Energy and Trophic Dynamics
I am interested in energy and trophic dynamics and how this relates to population- and community-level ecological patterns. Current projects include using stable isotopes to study 1) nutrient limitation in declining songbirds, 2) the influence of brood parasitism on nestling diet and nutrition, 3) trophic dynamics within novel ecosystems, and 4) bioenergetics and diets of wintering geese.
Population and Community Ecology
I conduct research studying linkages among individual, population, and community dynamics, particularly in response to anthropogenic change. In order to better understand how population dynamics are related to complex ecological change, I use a suite of tools including molecular techniques (genetics and stable isotopes), movement ecology (telemetry, mark-recapture), and landscape ecology (remotely sensed data). A few current projects in this area include 1) long-term drivers of declining songbird populations in urbanized landscapes, 2) population genetics and mating systems of Neotropical migratory birds, and 3) differential responses of urban “avoiders” and “adapters” to novel ecosystems.
I am working on several large-scale biological monitoring projects using data to estimate species occupancy and abundance to understand and predict effects of anthropogenic change on core ecosystem functioning. I am involved in implementing and developing analytical tools in R for several large-scale avian monitoring projects including: 1) National Park Service National Capital Region Network Forest Bird Monitoring Protocol, 2) Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program, and 3) Occupancy and abundance estimation for the State of Delaware’s 2nd Breeding Bird Atlas.