Nominations/Applications for the 2017 Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigator Awards

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Jasper Loftus-Hills and the Melbourne Zoology Department call discrimination tank, 1970 (Sullivan et al. "Murray John Littlejohn and Patricia Gordon Littlejohn," Copeia 103:467-475)

The Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigator’s Award of the American Society of Naturalists honors outstanding promise and accomplishments of young investigators that conduct integrative work in the fields of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Behavioral Ecology, and Genetics. The award was established in 1984 to recognize exceptional work by investigators who received their doctorates in the three years preceding the application deadline, or who are in their final year of graduate school. A list of previous recipients can be found here.

Winners of this award will present a research paper in the Young Investigator's Symposium at the ASN annual meeting and receive a $500 prize, a travel allowance of $700, the cost of registration for the meetings, and a supplement of $500 in case of intercontinental travel. Four awards are made annually. Recipients need not be members of the Society.

The prize committee encourages direct applications and welcomes suggestions of people who should be encouraged to apply. Applications should consist of no more than three pages that summarize the applicant's work (excluding tables, figures, and references), no more than four appropriate reprints, and a CV combined as a single pdf. Two letters from individuals familiar with the applicant's work should be sent separately. All application materials should be sent via e-mail by January 1, 2017, to Rebecca Safran ( Please indicate "Young Investigators' Award" in the subject line, and for reference letters, the name of the applicant.

Jasper Loftus-Hills

Golden Coquí (Eleutherodactylus jasperi)

Jasper Loftus-Hills (1946-1974) was an Australian biologist of exceptional promise who lost his life doing fieldwork recording frog calls in Texas, three years after receiving his degree from the University of Melbourne.

An obituary appeared in Copeia: in 1974 (Alexander, Richard D. "Jasper Loftus-Hills." Copeia 1974:812-13). 

The Golden Coqui (in the photo above) was discovered on Puerto Rico by George E. Drewry, Kirkland L. Jones, Julia R. Clark, and Jasper J. Loftus-Hills. They had planned to name the species for its color, but when Loftus-Hills was killed in 1974, his colleagues chose instead to name it in his honor: 

A further description of Jasper Loftus-Hills appeared in Copeia 2015 (103:467-475), which is a retrospective on his mentor, Murray John Littlejohn (doi:

The most gifted graduate student Murray ever worked with (in his own estimation) was Jasper Loftus-Hills, whose Ph.D. thesis “Auditory function and acoustic communication in anuran amphibians” was completed in 1971. Jasper followed in Murray’s footsteps to Austin and then went on to Cornell University and the University of Michigan. He was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver while doing night fieldwork on Gastrophryne in Texas in 1974. The 1992 Gastrophryne paper coauthored by Jasper and Murray is a lucid analysis of the state of the art in character displacement and reinforcement, two terms burdened with a long history of confusion.  (Loftus-Hills, J. J., and M. J. Littlejohn. 1992Reinforcement and reproductive character displacement inGastrophryne carolinensis and G. olivacea (Anura: Microhylidae): a re-evaluationEvolution 46:896906.