B.S. in Biology, Virginia Tech (1984)
M.A. in Biology, College of William and Mary (1986)
PhD in Ecology, University of Georgia (1991)
Founded the Center for Conservation Biology at William and Mary in 1992.
My research interests are broad and have always been process oriented. Rather than focusing on a narrow range of taxa, my research attempts to explore general ecological principles that have broad application. My approach to research problems is adapted from general systems theory and is holistic. I believe that a genuine understanding of form, function and process will only be complete when an understanding of the ecological context has been achieved. To this end, the central theme that governs my research is to investigate not only processes but also the ecological and physical constraints under which they have evolved and currently operate.
Over the past several years, I have designed and conducted/directed over 250 research projects involving avian species or communities within the mid-Atlantic region of North America. These projects have included virtually every avian community within the Coastal Plain. Projects have been conducted during all seasons of the year but have focused on breeding and migration.
My current research interests include: 1) the ecology of species within dynamic landscapes (e.g. waterbirds nesting on barrier island beaches, species such as kingfishers and swallows that require exposed banks for nesting, species that require fire-maintained habitats), 2) the ecology of Bald Eagles in the Chesapeake Bay, 3) the effects of anthropogenic stressors on avian communities within coastal regions, 4) the ecology of birds within migration stopover areas, 5) breeding time horizons in the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.
(* denotes graduate student author)
Watts, B. D., Mojica, E. K. and Paxton, B. J. (2015), Using Brownian bridges to assess potential interactions between bald eagles and electrical hazards within the upper Chesapeake Bay. The Journal of Wildlife Management. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.853
Turrin, C.* and B. D. Watts. 2015. Nest guarding in Chesapeake Bay bald eagles. Journal of Raptor Research 49: 18-28.
Watts, B. D., E. K. Mojica, J. T. Paul, and J. J. Pottie. 2014. Recovery of breeding bald eagles on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Maryland Birdlife 63: 10-17.
Watts, B. D. and B. R. Truitt. 2014. Spring migration of red knots along the Virginia Barrier Islands. Journal of Wildlife Management 79: 288-295.
Pao, S., B. E. Hagens, C. Kim, S. Wildeus, M. R. Ettinger, M. D. Wilson, B. D. Watts, N. C. Whitley, A. C. S. Porto-Fett, J. G. Shwarz, P. Kaseloo, S. Ren, W. Long III, H. Li, and J. B. Luchansky. 2014. Managing the Impact of Wild Birds on Food Safety and Farm Hygiene. Livestock Science 160:163-171.
Denmon, P., B. D. Watts, and F. M. Smith. 2013. Investigating American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) nest failure on Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia, USA. Waterbirds 36: 156-165.
Watts, B. D. 2013. Waterbirds of the Chesapeake Bay: A Monitoring Plan. CCBTR-12-11. College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University, Williamsburg, VA. 94 pp.
Wilson, M. D., and B. D. Watts. 2013. Tidal Marsh Bird Community Profiling and Management Guide for Department of Defense Installations in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series: CCBTR-13-04. Williamsburg, VA. 39 pp.
Wilson, M. D., and B. D. Watts. 2013. Spatially Explicit Management Recommendation for Early Successional Bird Communities on Department of Defense Lands in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series: CCBTR-13-02. Williamsburg, VA. 25 pp.
Wilson, M. D., and B. D. Watts. 2013. Enhancing avian production on Department of Defense managed forest lands with appropriate management. Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series: CCBTR-13-03. Williamsburg, VA. 16 pp.
Cristol, D. A., E. K. Mojica, C. W. Varian-Ramos, and B. D. Watts. 2012. Molted feathers indicate low mercury in bald eagles of the Chesapeake Bay, USA. Ecological Indicators 18:20-24.
Watts, B. D. and E. K. Mojica. 2012. Use of satellite transmitters to delineate Bald Eagle communal roosts within the upper Chesapeake Bay. Journal of Raptor Research 46(1):121-128.
Katzner, T., B. W. Smith, T. A. Miller, D. Brandes, F. Cooper, M. Lanzone, D. Brauning, C. Farmer, S. Harding, D. E. Kramar, C. Koppie, F. Maisonneuve, M. Martell, E. K. Mojica, C. Todd, J. A. Tremblay, M. Wheeler, D. F. Brinker, T. E. Chubbs, R. Gubler, K. O'Malley, S. Mehus, B. Porter, R. P. Brooks, B. D. Watts, and K. L. Bildstein. 2012. Status, biology, and conservation priorities for North America's Eastern Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) population. The Auk 129(1):168-176.
Wilson, M. D., B. D. Watts, F. M. Smith, and E. S. Brinkley. 2012. Profile of the Offshore Bird Assemblage in Support for the Cape Charles Wind Project. CCBTR-12-06. Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series. College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University, Williamsburg, VA. 47 pp.
Duerr, A. and B. D. Watts. 2012. Waterbirds of the Chesapeake Bay: Status, Ecological Requirements, and Threats. CCBTR-12-02. Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series. College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University, Williamsburg, VA. 212 pp.
