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Alison Bell receives Animal Behavior Society Young Investigator Award


Alison Bell, a University of Illinois animal biology professor and affiliate of the Institute for Genomic Biology, is the recipient of the 2012 Young Investigator Award from the Animal Behavior Society. The society recognized Bell for her “remarkable research contributions to the field of animal behavior and the early training of young scholars” in her laboratory.

Bell studies animal behavioral syndromes and their implications. She has made significant contributions to the field of animal behavior by studying the behavioral traits of the three-spined stickleback, a species of fish adapted to diverse habitats. She is a pioneer in the study of animal personality and more recently has been using genomics to understand the causes and consequences of individual differences in behavior.

“I am thrilled that Alison received this well-deserved award,” said Gene Robinson, director of the Institute for Genomic Biology. “As an architect of the study of animal personality, Alison already has had great impact in the field of behavioral biology,” adds Robinson, who nominated her for the award.

“She is widely viewed as one of the international leaders in this interdisciplinary research field,” said Andrew Sih, a distinguished professor of environmental science and policy at the University of California at Davis, who also nominated Bell for the award. She is “not just one of the best young scientists in this field, but one of the top scientists at any career stage in this field.”

The award is given to one researcher each year who has made significant contributions to the field of animal behavior as a “new investigator.”

Bell is a member of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology and the American Society of Naturalists.

The ABS honored Bell at its annual meeting in Albuquerque, N.M.

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