The Barbara Lawrence Award celebrates the life and accomplishments of Barbara Lawrence by recognizing and rewarding the scholarly efforts of young ethnobiologists. The award was initiated in 1987 by Dr. Elizabeth Wing and others and is presented for the best paper and presentation (in either oral or poster form) by a student at each annual conference. The prize carries a $500 monetary award, made possible by donations from family, friends, and colleagues of Barbara Lawrence, and the F.A.O. Schwarz Family Foundation.

Award Adjudication

Three judges, chosen by the yearly conference organizer, will adjudicate the award. Applicants will be evaluated based on two components:
  1. A written research paper
    • maximum 8 pages double-spaced of text, excluding abstract, figures, references cited, and acknowlegments
    • follow the Journal of Ethnobiology formatting
  2. Presentation of the research at the annual conference either as an oral presentation or as a poster
    • the recipient of the award will be announced at the General Meeting and also at the banquet


  • The award is open to any member who is currently a student, or has held a PhD degree for less than one year
  • Applicant must be a current member of the Society of Ethnobiology
  • Applicant cannot be a previous recipient of the Barbara Lawrence Award.
  • Applicants cannot be the primary author on more than one paper that is submitted
  • Any subject in ethnobiology is eligible
  • Co-authored papers are acceptable for submission only if
    1. the student is first author and
    2. the student has taken the lead in most of the research and paper-writing
    3. the student presents the oral or poster presentation at the annual conference, and
    4. a Statement of Authorship is submitted (along with the application) briefly explaining the role of each author in the research project
      • multiple student co-authors may share the award if they likewise share in authoring and presenting the research
      • in the case of multiple student co-authors, award money must be shared equally among the student authors

How to Apply

  1. Log in to the website and navigate to the Barbara Lawrence Award/Best Poster Award Application Form.
    Note that you must be a current member to be able to access the Application form. You must submit your abstract and proof of student status by March 1 March 22.
  2. Additional application materials that are due on May 19 include:
    • Research paper
    • PPT/Poster
    • Statement of Authorship (if more than one author is listed)
      You will be able to edit your original application to include these materials. Instructions will be provided in the confirmation email you will receive when you submit the application form

Please contact the Awards Coordinator at if you have questions about the award or application requirements. For technical assistance with the website and/or application form, contact

Past recipients of the Barabara Lawrence Award are listed here.