Allegheny College Biology Professor Elected 2021 Honorary Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Ron Mumme
Ron Mumme

Allegheny College Professor of Biology Ron Mumme has been named a 2021 Honorary Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

Mumme is one of five fellows elected from undergraduate institutions out of 141 total fellows in the biological sciences. Honored for outstanding research and excellence in teaching, Mumme was delighted by the recognition. 

“It’s a wonderful and completely unexpected honor,” Mumme says. “I love doing fieldwork on birds. I especially love learning something new about a species that was previously unknown or overlooked.”

Hooded Warblers were at the center of Mumme’s research that earned him the distinction.

Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler

The professor’s interest was piqued by how the birds made tradeoffs between two demanding phases of their annual cycle: late-season parental care and the annual molt. 

Finding that Hooded Warblers regularly desert their late-season nestlings and fledglings to molt, leaving their mate responsible for all remaining parental care, was one of those novel findings,” Mumme says. “It’s the kind of thing that gets me excited!”

Over the last decade, Mumme has collaborated with 21 Allegheny students on the Hooded Warbler research. Most recently, alumnus Will Harrod ’21 held lead authorship on a paper he published with Mumme in IBIS, the journal of the British Ornithologists’ Union. Read more about their research here.

The elected honorary fellows will be celebrated with an induction ceremony and reception at the AAAS’ annual meeting held online.

Mumme plans to retire following the 2022-2023 academic year after 33 years of service on the Allegheny College faculty.