My research is focused on full-life cycle ecology, conservation, & management of migratory birds. I am particularly interested in: 1) winter ecology, including how climatic fluctuations affect community structure, & seasonal effects on population dynamics 2) how interactions of multiple environmental stresses such as habitat fragmentation & contaminants affect populations dynamics, evolution, & behavior of wildlife; 3) scientific data visualization; & 4) integration of field research & ecological modeling to examine complex system dynamics & guide natural resource management decisions. For my PhD research I am analyzing data I collected in central Texas as part of The Nature Conservancy’s former Fort Hood project. This research was originally initiated to remedy the lack of research on factors limiting grassland bird populations during the non-breeding season, & improve management decisions affecting non-breeding habitat of grassland birds. My dissertation will focus on area-sensitivity, habitat associations, & sex or age based habitat segregation for a variety of wintering grassland bird species.
I am broadly interested in wildlife-habitat relationships, landscape ecology, and population ecology. More specifically, I am interested in how anthropogenic and natural disturbance influences population dynamics, resource selection, and space use of wildlife across spatial and temporal scales. My current research at OSU examines the response of Greater Sage-grouse to broad scale wildfire. The main goal is to better inform management by addressing population and habitat issues related to fire and sage-grouse. My research will provide a baseline of the thermal environments of sage-grouse nesting and early brood-rearing habitat in the Trout Creek Mountains of SE Oregon and evaluate whether variation in the thermal landscape influences nest site selection and nest success of sage-grouse. I will also synthesize the population response of sage-grouse over a 6-year period following a wildfire (2013 – 2018), and identify which vital rates have the greatest influence on the population rate of change.