Abigail Robinson, a Biology PhD student in the Mullen Lab, received the 2024 Thomas H. Kunz Award. The Kunz Award recognizes and celebrates exemplary contributions by an early or mid-career scientist to the study of bats, including measurable impacts on bat research and/or conservation, student mentoring, public education, and collaborations.

In her research, Abby studies how predator avoidance strategies, like mimicry, shape communities. Batesian mimicry occurs when palatable mimics gain protection from predators by evolving phenotypic resemblance to a chemically defended model species. 

Using a tri-trophic community ecology approach, her work aims to understand factors that maintain Batesian mimicry in native North American butterfly populations. Understanding how mimicry impacts community dynamics will give valuable insight into how mimetic species may respond to changing environments.

This award provides support for Ecology, Behavior & Evolution (EBE) PhD candidates who have completed the qualifying exam, with a preference for those conducting field research in the award year. The award was established in 2015 in recognition and appreciation of Professor Thomas H. Kunz’s mentorship. His current and former graduate students established this award to serve as a lasting legacy of Tom’s contributions at BU and beyond. Learn more about Dr. Kunz and how you can support this award.

Congratulations, Abby!