Distinguished UConn professor receives C. Hart Merriam Award

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Among the top 2 percent of the world’s top environmentalists, Michael Willig is recognized for his dedication to research and education on mammals and the environment.

Mike Willig, Board Member, Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Director of the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering. (Bri Diaz / UConn Photo)

Board of Directors Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Professor Michael R. Willig, is the 2021 recipient of the award C. Hart merriam of the American Society of Mammologists (ASM) on its 100th anniversary.

The award recognizes Willig’s unwavering dedication to a multidisciplinary approach to the study and teaching of mammalogy, mammalian biology.

Willig is also the founding executive director of the UConn Institute of the Environment, director of the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and mammal curator for 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 focuses mainly on mammals such as bats, in particular their population and the ecology or biodiversity of their community. Willig has published his research worldwide and is cited over 26,000 times. Willig has conducted funded research in Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, and Puerto Rico, as well as the United States. According to the ASM, it is one of the the first 2 percent of distinguished environmentalists in the world.

He will present his research at a plenary conference at the ASM 2022 annual meeting in Arizona.


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