Kathy Martin Receives Ornithology Research and Mentoring Awards

Dr. Kathy Martin

UBC Forestry wishes to congratulate Dr. Kathy Martin who is the 2021 recipient of a William Brewster Memorial Award from the American Ornithological Society (AOS). As well, and for her contributions to the training and fostering of Canadian ornithologists, she is this year’s recipient of the Jamie Smith Mentoring Award from the Society of Canadian Ornithologists.

Dr. Martin has been honoured for her exceptional body of ornithological research in the Western Hemisphere in the areas of ecology and life history variation of arctic, alpine and forest landbirds. The work that was recognized showed:

  • How arctic and alpine birds can cope with extreme environments and climate change
  • How temperate forest land birds are affected by forestry activities and other disturbances such as insect outbreaks and environmental variability

Dr. Martin’s Illustrious Career

An owl hiding inside a tree

For the past 28 years, Dr. Martin has held a joint position as a professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at UBC’s Faculty of Forestry, and as a Research Scientist (now Emeritus) with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Since 1981, Dr. Martin has produced more than 230 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters with a focus on birds of the Western Hemisphere. She is widely recognized for her work with ptarmigan, having coauthored two species monographs in the Birds of North America (now Birds of the World) series (White-tailed Ptarmigan, no. 68; and Willow Ptarmigan, no. 369).

She has also spent more than 20 years working on alpine songbird ecology in North and South America and is currently co-authoring a book on Alpine Bird Ecology and Conservation (2022, Cambridge University Press).

Her formulation of the Nest Web concept, which focuses on tree cavities as a keystone resource for cavity-using vertebrates that determines the structure and function of cavity-nesting bird community dynamics, has received extensive international recognition.

Dr. Martin has been recognized by the Society for excellence in ornithological research as an AOS Elective Member and Fellow. Dr. Martin served as AOS President, 2018 to 2020, during which she developed policies on Diversity and Inclusivity and Professional ethics for the AOS.

In 2020, Dr. Martin received the Nancy B. Cutler Citation of Excellence: Women in Science and Technology Award for her invaluable role in furthering conservation science in Canada. Dr. Martin was granted the prestigious award in recognition of her years of hard work, groundbreaking research, and dedication to conservation.

Her career contributions to ornithology extend well beyond her research endeavours. To date, she has trained more than 35 graduate students and 20 post-docs, many of whom have continued into careers in ornithology. In 2021, she also received the Jamie Smith Memorial Mentoring Award from the Society of Canadian Ornithologists in recognition of her excellence in mentoring a new generation of professional or amateur biologists.

Dr. Kathy Martin at a field site in Hudson Bay Mountain

About the Awards

Consisting of a medal and honorarium, the William Brewster Memorial Award is presented to researchers who have made significant contributions to their discipline of study. Established in 1921, the award honours William Brewster, one of the founding members of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

The Jamie Smith Memorial Mentoring Award honours established ornithologists (professional or amateur) from academia, industry, non-government or government agencies in recognition of excellence in mentoring a new generation of professional or amateur biologists.

Posted in: ,

Related Articles