This award is open to all AAPA members in good standing (undergraduate and graduate) who are students and attending the annual meeting. You do NOT have to present a paper or poster to compete or receive an award. In order to be eligible for a travel award. You must be a student at the time of the essay submission (January 2018), and you must be a member of AAPA at the time of the meeting (or be on the list of members to be approved at the AAPA Business Meeting). To check your membership status, go to

Applicants who have won a Pollitzer travel award previously are eligible to enter the competition again, but students who have never won before will be given priority. 

Students from underrepresented groups and undergraduate students from two- and four-year colleges are strongly encouraged to apply.

Award: Each award of $500 is made to defray travel costs to the meetings.

Deadline: Essays must be submitted by 11:59 pm Samoa Standard Time (UTC-11) on January 1, 2018.

Essay Prompt: Mosquitos have a deep evolutionary interconnectedness to all primates, including humans, and several genetic adaptations have come about through interactions between humans, pathogens, and the mosquitoes that carry those pathogens. Perhaps the most widely known example of a disease-related human adaptation is sickle cell, in which the heterozygote condition confers resistance to malaria transmitted via the Anopheles mosquito.The New York Times (* recently reported that another mosquito species, Aedes aegypti, has been reported across a much wider geographic range compared to just a few years ago, including parts of California and Nevada where they were previously unknown. This mosquito genus and species is not a host for the malarial parasite, but it is known to spread yellow fever, Zika, dengue, and chikungunya.

As primates and other organisms face rapid and dramatic changes to our environments as a result of the fast pace of climate change today, mosquitos may prove to be a critical selective force operating through other mechanisms besides malarial infection. For this year’s Travel Award essay topic, imagine that you have been asked to write a 700-750 word blog post for Scientific American. For this blog post, you are to rely on evolutionary biology and anthropology to imagine a scenario that may play out over the next century with the range expansion of Aedes aegypti. The biology needs to be based in reality, and as such, please use references.

*If you have trouble accessing The New York Times article, AAPA Student Programs Chair Leslea Hlusko can send it to you via email.

Essay Evaluation and Scoring Procedures: The AAPA Student Affairs Committee will evaluate each submission with an identification number to mask applicants’ identities. When distributed to the judges, each essay will be identified by a number assigned by the committee chair. The scoring criteria are:

1. Originality and creativity. 30 points possible

2.  Soundness of the scenario and logical reasoning based on evolutionary biology and theory (including references, as needed). 50 points possible. 

3. Clarity of writing, grammar, and spelling. 20 points possible

The average scores from all judges will be used as the basis for deciding the winners of the award, with the AAPA Executive Committee giving final approval of the committee’s recommendation. Winners will be notified in early February 2018. Payment from the AAPA Secretary-Treasurer will be made via check or PayPal once meeting registration and travel are confirmed.

Submit your essay below:

Enter your institution's name in full. Please do not use abbreviations. For example, Penn State University should be The Pennsylvania State University rather than Penn State or PSU.

Please indicate if your institution is a 2-year college, 4-year undergraduate college, or PhD-granting institution.

Separate paragraphs with a blank line. 750 words maximum.

This is where you enter the full citations referred to in your essay text so that they are not included in the 750 word count.

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