Conservation Awards



  • Jacob A. Esselstyn
  • Jacob R. Goheen
  • José González-Maya
  • Kristofer M. Helgen
  • Chris N. Jacques
  • Thomas Jung
  • Michael E. Tewes
  • Samantha Wisely

History and Mission

In 2002, the American Society of Mammalogists established 2 new conservation awards to recognize outstanding contributions to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

Aldo Leopold Award

The first award, the Aldo Leopold Award, is awarded to a well-established individual who has made a lasting contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats. In 2003, the inaugural Aldo Leopold Award recipient was E. O. Wilson of Harvard University for his valuable contributions to mammalian conservation through his development and promotion of the concepts of biodiversity.

William T. Hornaday Award

The second award, the William T. Hornaday Award, is awarded to a current undergraduate or graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, or early career researcher (within 5 years of their terminal degree) who has made a significant contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats. This award was not given in 2003. Nominations were considered for the first time in 2004. 

2019 Aldo Leopold Award Recipient

The recipient of the 2019 Aldo Leopold award is Dr. Bernal Rodriguez-Herrera of the University of Costa Rica. Dr. Rodriguez-Herrera’s research contributions are numerous and highly influential. The principal focus of his work on mammals has concerned mostly bats throughout Latin America. His principal research foci are: 1) the ecology of tent-making bats 2) describing new species and geographic distributions of bats throughout Latin America 3) application of gathered data in the advancement of conservation programs, and 4) public outreach and education, particularly for school children. Every letter of support spoke of Bernal’s extreme dedication and commitment to bat conservation and the importance of his work.

Dr. Rodriguez-Herrera is the Academic and Research Director of the Tirimbina Biological Reserve, an organisation dedicated to conserving a 345 hectare wildlife refuge in the northern Costa Rica and the Founder and Coordinator of the Costa Rican Conservation Bat Programme (PCMCR) as well as the Outgoing Coordinator of the Latin American Bat Conservation Network (RELCOM). He has won numerous awards recognizing his impactful contributions to conservation, including the Ford Motor Company Award for Conservation and Environment (2002 and 2003) and the prestigious Whitley Award for Nature Conservancy (2012 and Continuation Funding in 2014).

2019 William T. Hornaday Award

This year’s recipient of the William T. Hornaday award is Clayton Lamb, a PhD candidate, Vanier Scholar, and Weston Fellow at The University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He works at the interface of population ecology, carnivore-human co-existence, and wildlife management. His research focuses on identifying the causes and consequences of changes in mammalian populations, using diverse species such as pika, wolverine, and grizzly bear. Clayton currently has more than 15 peer-reviewed publications and several other reports and non-peer-reviewed articles. Some of his work has been used to support high-profile conservation efforts, such as an IUCN assessment of brown bears, a true testament to the quality of their research.  It is worth noting that Clayton was independently nominated by multiple groups, further proof that his work is making an impact.

Streaming Presentations 

ASM Members can log into the Business Office site and stream presentations from past winners!

Aldo Leopold

We are proud to honor the memory of former ASM member Aldo Leopold with the senior award. Not only did Aldo Leopold have a significant and lasting influence in wildlife conservation and management, but he also had a great interest in mammals. He was an active member of ASM and a member of the Conservation of Land Mammals Committee (4 years) in the 1930s and during this time worked to defend wolves in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes states and grizzly bears in New Mexico. Leopold is well known for his famous land ethic philosophy, and is considered to be the “father” of wildlife ecology and management. His son, A. Starker Leopold, served as Chair of the Conservation of Land Mammals Committee in the 1950s. Students of both generations of Leopolds have had a profound impact on the field of mammalogy. 

William T. Hornaday

William T. Hornaday was a pioneer in wildlife conservation and the “architect” of 2 of the most renowned zoological parks in the United States, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and the New York Zoological Park in Bronx, New York. Hornaday was responsible for a number of early wildlife protection laws in the US, was instrumental in saving the northern fur seal from extinction, and authored 15 books and numerous articles about wildlife and the need for conservation. The fate of the American bison seemed to stir Hornaday most deeply, perhaps because he had himself witnessed the systematic slaughter of this species in the west. His 1889 book entitled “The extermination of the American bison” established him as a prominent defender of these animals, and in the early 1900s, he founded the National Bison Society and promoted the establishment of the Wichita, Kansas and Montana Bison Ranges.

