KU News Release


Jan. 14, 2011
Contact: Jen Humphrey, Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Institute, (785) 864-2344

KU herpetologist named 2011 Encyclopedia of Life Fellow

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas herpetologist is among the 16 select scientists honored with a prestigious fellowship that will help them share biodiversity research with other scientists and the public.

The Encyclopedia of Life named Cameron Siler, a doctoral student in ecology and evolutionary biology, a 2011 EOL Rubenstein Fellow. The honor includes an award of $16,137.

As an EOL Rubenstein Fellow, Siler will develop detailed species accounts for the amphibians and reptiles of the Philippine islands, which will help improve the effectiveness of conservation planning. Ultimately, his research will establish a publicly available database of biodiversity information and educational tools, through collaborations with the Encyclopedia of Life and online databases such as AmphibiaWeb and HerpWatch Philippines.

Siler studies the evolution of a group of Southeast Asian lizards. His previous honors include a Madison and Lila Self Graduate fellowship and two Fulbright fellowships that that have allowed for him to survey sites across the Philippines. At KU, he is mentored by Rafe Brown, curator of herpetology at the Biodiversity Institute.

EOL Rubenstein Fellows are selected on the basis of stellar achievement, promise for continued accomplishment and diversity and relevance of their research. This year’s recipients specialize in a variety of taxonomic areas, ranging from rhododendrons of the world to African birds to flower flies. The fellowship program is made possible through a gift from David M. Rubenstein to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

The program provides partial stipend or salary support (up to 50 percent in one year) for early-career scientists wish to use Encyclopedia of Life as a platform for outreach and encouraging other young scientists to do the same. More information about the fellows program is available at www.eol.org/content/page/2011eolfellows.

The Encyclopedia of Life aims to provide freely accessible information by and for communities around the world about all of the planet’s 1.9 million known species.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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