close-up of a tree frog, Hyla cinera, photo by JD Willson

Spiritus Award

Nominations are solicited for the Spiritus Award. The Spiritus Award is presented annually by the ASIH to recognize excellence in service and support of natural history collections of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. In 2021, it will be presented to a herpetologist. 

Nominations may be made by any ichthyologist or herpetologist and should be submitted by 1 March 2021 for the nominee to be eligible for the 2021 award. Nominations will be effective for three award cycles over a five-year period (due to alternation between disciplines). Committee members are not eligible for nomination while serving on the committee and for one year following.

Nominations must include the name, current address, and recent CV of the nominee, and a letter of support expressing the nominee's qualifications (nominator is encouraged to solicit and submit additional letters of support). A complete nomination package greatly helps the committee in their evaluation of the nominees.

To qualify, a nominee must not have been a previous recipient of the Spiritus Award and must have an established record of exceptional management, curation, and/or administration of natural history collection(s) of fishes, amphibians, and/or reptiles. Accomplishments worthy of consideration should include one or more of the following:

  • An active career in collection management and stewardship;
  • Development of best practices and resources such as institutional and online databases that have significantly advanced the management, curation, and dissemination of data associated with natural history collections;
  • Restoration and/or significant growth of existing collections;
  • Successful advocacy for natural history collections in academia, public outreach, conservation, professional service, policy-making, and/or funding.

Email nominations to Meredith Mahoney, Chair (meredith.mahoney [at]

Past Winners

  • 2020: Alexandra Snyder
  • 2019: John Simmons
  • 2018: Karsten Hartel
  • 2017: Jens Vindum