Education

Ph.D., Ecology, University of Oklahoma (2022)

M.S., Ecology, San Diego State University (2014)

B.S., Zoology, Humboldt State University (2000)

B.S., Marine Biology, Humboldt State University (2000)

 

Memberships

Honorary Member of IIECCO, 2020- present

Society of Conservation Biology 2010-present

American Ornithological Union 2009-present

Pacific Seabird Group 2010- present

Waterbird Society 2009- present

Scholarships

2010 Alexander Bergstrom Award- Gull-billed Tern diet and movement research (1,000 USD)

2010-2012 NOAA-National Estuarine Research Reserve graduate research fellowship

2012 Pacific Seabird Group Meeting, Oahu, Hawaii student travel award

2016-2019 Annual Sutton Scholarships, Oklahoma Biological Survey, University of Oklahoma

2018 Waterbird Society Research Grant- Black Skimmer nest site selection in the Amazon Rain Forest of Peru

Extramural Funding

2014 Christiane Howey Equipment Grant, Microwave Telemetry Inc- Amazonian Black Skimmer telemetry

2010-2011 CO-PI on a US Navy- NAVFAC proposal for Gull-billed Tern diet and movement research

2011 USFWS Sonoran Joint Venture Research Award- Migration of the Gull-billed Tern

2012 USFWS San Diego Bay NWR Cost Share Grant- Tracking the migration of the Gull-billed Tern

2017 Nassau County Soils District, New York- Black Skimmer equipment telemetry funding

2019 Carolina Bird Club Grant- Foraging ecology of American Oystercatchers in North Carolina project

 

Current Professional Collaborations (Projects in italics)

2012- Present Robert Patton, Patton Biological LLC, Monitoring productivity for the California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover in San Diego County, California

2017-Present: Town of Hempstead Conservation and Waterways, Black Skimmer diet characterization and movements in relation to water quality in Hempstead Bay, New York

2018- Present: Lindsay Addison, NC Audubon coastal biologist; Dr. Rebecca Harrison, USFWS Pea Island NWR Manager; Jon Altman, Biologist for Cape Lookout National Seashore, Finescale movements of the American Oystercatcher: The relationship between forging ecology, energetics, and reproductive success.

2019-Present: NSF-funded Rules of Life Project, Aeroecology Group, University of Oklahoma. Co-PIs Drs. Jeff Kelly, Eli Bridge, Phil Stepannian

2020-Present: Dr. Patricia Szczys, Eastern Connecticut State University. Black Skimmer population connectivity in the Americas.

2022- Ricardo Zambrano and Kim Rigano, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Tracking Black Skimmer movements in Southwest Florida with GPS telemetry.

 

Journal Reviewer

Conservation Biology 2017-Present

The Auk 2016-2019

Waterbirds 2014- Present

Marine Ornithology 2019- Present

JPeer 2020

Animal Biotelemetry 2021

Society and working group memberships

British Ecological Society 2019- Present

Waterbird Society 2010- Present

Pacific Seabird Group 2010-Present

Marine Atlantic Bird Cooperative, Marine Spatial Planning and Seabird Colonies and Adjacent Waters Working Groups, 2018-Present

Tern Taskforce, International Bird Rescue founding member 2022

Work Experience

5/2022-8/2022 National Wildlife Federation

Avian Taxa Specialist

Duties: Analyze and provide comments to NWF on avian issues in Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) documents released for public comment. Research avian concerns related to offshore wind development and summarize findings, for inclusion in documents for BOEM. Apply knowledge of bird behavior, movements, and potential threats in a range of geographies to work with NWF Point of Contact to prioritize public comments on which to engage and, on those comments, assess the strength of the documents’ review, findings of potential impacts, and mitigation measures proposed for birds, or recommend consideration of these elements. Identify, where applicable, relevant literature, species of concerns, potential impacts, needed research, and recommended avoidance, minimization, mitigation measures that BOEM should consider for birds. Address both project specific and cumulative impacts to relevant bird species.

8/1/2019-12/31/21- Corix Plains Institute, University of Oklahoma

Research Assistant, Telemetry study design, movement data analyses

Supervisor: Dr. Jeff Kelly

My duties included assisting with the development of a research project focused on obtaining avian migration movement data on shorebirds of varying size through the Central Flyway of North America and fieldwork associated with deploying GPS tags on Long-billed Curlews, Black-bellied Plovers, and Hudsonian Whimbrels to collect movement data for the project. I was also tasked with developing a collaborative network of researchers for the project that included conservation biologists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Montana (Dr. Andy Boyce), Texas Parks Coastal Bends and Bays Program (David Newstead- Director), Manomet Conservation  (Dr. Alan Kneidel, Dr. Shiloh Schulte, and Dr. Brad Winn), and internationally with the Organización Vida Silvestre A.C. (OVIS) in Nuevo Leon, Mexico (Miguel Cruz- Director).

8/1/2015-7/30/2019 Biology Department, University of Oklahoma

PhD Supervisor: Dr. Eli Bridge

During this time period, I worked on my dissertation that focused upon the influence of life history strategies upon movement ecology of larids and allies. My research included the use of a range of tools including GIS modeling, bulk stable isotope analyses, GPS and satellite tracking of avian movements, and familiarity with a range of statistical analyses including mark-recapture, hidden Markov models, step selection modeling, and dynamic Brownian bridge movement models. I am also a graduate teaching assistant for the Biology Department teaching sections of Animal Physiology Lab (BIOL3103), BIOL 1114 Introduction to Zoology lecture, and four sections of BIOL Introduction to Biology Lab 1121.

