Announcement of the Fulker Award for a Paper Published in Behavior Genetics, Volume 42, 2012
The Fulker Award was established by the Behavior Genetics Association in memory of David Fulker, a past President the Association and Executive Editor of the journal, who died in 1998 (Hewitt 1998). The award is for a particularly meritorious paper’ published in the journal during the preceding year. The annual prize is $1,000 ‘and a nice bottle of wine’ (given only when the recipient is present at the Association’s annual meeting.)
Volume 42 included 75 rigorously peer reviewed papers on human and animal behavior genetics. To select the paper for the Fulker award, I solicit nominations from the journal’s Associate Editors follow their advice closely.
Among the nominees were papers by: Bergin et al. (2012) on the genetic and environmental transmission of fluctuations in Body Mass Index, a health related phenotype; on methods for testing the hypothesis of an X-linked genetic influence resulting in the increased representation of males in the high end of the IQ distribution, by Giummo and Johnson (2012), by Kim et al. (2012) on sexual isolation in natural strains of Drosophila pseudoobscura that are possibly in the early stages of speciation; by Martin et al. (2012) on conspecific ant aggression and kin recognition; a study by Barclay et al. (2012) on the non-shared environmental influences on sleep quality; and a study of Orangutan personality, by Mark Adams and colleagues that was based on subjects from 42 zoos, connected through known pedigrees, across the USA, Canada, Australia and Singapore. One of the pleasures of being the Editor of Behavior Genetics is reading the wide range of innovative studies published in the journal, and making the almost impossible choice of the ‘best’ paper from among the Associate Editors’ nominations.
This year, Adams et al. (2012) careful analysis of their fascinating and unique data stood out. Although not definitive, this paper is one of systematic and rigorous series of studies conducted by Alex Weiss and his students that provides an original and different approach to understanding the evolution of human personality through the study of non-human primates.
Congratulations to Mark Adams, James King, and Alex Weiss for their 2012 Fulker Award winning paper: The majority of genetic variation in Orangutan personality and subjective well-being is non-additive.
John K. Hewitt