Ducks Unlimited Canada
Institute for Wetland & Waterfowl Research
PO Box 1160
Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada
R0C 2Z0

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In addition to fellowships, IWWR continues to recognize achievements of previously-supported students with the following awards:

Echo Travel Award: This travel award is intended to help students attend a conference, and thereby advance their careers.

IWWR Publication Award: This award is given to students who have made outstanding contributions to wetland or waterfowl conservation through publications of supported research.

Echo Travel Award

This annual award of $1000 (USD) is given to support travel to a scientific conference relevant to the winner’s career objectives and to DUC. Applicants must be or have been supported by IWWR. The award commemorates outstanding contributions of the Echo Lake crew to science-based conservation and their desire to help advance careers of promising professionals as they are about to or that have recently graduated. This is a time period when they may have limited access to funds and when their careers could benefit from exposure and networking opportunities at meetings. However, the award is also open to current IWWR students earlier in their graduate programs.

Key Timelines

  • Applications are due November 2024


  • All students still within their IWWR supported programs and those that have graduated from those programs within three years (36 months) of the application deadline
  • Must give an oral presentation
  • Can highlight results of supported or new research of relevance to DUC
  • Conference must occur by December 31st in the calendar year after the award deadline.
  • Cannot have previously won the Echo Award
  • Cannot be an IWWR employee

You can apply before being accepted to a conference. However, release of funds will be contingent upon proof of acceptance and submission of final abstract.

Application Process

  • Please submit the following information to in no more than 2 pages:
    • Name, anticipated or actual graduation date (or time since graduation), and employment status
    • Anticipated conference name, date, and website.
    • Statement of conference relevance to:
      • Advancing your career aspirations
      • DUC’s science-based conservation
    • Presentation abstract- this may be draft if you have not yet submitted
    • CV (not included in page count)
    • Letter from supervisor confirming anticipated graduation date if not yet graduated (not included in page count and not required if already graduated)

Selection Criteria

  • Decisions will be made by DUC staff based on the following criteria:
    • Relevance of conference to applicant’s career aspirations and to DUC
    • Quality of abstract, e.g. clarity, scientific merit, management implications
    • Achievements of applicant, given the current stage of their career
  • Preference will be given to those within one year of graduation or three years post-graduation at the application deadline.

Reporting Requirements

  • Submit proof of attendance. Failure to attend will require discussion with DUC with respect to reasons and return of funds
  • A brief write up of benefits obtained from attending, suitable for sharing with donors

Echo Travel Award Recipients


Nick Masto, PhD. Functional connectivity and use of waterfowl sanctuaries for wintering mallards in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Tennessee Technological University.


Sarah Clements, PhD. Habitat and environmental drivers of shorebird energy expenditure at contrasting non-breeding sites within a management unit, University of Missouri.


Casey Setash, PhD. Effects of GPS transmitters on waterfowl annual survival across the life-history spectrum, Colorado State University.


Zhe Zhang, PhD. Cooling effects of wetlands to mitigate climate change – a study of the North America Prairie Pothole Region, University of Saskatchewan.


Matt Dyson, PhD. Waterfowl nest success in the Western Boreal Forest: Does industrial development alter predation rates?, University of Waterloo.


Kelsey Navarre, MSc. Temporal covariation of demographic rates in Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) and management implications, Colorado State University.


Kyle Kuechle, MSc. Quantifying neonicotinoid concentrations in Missouri public wetlands and the corresponding threat to aquatic food webs, University of Missouri

Publication Award

Established in 2010, this award recognizes IWWR supported students who have successfully published research that makes a significant contribution to waterfowl and wetland conservation science.

Each year, the Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research (IWWR) awards up to two researchers with the IWWR Student Publication Award. In addition to recognition, recipients receive $500.

Eligibility criteria

  • Only students who have received financial support from IWWR will be considered for this award.
  • The student must have played a significant role in data collection, data analysis and preparation of the manuscript.
  • Publications must have the student as the senior author.
  • Student publications are only considered if they are submitted for publication within five years of the thesis defense.
  • Papers are assessed by year of publication.
  • Students who are IWWR staff (permanent, term, contract) at the time of publication review are not eligible for consideration for the award. Students who are Ducks Unlimited Canada or Ducks Unlimited Inc. staff outside of IWWR are eligible for consideration.

IWWR Student Publication Award Recipients


Riecke, T.V., M.G. Lohman, B.S. Sedinger, T.W. Arnold, C.L. Feldheim, D.N. Koons, F.C. Rohwer, M. Schaub, P.J. Williams, and J.S. Sedinger. 2022. Density‐dependence produces spurious relationships among demographic parameters in a harvested species. Journal of Animal Ecology 91:2261-2272.

