Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Michael R. Willig, is the 2021 recipient of the C. Hart Merriam Award from the American Society of Mammologists (ASM) on its 100th anniversary.
The award recognizes Willig’s enduring dedication to a multidisciplinary approach to studying and teaching mammalogy—the biology of mammals.
Willig is also the founding executive director of UConn’s Institute of the Environment, director of the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and curator of mammals for the Biodiversity Research Collections.
The C. Hart Merriam Award commemorates its namesake, the first president of ASM, who is considered the father of mammalogy.
Willig’s research includes ecology, biogeography and conservation biology. His research primarily focuses on mammals such as bats, especially their population and community ecology or biodiversity. Willig has published his research globally, and is cited over 26,000 times. Willig has conducted funded research in Peru, Brazil, Paraguay and Puerto Rico, as well as in the US. According to ASM, he is among the top 2 percent of distinguished ecologists in the world.
He will present his research as a plenary address at the 2022 ASM annual meeting in Arizona.