Watts, B. D. and B. R. Truitt. 2011. Decline of whimbrels within a mid-Atlantic staging area (1994-2009). Waterbirds 34:347-351.
Wolner, C. W. V., L. J. Moore, D. R. Young, S. T. Brantley, S. N. Bissett, M. D. Wilson, B. D. Watts. 2011. Dune builders vs. overwash maintainers: Ecomorphodynamic feedbacks on the Virginia Coast Reserve barrier islands. Proceedings Coastal Sediments 2011, P. Wang, J. D. Rosati, T. M. Roberts (eds.). Miami, FL, USA. World Scientific. Pp. 258-271.
Watts, B. D., B. J. Paxton, and F. M. Smith. 2011. Status and habitat use of Wayne's Black-throated Green Warbler in the northern portion of the South Atlantic Coastal Plain. Southeastern Naturalist 10:1-12.
Erwin, R. M., D. F. Brinker, B. D. Watts, G. R. Costanzo, and D. D. Morton. 2011. Islands at bay: rising seas, eroding islands, and waterbird habitat loss in Chesapeake Bay (USA). Journal of Coastal Conservation 15:51-60.
Cristol, D. A., F. M. Smith, C. W. Varian-Ramos, and B. D. Watts. 2011. Mercury levels of Nelson's and saltmarsh sparrows at wintering grounds in Virginia, USA. Ecotoxicology 23:7.
Homyack, J. A., B. J. Paxton, M. D. Wilson, B. D. Watts, and D. A. Miller. 2011. Snags and cavity-nesting birds within intensively managed pine stands in eastern North Carolina, USA. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 35:148-154.
Watts, B. D. 2010. Wind and waterbirds: Establishing sustainable mortality limits within the Atlantic Flyway. CCBTR-10-05. Center for Conservation Biology Technical Report Series. College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA. 43 pp.
Niles, L. J., H. P. Sitters, A. D. Dey, N. Arce, P. W. Atkinson, V. Ayala-Perez, A. J. Baker, J. B. Buchanan, R. Carmona, N. A. Clark, C. Espoz, J. D. Fraser, P. M. Gonzalez, B. A. Harrington, J. E. Hernandez, K. S. Kalasz, R. Matus, B. J. McCaffery, C. D. T. Minton, R. I. G. Morrison, M. K. Peck, W. Pitts, I. L. Serrano, and B. D. Watts. 2010. Update to the status of Red Knot Calidris canutus in the Western Hemisphere. Wader Study Group Bulletin 117:1-19.
Watts, B. D. and A. E. Duerr. 2010. Nest turnover rates and list frame decay in bald eagles: Implications for the national monitoring plan. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:940-944.
Chen, D.*, R. C. Hale, B. D. Watts, M. J. LaGuardia, E. Harvey, and E. K. Mojica. 2010. Species-specific accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in birds of prey from the Chesapeake Bay region, USA. Environmental Engineering 158:1883-1889.
Watts, B. D. 2010. The Virginia Bald Eagle Survey: A history. The Raven 81:5-7.
Glass, K.A.*, and B.D. Watts. 2009. Osprey diet composition and quality in high- and low- salinity areas of lower Chesapeake Bay. Journal of Raptor Research 43(1): 27-–36.
Wilson, M.D.* and B.D. Watts. 2008. Landscape configuration effects on distribution and abundance of Whip-poor-wills. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120:778-783.
Markham, A.C.* and B.D. Watts. 2008. The influence of salinity on provisioning rates and nestling growth in bald eagles in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Condor 110:183-187.
Markham, A.C.* and B.D. Watts. 2008. The influence of salinity on the diet of nesting Bald Eagles. Journal of Raptor Research 42: 99-109.
Markham, A.C.* and B.D. Watts. 2007. Documentation of infanticide and cannibalism in Bald Eagles. Journal of Raptor Research 41:41-44.
Wilke, A.L.*, D.F. Brinker, B.D. Watts, A.H. Traut, R. Boettcher, J.M. McCann, B.R. Truitt, and P.P. Denmon. 2007. American Oystercatchers in Maryland and Virginia: Status and distribution. Waterbirds 30:152-162.
Viverette, C.B., G.C. Garman, S. McIninch, A.C. Markham*, B.D. Watts, and S.A. Macko. 2007. Finfish-waterbird trophic interactions in tidal freshwater tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Waterbirds 30:50-62.
Watts, B. D., A. C. Markham*, and M. A. Byrd. 2006. Salinity and population parameters of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Auk 123:393-404.
Wilson, M.D.* and B.D. Watts. 2006. Effects of moonlight on detection of the Whip-poor-will: Implications for long-term monitoring strategies. Journal of Field Ornithology 77:207-211.
Wilke, A. L.*, B. D. Watts, B. R. Truitt, and R. Boettcher. 2005. Breeding season status of the American Oystercatcher in Virginia, USA. Waterbirds 28:308-315.