gradient and the role in generating diversity.” Ecology: Julia Riley (Laurentian University ), Should I stay or should I go? Influence of environmental factors on Chrysemys picta hatchling overwintering strategy.” Physiology/Morphology: Gareth Hopkins (Utah State University) “Embryonic survival in salt among Rough-skinned Newt (Taricha granulosa) families.”
The Winners – Systematics/Evolution: Daniel Scantlebury, University of Rochester, “Patterns of Adaptive Radiation in West Indian Dwarf Geckos (Sphaerodactylidae: Sphaerodactylus).” Ecology: James Paterson, Brad Steinberg, and Jacqueline Litzgus, Laurentian University, “Generally Specialized or Especially General? Habitat selection by Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina).” Physiology/Morphology: Angela Rivera, Clemson University, “Evolution of Flapping in Turtles: A Comparative Examination of Forelimb Kinematics and Muscle Function across Three Lineages (Trionychidae, Carettochelyidae, Cheloniidae)” Conservation: Jeanine Refsnider, Fredric Janzen, Iowa State University, “Nest-site Choice in Response to Climate Change and Effects on Offspring Performance in a Turtle with Temperature-dependent Sex Determination.”
Honorable Mention – Systematics/Evolution: Charles Linkem, University of Kansas, “Species Tree Despite Gene-Tree Incongruence in Large Datasets: The Phylogeny of the Sphenomorphus Group (Squamata: Scincidae).” Ecology: Andrew M. Durso, Stephen J. Mullin, Eastern Illinois University, “Interactions of Sex, Age and Behavior in Death-feigning Snakes (Heterodon).” Conservation: Steven Price, Robert Browne, Michael Dorcas, Davidson College, “Modeling the Effects of Urbanization on Salamander Abundances using a Before-After Control-Impact Design”and Yik-Hei Sung, Nancy Karraker, Billy Hau, The University of Hong Kong, “Impacts of Illegal Trapping on Endangered Big-headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) in Hong Kong.”
The Winners – Systematics/Evolution: Cameron Siler and Rafe Brown, University of Kansas, “Historical processes behind patterns of limb reduction and loss in an island radiation of fossorial lizards.” Ecology: Jennifer Stynoski, Virginia Noble, Meredith Strider, University of Miami, Organization for Tropical Studies, University of Maryland, “To eat but not to be eaten: honest begging signals and visual detection of predators and mothers by tadpoles of the Strawberry Poison Frog (Oophaga pumilio).” Physiology/Morphology: Denita M. Weeks and Robert E. Espinoza, California State University – Northridge, “Geckos on ice: unexpected thermal tolerances and temperature-dependent performance of the world’s southernmost gecko.” Conservation: Daniel Leavitt, Texas A&M University, “Sceloporus arenicolus, an endemic lizard in an endangered ecosystem.”
Honorable Mention – Systematics/Evolution: Philip L. Skipwith, Aaron M. Bauer, and Todd R. Jackman, Villanova University, “Molecular phylogenetics of New Caledonian diplodactylid geckos.” Ecology: Oliver Hyman and James P. Collins, University of Arizona, “Negative influence of phosphorus on prevalence of the frog killing pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.” James Paterson,Brad Steinberg, and Jacqueline Litzgus, Laurentian University, Algonquin Park, “Comparisons of hatchling survivorship and spatial ecology between two sympatric turtle species.” Physiology/Morphology: Travis Hagey, Luke Harmon, and Kellar Autumn, University of Idaho, Lewis and Clark College, “Predicting adhesive capabilities in Anolis and Phelsuma lizards via the frictional adhesion model and critical detachment angle.” Conservation: Scott Farnsworth and Richard Seigel, Towson University, “Short and long distance translocations of Eastern Box Turtles: do fences make good neighbors or conservation practices.”
The Winners – Systematics/Evolution: Jamie Oaks, The University of Kansas, “Objective partition choice and the phylogenetic systematics and biogeography of the true crocodiles.”; Ecology: John Willson, Brian Todd, and Christopher Winne, University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Lab, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, “Trap-happiness, temporary emigration and other factors affecting detectability and population estimation in aquatic snakes.”; Physiology/Morphology: Victoria Ash, T Ulmar Grafe, Marcos Gridi-Papp, and Peter Narins, University of California Los Angeles, University of Brunei Darussalam, “An Old World frog communicates in pure ultrasound.” Conservation: Kristine Kaiser, Menemsha Alloush, Robin M. Jones, Susanne Marczak, Katherine S. Marineau, Mark V. Oliva, and Peter M. Narins, University of California Los Angeles, “When sounds collide: effects of anthropogenic noise on frog calling behavior.”
Honorable Mention – Ecology: Javan Bauder, Holly Akenson, and Charles Peterson, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, “Over the hills and far away: movements of prairie rattlesnakes across a mountainous landscape in a designated wilderness.” Conservation: Anna Savage, Cornell University, “Experimental infection with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis demonstrates genetic resistance to chytridiomycosis in Lithobates yavapaiensis.”
The Winners – Systematics/Evolution: Julienne Ng, University of Rochester, “Dewlap color and reproductive isolation in Anolis distichus.” Ecology: Forrest Brem, University of Memphis, “Environmental transmission: a mechanism of disease-induced amphibian extinctions.” Conservation: David Pike, Jonathan Webb, and Richard Shine, University of Sydney, “Landscape-scale reptile conservation: experimentally manipulating canopy cover to restore a reptile assemblage.”
Honorable Mention – Ecology: April Barreca and Jason T. Irwin, Central Washington University, “Seasonal habitat use and movement of Cascades frogs (Rana cascadae) in Washington.” Conservation: Brian Todd, Thomas Luhring, Betsie Rothermel, and Whit Gibbons, Savannah River Ecology Lab, Austin Peay State University, “Interspecific effects of upland forest clearing on amphibian migrations: implications for habitat and population connectivity.”