American Society of Naturalists

A membership society whose goal is to advance and to diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.

2024 ASN Distinguished Naturalist Award

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Rachel A. Page

Rachel Page (photo by David Bethel)
Rachel Page (photo by David Bethel)

The Distinguished Naturalist Award is given annually to an active midcareer scientist who has made significant contributions to the knowledge of a particular ecosystem or group of organisms and who, through this work, has illuminated key principles of evolutionary biology and an enhanced appreciation of natural history. The winner of the 2024 Distinguished Naturalist Award is Dr. Rachel Page.

Dr. Page is an academic leader who is pushing the frontiers of animal behavior and cognitive science. Dr. Page uses emerging techniques to investigate how animals use sensory and cognitive tools to perceive the world around them. In particular, the panel recognizes her key contributions to bat sensory ecology. Dr. Page continue to develop ingenious techniques to explore the notoriously elusive sensory worlds of bats.

Rachel Page (photograph by Imran Razik)
Rachel Page (photograph by Imran Razik)

Dr. Page has led work that has shaped today’s views on bat social structure, social discrimination, the social role of male odor, echolocation calls, private and social information use. She has contributed to pushing our understanding of long-term memory and hearing sensitivity. She has shown how species interactions can drive dynamics, including behavioral effects on infection and immune status, how animals learn novel prey cues from other predatory species, and even the effects of forest fragmentation on bat populations. Dr. Page has been able to achieve these milestones under challenging field conditions.

Along with being a gifted scientist, Dr. Page is a truly inspirational communicator. Based in Panama, she holds a monthly educational “Bat Nights” to introduce the public to bats and bat ecology. This outreach is further exemplified by an illustrated book exploring the species Dr. Page has worked with on Barro Colorado Island. Dr. Page has also been recognized for her stellar work in promoting diversity and equity, and is a respected mentor to young scientists.

Dr. Page continues to push our understanding of animal behavior and cognitive science, making outstanding and novel contributions to bat sensory ecology, making her an ideal recipient of this award.