- B.A. Biology, Minor: Environmental Science & Policy, Hartwick College, Oneonta NY
- M.S. Biology, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
- Ph.D. Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
The unifying theme of my research is wildlife-habitat ecology - from the theoretical to the practical. Specifically, I am interested in how avian species respond to human-altered habitats. Today's world is faced with increasing urbanization and understanding how individuals, populations, and communities can adapt to habitat changes is critical for directing species conservation and management. My research goals are to describe where species occur across the landscape, how individuals choose locations for breeding, and the fitness consequences of their choices. My study approaches include broad-scale point-count surveys of species distributions, mark-recapture studies of individual fitness (reproduction & survival), manipulative field experiments, and computer simulation modeling.
As part of the iibbis team, I am involved in investigating the demographic responses of Eastern bluebirds to golf course landscapes. Using seven years of reproductive data and mark-recapture histories, I am analyzing long-term patterns of productivity, juvenile sex ratios, adult survival, and juvenile recruitment. This study employs a comparative design; we are investigating the differences in bluebird demographics between golf courses and other structurally similar habitats. Preliminary results suggest that bluebirds breeding on golf courses are capable of producing more offspring compared with bluebirds breeding in other habitats. Higher nest predation rates in non-golf habitats likely plays a major role in determining the difference in nesting productivity between habitat types.