The Gerrit S. Miller Award is presented occasionally at the annual North American Symposium on Bat Research to persons "in recognition of outstanding service and contribution to the field of chiropteran biology." The award is named after Gerrit S. Miller, Jr., an outstanding early 20th Century bat biologist at the Smithsonian Institution. Miller's work on the evolutionary relationships of chiropteran families and genera to one another still strongly influences taxonomic thinking about bats today.

The Gerrit S. Miller Jr. Award winner is chosen by the Miller Committee which consists of all the surviving Miller award recipients. The Miller Committee chooses one of its members to act as the Secretary of the Committee, currently G. Roy Horst. Each year, generally during the summer before the annual NASBR meeting, the Secretary of the Miller Committee contacts each member and solicits nominations. Each member of the committee is encouraged to submit to the Secretary, who then compiles them on a ballot. Any member of NASBR may nominate a worthy candidate by working with one of the members of the Miller Committee who will then communicate the nomination to the secretary. The committee members vote for their choice and return the ballot to the Secretary, who tabulates the results and sends them to all committee members. In the event that there are two candidates receiving the same number of votes the committee members are asked to reconsider their vote and resubmit the results to the Secretary. If this does not lead to a clear winner, the secretary will consult via telephone and discuss whether there can be a resolution. The committee members are then given the opportunity to name the winner as our unanimous choice. The Miller Committee is not committed to making an award every year. In the thirty-three years of the award's existence, only twenty awards have been made. If a nominee does not meet the enthusiastic approval of the majority of the committee, no award need be given. It has been our practice to hold this information in confidence (when possible) until the award is presented at the meeting. The presentation of the award is made at our annual awards ceremony and presented by Thomas Kunz. The new Gerrit S. Miller, Jr. Fellow then becomes a member of the Miller Committee.

Previous Recipients :

Sharon Swartz

Sharon Swartz
Brown University

Awarded in 2016. San Antonio, TX (NASBR 46)


Dr. Sharon M. Swartz is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and in the School of Engineering at Brown University. She received a BA from Oberlin College in 1981, a MS and a PhD in Evolutionary Biology from The University of Chicago in 1985 and 1988 respectively. She moved to Brown in 1990 where she was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2010. She, her students and post docs have a strong record of presentations at NASBR about the biomechanics of flight. Since 1987, she has been an author on over 60 papers, mostly dealing with the flight of bats, but also including fascinating work on the mechanics of tongue operation in Glossophaga soricina. She leads a group of biologists and engineers who consistently present us with a different perspective about the operations of bats. It is significant that undergraduate students often are co-authors on her published papers and other contributions. Her presentations are clear and effective. She has a great talent for making biomechanics readily accessible to non-specialist audiences. She also takes pains to involve members of her laboratory in these exercises, whether locally or abroad. In the field, she works well with others whether colleagues or students. She sets high standards for herself and for others and establishes a positive, stimulating and supportive environment. In addition to her role as a researcher and supervisor of student research, Sharon has contributed strongly to the teaching function of the university as well. In 2013 she received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the University of Chicago and in 2012 she was a featured researcher in the Air Force Office of Scientific Research 60th anniversary video. NASBR was proud to award her the Gerrit S. Miller Jr. Award in 2016 at its annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Betsy Dumont

Betsy Dumont
Amherst University

Awarded in 2014. Albany, NY (NASBR 44)

James Simmons

James Simmons
Brown University

Awarded in 2013. San Jose, Costa Rica (IBRC 16 / NASBR 43)

Elisabeth Kalko

Elisabeth Kalko
University of Ulm

Awarded posthumously in 2011. Toronto, Ontario (NASBR 41)

Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones
University of Bristol

Awarded in 2011. Toronto, Ontario (NASBR 41)

Wieslaw Bogdanowicz

Wieslaw Bogdanowicz
Museum & Institute of Zoology PAS, Poland

Awarded in 2010. Denver CO (NASBR 40)

Robert J. Baker

Robert J. Baker
Texas Tech University

Awarded in 2009. Portland OR (NASBR 39)

Nancy B. Simmons

Nancy B. Simmons
American Museum of Natural History

Awarded in 2008. Scranton, PA (NASBR 38)

R. Mark Brigham

R. Mark Brigham
University of Regina

Awarded in 2006. Wilmington, NC (NASBR 36)

Rodrigo Medellin

Rodrigo Medellin
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México

Awarded in 2004. Salt Lake City, UT (NASBR 34)

Robert Barclay

Robert M. R. Barclay
University of Calgary

Awarded in 2002. Burlington, VT (NASBR 32)

Patricia W. Freeman

Patricia W. Freeman
University of Nebraska

Awarded in 2001. Victoria, British Columbia (NASBR 31)

Theodore H. Fleming

Theodore H. Fleming
University of Miami

Awarded in 1999. Madison, WI (NASBR 29)

Gary F. McCracken

Gary F. McCracken
University of Tennessee

Awarded in 1997. Tucson, AZ (NASBR 27)

Paul A. Racey

Paul A. Racey
University of Aberdeen

Awarded in 1995. Boston, MA (NASBR 25)

Don E. Wilson

Don E. Wilson
National Museum of Natural History

Awarded in 1992.Sherbrooke, Quebec (NASBR 22)

Bernardo Villa-Ramirez

Bernardo Villa-Ramirez
Universidad Nacional Automoma de Mexico

Awarded in 1990. Lincoln, NE (NASBR 20)

Merlin Tuttle

Merlin D. Tuttle
Bat Conservation International

Awarded in 1986. Amherst MA (NASBR 16)

Harold B. Hitchcock

Harold B. Hitchcock
Middlebury College

Awarded in 1986. Amherst MA (NASBR 16)

Tom Kunz

Thomas H. Kunz
Boston University

Awarded in 1984. Rockford, IL (NASBR 15)

M. Brock Fenton

M. Brock Fenton
Carleton University

Awarded in 1982. Louisville, KY (NASBR 13)

William A. Wimsatt

William A. Wimsatt
Cornell University

Awarded in 1981. Ithaca, NY (NASBR 12)

Donald R. Griffin

Donald R. Griffin
Rockefeller University

Awarded in 1979. St. Louis, MO (NASBR 10)

Karl F. Koopman

Karl F. Koopman
American Museum of Natural History

Awarded in 1977. Ottawa, Ontario (NASBR 8)

G. Roy Horst

G. Roy Horst
State University of New York, Potsdam

Awarded in 1977. Ottawa, Ontario (NASBR 8)

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