4/2014- 7/2014

Research Assistant III, San Diego State University

PI: Dr. Rebecca Lewison

The USFWS awarded SDSU funds to monitor Gull-billed Tern colony re-establishment following a major epizootic event. As I am already conducting research on Gull-billed Terns, Dr. Lewison hired me to conduct additional research on the colony re-establish in San Diego Bay. My duties consisted of monitoring reproductive success and diet of Gull-billed Terns nesting at the South Bay Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

1/2014-4/2014

Consulting Biologist, Living Coast Discovery Center

Contact: Ben Vallejos, Executive Director

I was contracted through the Living Coast Discovery Center to develop and write a hand rearing and release manual for western Snowy Plover for the USFWS San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This contract involved extensive literature searches on Snowy Plover ecology, writing experience, and collaboration with USFWS biologists and experienced aviary personnel to produce a living document-type manuscript to assist organizations with developing hand rearing programs.

 

4/2013-8/2013

Seabird Biologist, Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly PRBO)

Supervisor: Julie Howar

This position was a short term contract to collect nearshore foraging, disturbance, and nesting information on seabirds nesting along the Pacific Coastline in San Diego County.

 

6/1/2010- 8/1/2012

Research Assistant, San Diego State University Research Foundation

PI: Dr. Rebecca Lewison

I began work with SDSU in pursuit of a Master’s of Science at San Diego State University. From 2009-2012, I designed and implemented a foraging movement and diet research project for Gull-billed Terns breeding in San Diego Bay. This project combined the use of VHF radio telemetry, stable isotope analysis, and observational chick provisioning to investigate the existence of intraguild predation in western Gull-billed Terns and impacts to California Least Terns and Western Snowy Plovers. I managed all project activities ranging from grant proposal writing, budget management, data collection and analyses, progress and final report writing, and supervision of 3-4 technicians each field season.

 

10/2008- 03/2009

Biological Sciences Technician, USFWS Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Supervisor: Dwight Cooley Refuge System Director           

I had several priorities while working for Wheeler NWR: completed of bi-monthly wintering waterfowl surveys, updated waterfowl survey databases, completed telemetry monitoring of Whooping cranes wintering at Wheeler (poster presented), completed water level management for wintering waterfowl, developed a volunteer based invasive plant species removal program and accompanying training documents, completed step-down management plans regarding nuisance species, updated the Refuge-wide Pesticide Use Proposal database, designed and updated ArcGIS maps for the Refuge Farm Plan, completed a comparative analysis of counting techniques for gray bats at five cave sites in Alabama (poster presented), participated in educational clean and learn program (led presentation for waterfowl identification), and directed Refuge volunteer activities.

 

4/2007- 1/2008

Wildlife Biologist Research Assistant, Clemson University

PI: Dr. Pat Jodice, Project Managers: Christy Hand and Janet Thibault    

Duties: Work with Clemson consisted of two projects assisting with American Oystercatcher (AMOY) nesting success and wintering ecology. The initial project with Janet Thibault focused on nesting ecology of American Oystercatchers (AMOY) with the goal to evaluate nesting fecundity of AMOY using the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway and Bull’s Bay in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. My work with Janet Thibault focused on collecting AMOY nesting success data. The second project with Christy Hand involved comparing foraging efficiency and diet composition between AMOY of different ages and between different bays within the Cape Romain NWR area of South Carolina.

 

4/2006- 9/2006

Toxicology Lead Research Assistant, Kansas State University

PI: Dr. Brett Sandercock

Duties: The primary objective of this project was to obtain biological samples from a variety of shorebird species to determine a good methodology for testing pesticide contaminant loads using acetylcholinesterace tracers. The secondary objective of this project was to sample nearctic breeding shorebird species for H5N1 avian influenza. I was responsible for organizing and directing field studies in both Texas and Kansas for up to four assistants.

 

7/2004-2/2006

North Bay Salt Ponds Lead Field Technician, U.S.G.S. Western Ecological Research Center, San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station GS-486-06

PI: Dr. John Takekawa                                   

As a lead field technician, my primary project was avian and water quality monitoring of the North Bay salt pond tidal restoration project. I performed both biological (vegetation, invertebrate, bird, small mammal) and physical (water quality, sediment deposition, bathymetric mapping) surveys on the salt ponds and surrounding sloughs of the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area of the north San Francisco Bay estuary. Secondary duties consisted of assisting with other projects on an as-needed basis. These projects included: Surf Scoter surgical implantation of satellite transmitters and telemetry; trapping and banding of Forster’s terns, American Avocets and Black-necked Stilts; Western Sandpiper banding and prey identification sampling; Caspian tern chick capture and banding, and California Black rail capture, banding, and blood collection. I planned and supervised fieldwork for up to four lower grade technicians at field sites in North Pablo Bay and in South San Francisco Bay near San Mateo, CA. My duties also included invertebrate identification, data entry, data analysis, assisting the primary investigator in annual and quarterly report writing, writing methodologies and protocols for field and lab work, primary literature research for ongoing projects, and assisting the project manager with budget management.