A prominent figure in the field of bird ecology, Dan Cristol is a professor and researcher who is unafraid to cross disciplinary boundaries. He has been an integral part of the William & Mary biology department for more than two decades. As the university's first faculty director of undergraduate research, Dan was especially well-known for involving students in his own research, notably a continuing series of studies involving the effects of mercury on birds.
Dan currently serves as director of William & Mary's 1693 Scholars Program, faculty advisor to the Bird Club and leads extra-curricular field trips. He is an active researcher, Chancellor Professor of Biology, ornithologist and birding columnist in the Virginia Gazette. According to Dan, William & Mary is doing better undergraduate research – and more of it per capita – than any other school, and it's a goal of his to increase the number of undergraduate researchers at the university.