Peter Smouse Award in Evolution 2016
Kiersten Formoso and Kurtis Himmler

Photo: Kiersten Formoso Kiersten Formoso loves everything Rutgers. She was in the Marching Scarlet Knights band for four years; she was the trombonist in various Mason Gross ensembles; she conducted independent research in two different laboratories; she designed a guided tour of the Rutgers Geology Museum; she became a Rutgers sportswriter for a Big Ten website; she worked her way up to be the student unit manager at Brower Commons dining hall; and more! And above all else, she loves dinosaurs and everything paleo. After graduating, Kiersten will be studying paleobiology at Virginia Tech and will ultimately obtain her Ph.D. in an area of this broad field. Her dream is to return to Rutgers as a professor of paleobiology.


Photo: Kurtis Himmler Kurtis Himmler is a 'local boy made good'. His interests in ecology and evolution began in childhood through his readings about dinosaurs and his careful observations of everything living. His passion for birds grew from a one-credit course on field identification of birds, and his appetite for ecological research was further whetted by experiences in the laboratories of Dr. Rachael Winfree and Dr. Steven Handel. His George H Cook honors research focused on bird communities in New York City parks under guidance of Dr. Myla Aronson, and his involvement with Dr. Lena Struwe in the 2015 and 2016 Rutgers Personal Bioblitzes fueled his interest in botany, plant systematics, and evolution. He will attend graduate school and then hopes to develop a career in conservation and public education.