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

Spiritus Award

Nominations are solicited for the Spiritus Award, which is presented annually by the ASIH to recognize excellence in service and support of natural history collections of fishes, amphibians and reptiles. The award is presented to an ichthyologist and herpetologists during even and odd years, respectively.

Nominations may be made by any ichthyologist or herpetologist and should be submitted by 1 March for the nominee to be eligible for that year’s 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.

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, policy-making and/or funding. 

Email nominations to Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell (gregory.watkins-colwell [at] Nominations must include the name, current address and recent CV of the nominee; letter of support expressing the nominee’s qualifications (nominator may solicit and submit additional letters of support). 

Past Winners

  • 2018: Karsten Hartel
  • 2017: Jens Vindum