Initiated 1990 Awarded to an assistant professor (Announced annually in Fall/Winter)

SBN’s New Investigator Award is named in Frank Beach’s honor, a tribute both to his scientific accomplishments and to his teaching and mentorship of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Frank Beach was the principal founder of behavioral endocrinology: He named and defined the discipline (Beach, 1975), wrote the first survey (Beach, 1948) and history (Beach, 1981) of the field, organized the annual West Coast sex conference, which eventually morphed into the SBN, and founded the journal Hormones and Behavior.


Nominations are now being accepted for the 31st Annual Frank A. Beach New Investigator Award in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. The deadline for submitting nominations is September 20th, 2020.

2019 Award Winner: Ben Dantzer, PhD

This year’s recipient for the Frank A. Beach New Investigator Award is Dr. Ben Dantzer.

Dr. Dantzer received his Ph.D. from the Departments of Zoology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior from Michigan State University (2007-2012) with Dr. Andrew McAdam conducting research on hormone-mediated maternal effects in North American red squirrels. From there Dr. Dantzer moved to a postdoctoral position in the Department of Zoology at Cambridge University with Dr. Tim Clutton-Brock working on cooperation in meerkats (2012-2014). In the fall of 2014, Dr. Dantzer started his position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Dantzer’s research program integrates both proximate and ultimate levels of analysis to understand the neuroendocrinology of animal behavior in natural environments. Using concepts from evolutionary biology and behavioral endocrinology the goal of his research is to understand the potential transgenerational consequences of early life stress on a range of behaviors from maternal-offspring interactions to cooperation in group-living species or pair-bonding behavior. Part of Dr. Dantzer’s unique perspective is to ask if the same effects persist across generations despite very different ecological situations found among natural populations of wild animals including red squirrels, meerkats, and prairie voles.

Dr. Dantzer’s research has consistently been at the forefront of a relatively new discipline, Evolutionary Neuroendocrinology, a field that seeks to identify how endocrine traits influence survival and reproduction through their effects on performance, life history traits, brain and behavior. Dr. Dantzer has implemented this “mechanism-performance-behavior-fitness” program by focusing primarily on the causes and consequences of physiological stress (upregulation of the HPA axis) with respect to the pace of development (life history), maternal behavior, and social/cooperative behavior.

Other notables include that Dr. Dantzer has 55 published articles in some of the top peer-reviewed journals in the life sciences including Science, PNAS and Proceedings of the Royal Society B, many of which are first-authored. He has 2136 citations and an h-index of 19. Dr. Dantzer has been awarded an NSF Career Award, the George A. Bartholomew Award (Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology), the APS Rising Star Award (Association for Psychological Science), and the Brenda Milner Award (American Psychological Association Division 6). Finally, Dr. Dantzer has mentored and supervised 60 undergraduates, 6 graduate students, and 3 post-docs. He is an excellent citizen and is an Associate Editor or Member of Editorial Board at Hormones & Behavior, Journal of Animal Ecology, Conservation Physiology, & Ecology & Evolution.

View Dr. Becker’s Nomination Presentation

Previous winners of the Frank A. Beach New Investigator Award are:

Year Winner Publication PubMed
2019 Ben Dantzer, PhD
2018 Zoe R. Donaldson, PhD
2017 Lauren O’Connell
2016 Jaclyn Schwarz Hormones and Behavior Volume 114, August 2019, 104521 30981689
2015 Annaliese Beery Hormones and Behavior Volume 107, January 2019, Pages 67-75 30439353
2014 Sari van Anders
2013 Brandon Aragona
2012 Luke Remage-Healey Hormones and Behavior 2014, 66 (3), 552-560 25110187
2011 Staci Bilbo Hormones and Behavior, 2013, 63 (5), 684-691 23474365
2010 Brian Trainor Hormones and Behavior, 2011, 60 (5), 457-469 21907202
2009 Frances Anne Champagne Hormones and Behavior, 2011, 60, 4-11 21376726
2008 Hans Hofmann Hormones and Behavior, 2010, 58, 555-62 20600047
2007 Leonida Fusani Hormones and Behavior, 2008, 54, 227-33 18502420
2006 Kevin Kelliher Hormones and Behavior, 2007, 52, 561-70 17959176
2005 Lance Kriegsfeld Hormones and Behavior, 2006, 50, 655-666 16876801
2004 James L. Goodson * Hormones and Behavior, 2005, 48, 11-22 15885690
2004 Brian Prendergast * Hormones and Behavior, 2005, 48, 503-511 16026787
2003 Tracy L. Bale Hormones and Behavior, 2005, 48, 1-10 15919381
2002 Gregory E. Demas * Hormones and Behavior, 2004, 45, 173-180 15047012
2002 Anthony P. Auger * Hormones and Behavior, 2004, 45, 168-172 15047011
2001 Joseph S. Lonstein Hormones and Behavior, 2003, 42, 258-262 12501837
2000 A. Courtney DeVries Hormones and Behavior, 2002, 41, 405-413 12018936
1999 Lique M. Coolen Hormones and Behavior, 2010, 58, 149-162 20004662
1998 Larry J. Young Hormones and Behavior, 1999, 36, 212-221 10603285
1997 Miles Orchinik Hormones and Behavior, 1998, 34, 320-327 9878280
1996 Ruth I. Wood Hormones and Behavior, 1997, 32, 40-45 9344690
1995 James Pfaus Horm Behav. 1996 Sep;30(3):187-200. 8918675
1994 Margaret McCarthy * Horm Behav. 1995 Jun;29(2):131-40. 7557918
1994 Laura Smale * Horm Behav. 1995 Jun;29(2):127-30. 7557917
1993 Barney Schlinger Horm Behav. 1994 Sep;28(3):191-8. 7814000
1992 Ilona Vathy Horm Behav. 1993 Mar;27(1):1-4. 8382659
1991 Jill Schneider Horm Behav. 1992 Mar;26(1):1-6. 1563723
1990 Emilie F Rissman Horm Behav. 1991 Jun;25(2):125-7 2066076

*Denotes Co-Winner