Srayko, S.H., T.D. Jardine, I.D. Phillips, and D.P. Chivers. 2022. Seasonal mass migration of water boatmen (Hemiptera: Corixidae) as a wetland–river linkage and dietary subsidy to riverine fish. Ecosystems 25:1571-1588.


Messmer, D.J., R.T. Alisauskas, H. Pöysä, P. Runko, and R.G. Clark. 2021. Plasticity in timing of avian breeding in response to spring temperature differs between early and late nesting species. Scientific Reports 11:5410.

Zhang, Z., L.E. Bortolotti, Z. Li, L.M. Armstrong, T.W. Bell, and Y. Li. 2021. Heterogeneous changes to wetlands in the Canadian prairies under future climate. Water Resources Research 57:e2020WR028727.


Dyson, M.E., S.M. Slattery, and B.C. Fedy. 2020. Nest Predators of Ducks in the Boreal Forest. Wildlife Society Bulletin 44(3):631–639.

Zhang, Z., Y. Li, M. Barlage, F. Chen, G. Miguez-Macho, A. Ireson, and Z. Li. 2020. Modeling groundwater responses to climate change in the Prairie Pothole Region. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 24:655-672.


Janke, A.K., M.J. Anteau, and J.D. Stafford. 2019. Prairie wetlands confer consistent migrant refueling conditions across a gradient of agricultural land use intensities. Biological Conservation 229: 99-112.

Kuechle, K.J., E.B. Webb, D. Mengel, and A.R. Main. 2019. Factors influencing neonicotinoid concentrations in floodplain wetland sediments across Missouri. Environmental Science & Technology 53:10591-10600.


Iles, D.T., R.F. Rockwell, and D.N. Koons. 2018. Reproductive success of a keystone herbivore is more variable and responsive to climate in habitats with lower resource density. Journal of Animal Ecology 87: 1182-1191.

Johns, D.W., T.A. Marchant, G.D. Fairhurst, J.R. Speakman, and R.G. Clark. 2018. Biomarker of burden: Feather corticosterone reflects energetic expenditure and allostatic overload in captive waterfowl. Functional Ecology 32: 345-357.


Ross, M.V., R.T. Alisauskas, D.C. Douglas, and D.K. Kellett. 2017. Decadal declines in avian herbivore reproduction: density-dependent nutrition and phenological mismatch in the Arctic. Ecology 98: 1869-1883.


Finger, T.A., A.D. Afton, M.L. Schummer, S.A. Petrie, S.S. Badzinski, M.A. Johnson, M.L. Szymanski, K.J. Jacobs, G.H. Olsen, and M.A. Mitchell. 2016. Environmental factors influence lesser scaup migration chronology and population monitoring. Journal of Wildlife Management 80: 1437-1449. Read story.

Provencher, J.F., M.R. Forbes, H.L. Hennin, O.P. Love, B.M. Braune, M.L. Mallory, and H.G Gilchrist. 2016. Implications of mercury and lead concentrations on breeding physiology and penology in an Arctic bird. Environmental Pollution 218: 1014-1022. Read story.


Harms, N.J., P. Legagneux, H.G. Gilchrist, J. Bêty, O.P. Love, M.R. Forbes, G.R. Bortolotti, and C. Soos. 2015. Feather corticosterone reveals effect of moulting in the autumn on subsequent reproductive output and survival in an Arctic migratory bird. Proceeding of the Royal Society B 282: 20142085. Read story.

Lavretsky, P., J.M. Dacosta, B.H. Hernández-Baños, A. Engilis Jr., M.D. Sorenson, and J.L. Peters. 2015. Speciation genomics and a role for the Z chromosome in the early stages of divergence between Mexican ducks and mallards. Molecular Ecology 24: 5364-5378. Read story.


Barker, N.K.S., S.G. Cumming, and M. Darveau. 2014. Models to predict the distribution and abundance of breeding ducks in Canada. Avian Conservation & Ecology 9: 7.


No award given.


Nicolai, C.A., J.S. Sedinger, D.H. Ward, and W.S. Boyd. 2012. Mate loss affects survival but not breeding in black brant geese. Behavioral Ecology 23: 643-648.


Coulton, D.W., R.G. Clark, D.W. Howerter, M.G. Anderson, and L.I. Wassenaar. 2011. Costs and benefits of natal dispersal in yearling mallards Anas platyrhynchos. Journal of Avian Biology 42: 123-133.


Schummer, M.L., S.S. Badzinski, S.A. Petrie, Y.-W. Chen, and N. Belzile. 2010. Selenium accumulation in sea ducks wintering at Lake Ontario. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 58:854-862.

Card, S.M. and S.A. Quideau. 2010. Microbial community structure in restored riparian soils of the Canadian prairie pothole region. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42: 1463-1471.