The Aldo Leopold Award is awarded to a well-established individual who has made a lasting contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

The William T. Hornaday Award is awarded to a current undergraduate or graduate student who has made a significant contribution as a student to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

The recipient of each award will have contributed substantially to (1) the conservation of 1 or more mammalian species, subspecies, or populations, (2) the conservation of mammalian assemblages and communities, and/or (3) advancing the field of conservation biology through focal research on mammals. We interpret “contribution” broadly to include (1) scientific research or political activism that has resulted in the preservation of an imperiled species; (2) development of protective management recommendations; (3) acquisition of new knowledge regarding the conservation status or causes for decline of mammalian species or populations; (4) the protection of significant mammalian habitat; or (5) promotion of the conservation of mammals through public education.

All persons are invited to submit nominations for these awards. For each award, the nomination packet should include:
  1. A brief (2 pages maximum) narrative that introduces and describes the conservation activities of the nominee;
  2. A list of relevant journal articles, government and NGO reports, newspaper clippings, and other materials that chronicle and corroborate the conservation-related activities of the nominee;
  3. Contact information for the nominator and nominee;
  4. Inclusion of the statement...
    As a part of preparing this nomination, I have read and understood the American Society of Mammalogists' Code of Professional Conduct (here). To the best of my knowledge, the individual I am nominating exemplifies the high caliber of professional conduct that the ASM expects and promotes as required to be eligible for this award, as well as to retain this recognition should they be the award recipient.
  5. Supporting material as follows:

Aldo Leopold Award -- A complete nomination packet (nominating letter, curriculum vita, 3 pieces of corroborative literature that most succinctly and directly describe the nominee’s contributions to mammalian conservation, and up to 4 additional letters of support) should be submitted (as a single PDF file) to Erin Baerwald ( by 1 March. Nominations will be retained for two years.

William T. Hornaday Award -- Letters of recommendation from 2 individuals familiar with the nominee’s conservation activities. One of these letters must be from the student’s research advisor that confirms the nominee’s status as a student or early career researcher with 5 years of receiving their terminal degree. Completed nomination packets (as a single PDF file) should be sent to Erin Baerwald ( Deadline for submission of completed nominations is 1 March. The recipient will be announced at the annual meeting of the Society.  Nominations are not retained from previous years.  Please send any questions about the award or the nomination to Erin Baerwald (


for outstanding contributions to the conservation of mammals and mammalian biodiversity

  • 2003—Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University
  • 2004—Russell A. Mittermeier, Conservation International, Washington, DC
  • 2005—George B. Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY
  • 2007—Rodrigo A. Medellín, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México,Coyoacán, Ciudad de México, México
  • 2008—Virgilio G. Roig, Jardín Zoológico de Mendoza, Mendoza, Argentina
  • 2009—Helene Marsh, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  • 2010—Herbert Prins, Chair of Resource Ecology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • 2011—Rubén Bárquez, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET of Argentina)
  • 2012—Dean Biggins, US Geological Service, Fort Collins, CO
  • 2013—Joel Berger, University of Montana
  • 2014—Lawrence R. HeaneyField Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL
  • 2015—Andrew T. SmithArizona State University, Tempe AZ
  • 2016—Marco Festa-Bianchet, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec
  • 2017—Gerardo Ceballos, Instituto de Ecología, UNAM
  • 2018—Steve GoodmanField Museum of Natural History
  • 2019—Bernal Rodriguez-Herrera, University of Costa Rica


presented to a student/young professional who has made a significant contribution as a student to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

  • 2004—Brent Sewall, University of California-Davis
  • 2005—Isabel Beasley, James Cook University, Queensland, Austrailia
  • 2008—Angelia S. M. Vanderlaan, Oceanography Department, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 2009—Gerrit Jan Schipper III, Director of IUCN-SSC/CI-CABS Global Mammal Assessment
  • 2011—Enzo Aliaga-Rosel (University of Hawai`i at Manoa)
  • 2013—Abdullahi Hussein Ali, Univeristy of Wyoming (Ph.D. student)
  • 2014—Erin BaerwaldUniversity of Calgary (Ph.D. student)
  • 2015—José F. González-MayaInstituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Ph.D. student)
  • 2016—Héctor Ramirez-Chaves, University of Queensland, Australia (Ph.D. student)
  • 2017—Roberto Salom-Pérez, University of Idaho & Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica (Ph.D. student)
  • 2018—Kristoffer EverattNelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth South Africa (Ph. D. student)
  • 2019—Clayton LambUniverssity of Alberta