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 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
  • 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 conference "Abstract Submission" page.
  2. Click the "Submit Your Abstract Now" button and check the Barbara Lawrence Award Submission checkbox AND upload Proof of Student Status on the submission form. Note that you must be a current member and be registered for the conference OR you must have submitted an application for a Conference Waiver, to be able to access the Abstract Submission form. You must submit your abstract and proof of student status by January 15.
  3. If your abstract is accepted, your acceptance email will have instructions for how to submit the other required materials:
    • Research paper
    • PPT/Poster
    • Statement of Authorship (if more than one author is listed)
      To upload these materials, please follow these steps:
      1. Log in to the website.
      2. Click on the link to your abstract in your acceptance email.
      3. On your abstract web page, click the "BLA Applicant File Upload Link" button below your abstract.
      4. Complete the form and Save.

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

 Poster Guidelines: Never made a poster before? No worries. Follow this link to download a .pdf of how to make a poster. Maximum poster size is 36 inches high x 36 inches wide (0.91 x 0.91 metres). Posters must be flat.
Click here for a Powerpoint poster template.

Past recipients of the Barabara Lawrence Award are listed here.