Stearns Graduate Student Prize

ESEB & the JEB editorial team award an annual prize for the best paper by a graduate student published in the journal in a calendar year. The prize is named after Stephen Stearns, who did so much to establish both JEB (including serving as first Editor) & ESEB (article).

The Stearns Graduate Student Prize is aimed at recognising outstanding graduate research, so the paper should primarily arise from a significant piece of work which was included in a Masters or PhD thesis. The prize will be conferred at the nearest ESEB Congress and announced in the journal and online.

The award includes an invitation to attend the ESEB Congress (registration fees and travel included), and a cash prize of 250 €. We expect the corresponding or senior (first) author to be the graduate student primarily responsible for the research and paper writing, and the supervisor will be asked to confirm this for shortlisted papers. We expect papers to be submitted at the latest within five years of starting a PhD project. When papers are accepted we will ask if the paper is eligible to be considered for the award, and that all the authors agree to this. The prize will be selected by the Deciding Editors of the journal, and we expect the next award to be for a paper published in 2015.

Winner 2015

The Journal of Evolutionary Biology & the European Society for Evolutionary Biology are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2015 Stearns Prize for a paper published in JEB by a graduate student is James Lichtenstein, for his paper “Similar patterns of frequency-dependent selection on animal personalities emerge in three species of social spiders” [DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12651]. This paper arose from his PhD studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

James Lichtenstein was raised by clowns in Portland Oregon, but moved from the world of circus to the world of biology in high school. Currently, he is continuing to work towards his PhD in the lab of Jonathan Pruitt, formerly of the University of Pittsburgh. There, he researches the evolutionary and ecological consequences of animal personality.

Stearns Graduate Student Prize 2015 - James Lichtenstein

The standard of papers entered to the competition was very high, and runners up were Arthur Porto, Evan Hersh and Damien Farine.

I am very grateful to Karin Pfennig, Kelly Dyer, Sara Magalhaes and Astrid Groot for helping to assess the entries.

Mike Ritchie, Editor in Chief, JEB


Previous Winners

2014 – Ellie Harrison

ellie_harrison“Sex drives intracellular conflict in yeast” (DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12408).  Ellie formally received the award at the 2015 congress in Lausanne.

2014 – Runners up were Kay Lucek and Sean Lee.