UM Professor’s Animal Weapons Book Earns Major National Award

Emlen honored for book, teaching skills


Categories: Campus , Academic , Research

A book written by Douglas Emlen, a UM evolutionary biologist, has been awarded the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science.

Emlen received the award for his book Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle and a $10,000 prize at a gala dinner in December at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The award is presented by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest academic honor society. Since 1959, the group has presented the award to recognize outstanding contributions by scientists to the literature of science. Past book winners include the likes of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, which also won the Pulitzer Prize.

“I worked long hours on this book, and receiving this award is a wonderful affirmation,” Emlen says. “Writing at this level, with this voice and to this audience, was the most enjoyable and meaningful thing I’ve ever done. It’s a great feeling to know you are bringing real science to the public in an entertaining and meaningful way.”

Animal Weapons, which was featured in the Winter 2015 Montanan, tells the story behind the incredible weapons we see in the animal world and what they can tell us about the way humans protect ourselves. Emlen takes the reader outside the lab and deep into the forests and jungles of the world to explain the processes behind the most extreme of animal weapons.

Emlen also recently was named the 2015 Montana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He was one of thirty-five educators selected nationwide from nearly 4
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