Avian Conservation Lab


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Research Focus

My research focuses on the interaction between landscape resources, social behavior, movement, and population biology.  Specifically, I am interested in conservation biology, behavioral ecology, spatial ecology and movement, and population biology (photo by R. Sarsfield).

  • I am interested in conducting research on the interface of science and conservation.  I intend for results from my work to address why species go extinct, and I hope they provide insights that can be used to stop extinction.  I also participate in recovery groups to ensure that results from my work are available to population managers and conservation practitioners. 
  • The evolution of social behavior is the focus of past and ongoing research.  Recent works with Dr. Susan Haig evaluated the interaction between resource limitations and conspecifics on the evolution of cooperative breeding in Pohnpei Micronesian Kingfishers. I have also studied the influence of landscape characteristics and the kingfishers' cooperative social system on nestling competition and survival, movement, and population dynamics.
  • I studied the interaction between movements, territoriality, and landscape resources in Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Micronesian Kingfishers, and Tuamotu Kingfishers.  I am especially interested in studying how the distribution of resources on the landscape influences movements and social behavior in these species.
  • Population biology is key to understanding how population densities influence the evolution of social behavior and to designing sound conservation strategies for endangered species.  To this end, I modeled the population dynamics of Micronesian Kingfishers on Pohnpei island with the hope that results will be important to understanding both population processes in a cooperatively breeding species, and to preventing the extinction of Micronesian Kingfishers on the islands where they exist.

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