Patton Award

James L. Patton Award (ad hoc)



  • Kayce Bell
  • Jacob A. Esselstyn
  • Sharon A. Jansa
  • Eric A. Rickart
  • Duke S. Rogers

History and Mission

The James L. Patton Award was established in 2015 to promote and support museum-based research by graduate student members of ASM.  Each year, one $5000 award will be granted to facilitate the direct use of museum specimens, including travel costs to visit collections and associated analytical or equipment costs.  The award honors Jim’s commitment to research collections and their use in understanding the diversity and evolution of mammals, his passion for mentoring young mammalogists, and his long-standing service to the society. The James L. Patton Award is a competitive fellowship.  

Both MS and PhD level students are encouraged to apply.  We particularly encourage proposals that include the direct inspection of museum collections, including both traditional and/or novel uses of specimens and their associated data. The project description should include mention of broader project objectives and the specific component for which collections use is being requested.  Applicants should also describe how their research contributes to the development of natural history collections and their associated data (e.g., field collection, curation, and digitization).

2019 James L. Patton Award Recipient

Edgardo M. Rengifo Vásquez is a PhD student at the University of São Paulo. Edgardo is a young Peruvian biologist, interested in the study of small mammals, focusing on their taxonomy, systematics, and evolution. He has worked in several ecosystems, namely the Amazonia, Andes, and Coastal Deserts of Peru. In 2015, Edgardo received his Master in Zoology, working on the taxonomy of, and variation within, Andean populations of rodents of the genus Phyllotis, under the supervision of Dr. Victor Pacheco, at the National University of San Marcos. He is currently conducting his doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Alexandre Reis Percequillo at University of São Paulo. His dissertation focuses on the evolutionary history of the rodent communities inhabiting the Cordillera Blanca, in northern Peruvian Andes, where he is evaluating both phenotypic and genetic variation. He is interested in evaluating the effects of Andean orogenesis (and all environmental changes associated with this process) in the rodent populations inhabiting both slopes of Cordillera Blanca and other nearby complexes of mountains, including Southern Peruvian, Bolivian, and Ecuadorean ranges. Ultimately, Edgardo aims to revise the identity of species of rodents inhabiting these areas, contributing to the knowledge on the taxonomy and systematics of a poorly known group of mammals. 

Donate Now!

You can donate to the James L. Patton Award fund (and others) here.

James L. Patton Award

The application period opens 15 January with a submission deadline of 1 March at 11:59 PM (EST). 


  • Students enrolled in a MS or PhD program are eligible to apply.
  • We encourage applicants of all nationalities; no restrictions are placed based on citizenship or the country in which the applicant is studying.
  • Applicants must be ASM members at the time of submission. . We encourage all applicants to become long-term, engaged members of the society.

Application Requirements:

  • Research Proposal (two page maximum, 12 pt font, 0.5" margins, single spaced. Literature Cited may be on a separate page.)
  • Itemized Budget (two page maximum, including table and justification)
    • Categorize each item (e.g., Equipment, Travel, Accommodations)
    • Detail the Collections that will be used and the estimated number of specimens that will be used/examined at each collection
    • Provide estimated total cost and amount requested from the Patton Award.
    • Indicate sources of funds (e.g., Patton Award, Sigma Xi, etc.) received and pending.
  • Current CV (three page maximum)
  • One letter of support - This letter must be from your Research Advisor and must articulate the need for the funding.  Your advisor will be asked to submit their letter directly once you supply an email address during your application submission.
  • Previous ASM support - If you have received previous support from ASM, provide the source of  funding (e.g., GIA, African Graduate Student Research Fund ), year, proposal title, and a brief summary of progress (one page maximum).


See the grants page for current submission dates.  Applications are due March 1. 


  • 2016—Christopher Law, University of California, Santa Cruz. Adaptive radiation and the effects of sexual dimorphism on morphological diversification of Musteloidea.
  • 2017—Jonathan Nations, Louisiana State University. Using museum specimens to understand how extraordinary diversity is maintained in the rodent communities of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
  • 2018—Leonardo Cotts, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Proposal title: Osteological variability and variation in the skull and appendicular skeleton of Tamadua (Xenartha, Pilosa): investigations on ontogeny, sexual dimorphism and osteopathologies for the genus.
  • 2019—Edgardo M. Rengifo Vásquez, University of São Paulo. The role of the "Cordillera Blanca" (Ancash, Peru) in the evolutionary history of sigmodontine rodents in northern Peru.