Frank Gill (ornithologist)
Frank Bennington Gill (October 2, 1941 in New York City) is an American ornithologist with worldwide research interests and birding experience. He is perhaps best known as the author of the textbook Ornithology (3rd edition, 2006), which is considered[by whom?] the leading textbook in the field.
Gill was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. He reported that he became interested in birds at the age of seven, when his grandfather, Frank Rockingham Downing, showed him a Song Sparrow at a birdbath. This was the first time he had seen a bird through binoculars, "and I was hooked."
After Gill received his PhD in Zoology from the University of Michigan in 1969 (where he had also completed his undergraduate degree), he joined the ornithology department at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. From 1969-1995, Gill was a full-time staff member of the Academy, where he held various positions throughout his tenure, including that of Chairman for the Department of Ornithology and Vice President for Systematics and Evolutionary Biology. During his time at the Academy, Gill was instrumental in reestablishing the Academy's position as one of the leading centers of American ornithological research. This was manifested through Gill's work as the founding director of the VIREO program (Visual Resources for Ornithology) and his work as the editor of the encyclopedic series Birds of North America, Life Histories for the 21st Century. In 1988 he was awarded the Linnaean Society of New York's Eisenmann Medal. Since 1996, Gill has been affiliated with the Academy as a Research Fellow.
More recently, Gill was the president of the American Ornithologists' Union from 1998-2000. For his contributions to ornithology, Gill was also recognized with the William Brewster Award, the highest honor bestowed by the AOU. Additionally, Gill is an elected member of the International Ornithological Congress, as well as the co-author, with Minturn Wright, of Birds of the World: Recommended English Names (2006).
In 1996, Gill became Senior Vice President and Director of Science for the National Audubon Society, a position from which he retired in 2004. In 2007, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society, where he had been a senior ornithologist. He has been quoted in a number of news reports concerning birds.
- William Edwin Davis, Jerome A. Jackson: Contributions to the History of North American Ornithology, Nuttall Ornithological Club, 1995. p. 21, ISBN 978-1-877973-36-9
- ISBN 978-0-7167-4983-7
- Dr. Frank Gill, Delaware Valley Ornithological Club. Accessed August 22, 2007. "I was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey and moved to the Philadelphia area when I began to work at the Academy of Natural Sciences [of Philadelphia] (ANSP)."
- http://www.dvoc.org/Personnel/Gill.htm. Accessed December 28, 2007
- The Auk, January 1999
- ISBN 978-0-691-12827-6
- Sightings spur rush to aid ‘extinct’ woodpecker, MSNBC, April 28, 2005. Accessed December 28, 2007.