Ellen Ketterson

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Past President of the ASN

I grew up in the eastern and middle-western United States and obtained all of my degrees from Indiana University.  Next came post-doctoral research at Washington State University, teaching at Bowling Green State University, and then returning to Indiana University where I am a Distinguished Professor of Biology.

Some of my earliest memories include learning to identify birds with my brother before I could read, and a love of wildflowers, prairies, and nature inspired by my mother. I spent 25 years at Mountain Lake Biological Station with my collaborator and partner Val Nolan, employing an experimental approach to the study of life-history trade-offs in a songbird, the junco, a study that continues to the present.

Adult junco.
(Credit: Ellen Ketterson)

I am an integrative evolutionary biologist who has focused on the role of hormones in phenotypic variation and the role of ‘hormonal pleiotropy’ in maintaining the tension between independence and interdependence in the evolution of correlated traits. I have been a member of the American Society of Naturalists for many years, and the papers I have written that provide me with the most satisfaction have appeared in issues emanating from ASN Vice-Presidential symposia. I have been an Associate Editor of the American Naturalist and have also served as Editor or Associate Editor of Evolution, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, Animal Behaviour, Current Ornithology, Journal of Avian Biology, and American Midland Naturalist. I am a Guggenheim Fellow, as well as a fellow of AAAS, the Animal Behavior Society, and the American Ornithologists’ Union. I have received career awards from the Animal Behavior Society, the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Wilson Ornithological Society. I was a co-founder of the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior and am currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. I have advised or co-advised 20 Ph.D. and 20 post-doctoral students, and I am co-producer of an educational documentary film on evolution entitled, ‘The Ordinary Extraordinary Junco.’ I am proud to serve the American Society of Naturalists as its President.

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