Brendon in fieldwork

UC Davis alumnus receives Robert Snodgrass Award

By Kathy Keatley Garvey

"UC Davis alumnus and ant morphologist Brendon Boudinot, who received his doctorate in entomology in June, is the recipient of the coveted Robert E. Snodgrass Memorial Research Award from the Entomological Society of America. The award is presented by ESA’s Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity Section.  

Boudinot, who studied with major professor Phil Ward of the UC Davis department of entomology and nematology, is the second UC Davis-affiliated entomologist to receive the honor in its 28-year history.  Jessica Gillung of the Lynn Kimsey lab, Bohart Museum of Entomology, won the award in 2019.  

Snodgrass (1875-1962), a leader in insect morphology, is known for his 76 scientific articles and six books, including “Insects, Their Ways and Means of Living” (1930) and the book considered to be his crowning achievement, “Principles of Insect Morphology” (1935). 

Boudinot has them all. “’Principles of Insect Morphology’ and ‘Anatomy of the Honey Bee’ were the foundation of my studies,” he said. “I have both, plus his ‘Textbook of Arthropod Morphology’ and ‘Insects, Their Ways and Means of Living’ on my desk in the lab.” 

The Snodgrass Award, which includes a certificate and cash prize, recognizes outstanding research by a Ph.D. student who has completed a research thesis or dissertation in arthropod morphology, systematics, taxonomy or evolution. Nominees are scored on honors, awards, achievements and recognition; recommendations of professors and advisors; grantsmanship, publications, creativity and innovation of thesis or dissertation; and contribution to morphology.

Boudinot’s dissertation is “Systematic and Evolutionary Morphology: Case Studies on Formicidae, Mesozoic Aculeata, and Hexapodan Genitalia.” 

He earlier received the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship to do research on evolutionary and comparative anatomy in Jena, Germany. He will go to Germany in early 2021 for the two-year fellowship after completing intensive language studies."

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