Field Museum gives prestigious Parker/Gentry Award to eminent New World ornithologist

06/22/05

Ceremony on June 28, 2005

CHICAGO--The Field Museum will bestow its tenth annual Parker/Gentry Award on F. Gary Stiles, PhD, an extremely accomplished American ornithologist and expert on New World tropical birds.

Since 1995, Dr. Stiles has lived in Columbia where he conducts research and teaches. He is dedicated to education and has taught in Latin America for almost thirty years. Currently, he is based at the Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, in Bogota.

"By training students, editing journals, speaking at international events, and producing more than 100 publications, Dr. Stiles has emphasized the interaction between ecological and systematic research, as well as the role of these forces in conservation," says John Bates, PhD, Chair of Zoology and Curator of Birds at Chicago's Field Museum. "In recognition of Dr. Stiles' vital legacy to the scientific communities of Costa Rica, Colombia and the wider scientific community, The Field Museum is proud to give him the tenth annual Parker/Gentry Award."

The private award ceremony will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, 2005, at The Field Museum. Dr Stiles plans to be in Chicago between June 24 and June 29, during which time he will be available for interviews.

Established in 1996 by an anonymous donor, the Parker/Gentry Award honors an outstanding individual, team or organization in the field of conservation biology whose efforts have had a significant impact on preserving the world's rich natural heritage – and whose actions and approach can serve as a model to others.

The Award bears the names of the late Theodore A. Parker III and Alwyn H. Gentry, ardent conservationists and leading naturalists. Parker, an ornithologist, and Gentry, a botanist, died on August 3, 1991, while surveying hill forests of western Ecuador. The pair worked closely with Field Museum scientists on several joint efforts, including rapid inventories for conservation.

In 2003, Dr. Stiles won the Wiseman Medal from the Linnaean Society of New York. The medal is named in honor of ornithologist Eugene Wiseman, who Dr. Stiles credits with encouraging his career in tropical ornithology.

In 1997, Dr. Stiles won the Alexander F. Skutch Medal for Excellence in Neotropical Ornithology. Dr. Skutch studied birds in Central America for more than 70 years. He and Dr. Stiles co-authored A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica (Cornell University Press, 1989), a comprehensive and masterfully researched book that includes an overview of the geography and habitats of these colorful, diverse birds.

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