Wildlife Disease Association

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Tom and Beth Memorial Award

Photo Credit:Peregrine Wolff American bisonBison bison.


Tom Thorne and Elizabeth Williams Memorial Award

Tom Thorne and Beth Williams were highly influential and revered members of the wildlife disease, conservation, and management community. Their dedication to wildlife health and conservation, many contributions to both WDA and AAWV, mentorship, scientific acumen, and friendship and love of life were an inspiration to all. Their tragic death in 2004 left a huge void. To help commemorate their lives and contributions to WDA and AAWV, a memorial award was created in their name.

Photo Credit: Lisa Wolfe Black footed ferret Bronze Award

This prestigious award is presented to an individual or group in acknowledgement of either an exemplary contribution or achievement combining wildlife disease research with wildlife management policy implementation or elucidating particularly significant problems in wildlife health. The recipient also receives a bronze of the black footed ferrets (picture above) which commemorates the significant contributions they made to the health, conservation, and management of this endangered species.

The call for nominations for this award goes out January 1, and nominations are due by April 1.. The awards committee is co-chaired by the presidents of the AAWV and WDA with committee member being from both organizations. Click here for information on the Tom Thorne and Beth Williams Memorial Award Nomination Guidelines.

Dr Margo Pybus, Tom Thorne and Beth Williams Memorial Award Winner 2022

Dr Pybus is an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta and provincial wildlife disease specialist. A respected mentor, professor and collaborator who sits on numerous international panels, the award also recognises Dr Pybus' prolific research across species including rabies in bats and skunks, West Nile Virus and avian botulism and radio telemetry of big brown and northern long-eared bats as well as overwintering bats.

Drs Elizabeth (Buffy) Howerth and David (Dave) Stallknecht, Tom Thorne and Beth Williams Memorial Award Winner 2023

Dr Howerth is a professor of anatomic pathology at the University of Georgia and Dr Stallknecht is Professor Emeritus, SCWDS, College of Veterinary Medicine also at the University of Georgia. Individually, and as a team, Buffy and Dave have elucidated some of the most significant and complex disease systems involving wildlife, expanding our systems-level understanding on avian influenza virus, bluetongue virus, epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, West Nile virus, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis, among others.

Previous Award Winners

                                           Tom Thorne and Beth Williams Memorial Award
       Year Recipient Affiliation
2023 Elizabeth Howerth and David Stallknecht University of Georgia
2022 Mago Pybus University of Alberta
2021 Tonie Rocke United States Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center
2020 Richard Kock  Royal Veterinary College
2019 Billy Karesh EcoHealth Alliance
2018 Lisa Wolfe Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife
2017 Carol Meteyer & David Blehert  United States Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center
2016 Lee Skerratt, Lee Berger & Rick Speare One Health Research Group at James Cook University 
     2015     Ted Leighton Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative
2014 John Fischer Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study
2013 Not Awarded  
2012 Ian K. Barker University of Guelph
2011 Jonna A.K. Mazet University of California-Davis
2010 David A. Jessup California Department of Fish and Game
2008 Gary A. Wobeser University of Saskatchewan
2007  Michael W. Miller      Colorado Division of Wildlife