2013 Shadle Fellowship - Joseph R. Burger

This year’s recipient of The Albert R. and Alma Shadle Fellowship is Joseph R. Burger from the University of New Mexico.  The Shadle Fellowship is awarded to a graduate student in recognition of current accomplishments in mammalogy and future potential. Albert R. Shadle was a prominent mammalogist active in the first half of the 20th century that focused on the biology of porcupines and beavers. Both Albert and his wife Alma had a strong commitment to the science of mammalogy. The fellowship is intended to allow the recipient greater freedom to pursue research and to recognize excellence in mammalogy.

The 2013 recipient of the Shadle Fellowship is author of 16 papers, either published or in press, in journals such as PLOS Biology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and the Journal of Mammalogy. His work has been featured in popular media outlets such as Scientific American, the IUCN and the British Ecological Society. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, Sigma Xi, and the American Society of Mammalogists  He has been a student member of the ASM since 2006, has presented his work at five ASM meetings, and serves on the Human Diversity Committee.

This year’s recipient submitted a research proposal entitled :Brain Size and Life History in Mammals: a Socioecological Perspective”. His work seeks to understand how natural selection balances tradeoffs in cognition, socioecological lifestyles, and life history. He is analyzing large datasets on brain size and breeding strategies to examine life history tradeoffs in wild mammals, and is using machine-learning techniques to investigate large scale associations of brain size and ecological traits in mammals.