IBIS – Best ECR paper of 2021

In 2021, IBIS published 62 papers whose first author or corresponding author was an early career researcher (ECR). That equates to 53% of all our scientific content published last year.

Our Associate Editors nominated their favourite ECR papers of 2021, and the top nine papers we’re put to a public vote to select the best ECR paper in IBIS of 2021.

And the winner is . . .

Tongue spots of Dunnock (Prunella modularis) nestlings reflect body condition but exert only conditional influence on parental allocation

Carlos E. Lara, Benedikt Holtmann, Eduardo S.A. Santos, Gabriel J. Castaño-Villa, Shinichi Nakagawa


On being informed of the award, Carlos said “I am really honoured to receive this award from the BOU. I am very fond of IBIS so publishing in it has been rewarding, especially to be selected as the best ECR paper from such cool papers is fantastic. A huge thanks to Leica for the prize!”

We remain very grateful to Leica Camera (UK) for their continued support of this award.

The other nominees were (ECR author in bold type):

Day–night cycle influences the division of incubation in the Hooded Dotterel (Thinornis cucullatus)

Julia Ryeland, Michael J. L. Magrath, Michael A. Weston


Early-life development of contrasting outbound and return migration routes in a long-lived seabird

Joe Wynn, Tim Guilford, Oliver Padget, Chris M. Perrins, Neville McKee, Natasha Gillies, Chris Tyson, Ben Dean, Holly Kirk, Annette L. Fayet


When a typical jumper skips: itineraries and staging habitats used by Red Knots (Calidris canutus piersmai) migrating between northwest Australia and the New Siberian Islands

Theunis Piersma, Eva M. A. Kok, Chris J. Hassell, He-Bo Peng, Yvonne I. Verkuil, Guangchun Lei, Julia Karagicheva, Eldar Rakhimberdiev, Paul W. Howey, T. Lee Tibbitts, Ying-Chi Chan


Mitochondrial substitution rates estimation for divergence time analyses in modern birds based on full mitochondrial genomes

Ángel Arcones, Raquel Ponti, David R. Vieites


Geolocators reveal variation and sex-specific differences in the migratory strategies of a long-distance migrant

Fraser Bell, Stuart Bearhop, Martins Briedis, Myriam El Harouchi, Sophie C. Bell, Joan Castello, Malcolm Burgess


Aposematism and mimicry in birds

Esme Hedley, Tim Caro


A global synthesis of the impacts of urbanization on bird dawn choruses

Oscar H. Marín-Gómez, Ian MacGregor-Fors


Historical avifaunal change and current effects of hiking and road use on avian occupancy in a high-latitude tundra ecosystem

Avery L. Meeker, John M. Marzluff, Beth Gardner


We’re extremely grateful for the continued support of Leica Camera (UK) for this award.

Vote for your favourite ECR paper here