The Gabriel W. Lasker Service Award

The Gabriel W. Lasker Service Award was established in 2005 to recognize and honor individuals who have demonstrated a history of excellence in service to the American Association of Biological/Physical Anthropologists, its members, and/or the field of biological anthropology. Nominees do not have to be AABA members.

The award is named in honor of the late Gabriel W. Lasker, former AAB/PA President, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Committee member, founding editor of the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology (now the Yearbook of Biological Anthropology) and long-term editor of Human Biology.

Nomination Process

  1. Members are invited to submit a one-page nomination (in .doc, .docx, or .pdf) describing the nominee’s qualifications and contributions to biological anthropology and the American Association of Biological Anthropologists. 
  2. Nominations must be accompanied by a completed Nomination Disclosure Form.
  3. Electronic submission is required and nominations should be e-mailed to the chair of the History and Honors Committee, Dr. Ashley Hammond.
  4. All materials must be received no later than October 15, 2024.
  5. Rollover of Nominations: Nominations made in the previous year, but not awarded, will be considered by the Executive Committee for one additional year without requiring re-nomination. Nominators who wish to provide additional information should contact the Chair of the History and Honors Committee. Nominations made prior to the previous year must be resubmitted.

Evaluation Process. The AABA Executive Committee evaluates the nominees and makes the final decision.   The committee may request a more detailed letter of nomination from the original nominator along with brief a curriculum vitae of the nominee. The awardee and the nominator are informed by the President in January prior to the annual meeting.

Award Process. The award is presented during the business meeting at the AABA annual meeting each year. The awardee will be introduced by the nominator (in the case of multiple nominations, a single nominator will be selected). All members including students are encouraged to attend the business meeting to join together in recognition of a distinguished senior member of the AABA.


Steven Leigh, University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Leigh’s nomination emphasized “his unwavering generosity, and the incredible level of graciousness he brought to his leadership roles.” He was serving as VP and Program Chair when the COVID pandemic began, and guided the organization with transparency and wisdom as we had to cancel meetings and transition quickly to online resources. Since then, he has served as President and now, as Past-President, continues to help lead AABA. “He has demonstrated a heartfelt commitment to service that makes academia a better place.”


Andrea Taylor, Touro University. As described in her nomination packet, “Andrea Taylor has been the driving force behind some of the most important culture changes of the AABA.” She is recognized for her consistent efforts in advocating for emerging scholars and women scientists in the AABA and beyond. She has helped create pathways for scholars in our discipline, while reducing barriers to work in our field. Her efforts as editor of the Journal of Human Evolution have advanced and enriched our field.


Leslea Hlusko, CENIEH, Spain, and University of California, Berkeley). Dr. Hlusko’s remarkable achievements as AAPA and AABA Vice President and Program Chair for our annual conferences include her creative problem solving to provide members with a virtual conference experience in 2021. She gave us the best virtual conference that could possibly be. In addition, her innovations in providing our members with informative and ground-breaking webinars helped us remain a community during a global pandemic that separated us all.


Ed Hagen, Washington State University of Vancouver.


Karen Rosenberg, University of Delaware. Dr. Rosenberg’s scholarship has transformed the way that we think about childbirth and motherhood. She has been a major public presence of our discipline in communicating about evolution to the public. Dr. Rosenberg has served the AABA as President, Past President, Vice President, Executive Committee member, and Scientific Program Committee member. As President, she led the organization toward responding effectively to a changing scientific landscape. Dr. Rosenberg is one of a handful of senior scientists who have supported and maintained a community of biological anthropologists across other major scientific organizations, including the AAA, the Paleoanthropology Society, the AAAS, and Sigma Xi.


Susan C. Antón, New York University. Susan Antón’s academic interests are biological anthropology; skeletal biology; evolution of genus Homo; dispersal; evolutionary morphology; human osteology and anatomy; growth, development and life history patterns. Field programs in Asia and the Pacific. She has served as President and Vice President of the AABA and with colleagues initiated and developed the AABA’s highly successful Committee on Diversity.


Anne L. Grauer, Loyola University Chicago. Paleopathology and paleodemography — in particular the lives of women and the impact of social environments on the presence of diseases, human morbidity, and mortality. She is also a forensic consultant for the FBI’s Evidence Response Team, the Cook County Sheriff’s Police, and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.


John H. Relethford, SUNY Oneonta. Human population genetics, human variation, and the evolution of modern humans.


Leslie Aiello, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Human paleontology, evolution of human adaptation, evolutionary theory, life history, evolution of the brain, diet, language and cognition.


Dennis O’Rourke, University of Utah. Ancient DNA analysis, Human Population and Genetics, North American Arctic


Trudy R. Turner, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Molecular anthropology and evolution; Life history of non-human primates.


Fred H. Smith, Illinois State University. Fred H. Smith is a human paleontologist who studies Neandertals and their relationships to modern humans.


Eugenie C. Scott, National Center for Science Education. Through her position with the National Center for Science Education, Eugenie has been a tireless advocate protecting the rights of students to a quality scientific education.


Mark Weiss, National Science Foundation. Mark Weiss’ experience and influence has been invaluable in growing the funding base and opportunities for biological anthropologists by assuring that new competition announcements were inclusive of biological anthropologists.


Phillip Lee Walker, University of California at Santa Barbara. Perhaps best about Phil’s service to the Association was the generosity and commitment of his time and energy to see that each task was completed. He rarely turned down a request to serve his various professional organizations. He brought to all his endeavors his scientific abilities, calm demeanor, heightened sense of diplomacy, and general good humor, characteristics that continually led colleagues to seek him out for important service roles in their organizations.


Curtis Weinker, University of South Florida. Since 1972 at the University of South Florida, where Weinker was a professor in the anthropology department and held a joint appointment with the College of Medicine, he served as the: Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Coordinator of Undergraduate Student Affairs, Associate (Interim) Dean for Graduate Affairs, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. Just a few of his many honors there included Outstanding Faculty Member, the USF President’s Distinguished Service Award, and the USF President’s Distinguished Affirmative Action Award. He is currently emeritus professor at South Florida. By the time he retired in 2003, he had published more than 70 articles and a book.


Clark Spencer Larsen, Ohio State University. In Clark’s long service to the AABA he has served on the Program Committee and on the Editorial Board of the AJBA, as a Local Arrangements meeting co-chair, as AABA Vice President and President, and as Editor of the AJBA. There are few who have given more service to the association.


Martin K. Nickels, Illinois State University. Martin K. (Marty) Nickels is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Illinois State University, where he has been recognized for excellence in teaching on numerous occasions. While he has many publications that are ‘‘traditional’’ for a biological anthropologist, much of his writing has been directed at teachers and the injection of human evolution and other biological anthropological subjects into the science curricula of schools.


Fred de Kuyper, AAPA. The AABA recognized Fred de Kuyper’s counsel in negotiating a new publishing agreement between the association and John Wiley & Sons, the publisher of AJBA, thereby making a lasting contribution to the health, wellbeing, and future of the AABA association and its journal.