University of Connecticut

People

Current graduate students

Alyssa Borowske is a PhD student studying seasonal effects on habitat selection decisions in tidal marsh sparrows.

Chris Field is a PhD student studying demography in tidal marsh birds and coastal conservation planning.  He was previously a student in EEB’s BS/MS program, returning after a few years in the conservation trenches.

Emma Shelly is a PhD student studying breeding systems in tidal marsh sparrows.

Manette Sandor is a PhD student studying plant-bird interactions.

 

Current undergraduate students

Ilanna Gibson is working on Manette Sandor’s study of fruit-bearing plant and berry interactions.

Emily Lewson is working on Chris Field’s study of landowner attitudes towards coastal land conservation.

Alex Minalga is studying plumage variation in saltmarsh sparrows for his honour’s thesis.

Aaron Mueller is working on Manette Sandor’s study of fruit-bearing plant and berry interactions.

Michael Stankov is working on projects focused on the use of sighting records to detect extinction and on the use of rice fields by birds.

Robert Turnbull is working on our tidal marsh bird nesting data set and plans to study understory forest birds in Peru for his honour’s thesis.

Kwasi Wrensford is working on Manette Sandor’s study of fruit-bearing plant and berry interactions.

 

Former graduate students

Trina Bayard is a former PhD student who studied breeding site selection behavior in saltmarsh sparrows. Her dissertation can be read here.  She is currently the Director for Conservation at Audubon Washington.

Dan Britton is a former student in EEB’s BS/MS program and the first to survive having Chris as his advisor.  He is currently working in the solar power industry.

Jason Hill is a former EEB MS student who studied the movement behavior and survival of saltmarsh sparrows.  His thesis can be read here.  He went on to a PhD study of grassland sparrows and is now a USGS-funded postdoc at Penn State.

Erin King is a former student in EEB’s BS/MS program (with Margaret Rubega as her adviser).  She also worked on our saltmarsh sparrow studies for several years and is currently a biologist for the USFWS.

Sue Meiman is a former MS student, who worked on the factors influencing habitat occupancy in saltmarsh sparrows.  Her thesis can be read here.  She is currently the Project Leader for the Institute for Wildlife Studies’ San Clemente Sage Sparrow project.

 

Former undergraduate students

Patrick Bukowski helped with invertebrate identification for our saltmarsh bird studies and did independent research on waterbird use of agricultural fields.

Meghan Connolly studied the way that scientific information on climate change is portrayed in the media for her Honors thesis.

Christine Conte conducted independent research on the behaviour of zebras and wolves (not together) in zoos for her honour’s thesis.  She went on to an internship at the California Wolf Center.

Martha Ellis conducted independent research on mute swan population dynamics and behavior in our group.  She went on to complete an NSF-supported PhD at the University of Montana.

Vicky Heyse worked with our saltmarsh sparrow nesting data and spent a summer in the field working on sparrows.  She went on to an AmeriCorps position in California as an Education Programs Coordinator.

Selena Humphries conducted independent research on saltmarsh sparrow nest building behavior in our group.  She now works in environmental education.

Mike Kot studied area-sensitivity in seaside sparrows for his Honour’s research.

Erika Norton studied cactus wren vocalizations for her Honour’s thesis.  She went on to an MS program at William & Mary.

Michelle Przybylek studied the conservation value of Christmas tree plantations.

Chris Roberts worked on Alyssa Borowske’s study of plumage condition in saltmarsh sparrows.

Kira Sullivan-Wiley studied saltmarsh sparrow nest attendance.  She went on to an MS at Columbia and a PhD program at Boston University.

Zachary Zweisler modeled saltmarsh sparrow population viability for his Honour’s thesis.

 

Other former lab members

Carina Gjerdrum helped run our saltmarsh sparrow research for the first 3 years of the project.  Prior to that she earned her MSc at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, where she did some very cool research on tufted puffins.  She now works as a seabird biologist for the Canadian Wildlife Service in Nova Scotia.

Girma Mengesha was a visiting PhD student from Addis Ababa University in 2012.  He studies waterbird populations in Ethiopia.

Oriane Taft is a former postdoctoral researcher who worked on a major review of waterbird occurrence in agricultural habitats.  She is currently based in Oregon where she works in ecological consulting.

Mike Whalen is a former lab technician who worked on our Long Island Sound climate sentinels project.

 

Other collaborators

Jonathan Cohen is a professor at the SUNY-ESF, and is a co-PI on the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP).

Patrick Comins is Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Connecticut.  He is responsible for prompting our group’s initial interest in saltmarsh sparrows.

Dave Curson is Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Maryland-DC, and is a collaborator on the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP).

Chris Hill is a professor at Coastal Carolina University who has helped us to study paternity patterns and winter ecology of saltmarsh sparrows.

Tom Hodgman is a wildlife biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife, and is a co-PI on the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP).

Min Huang is a wildlife biologist at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and is a collaborator on several projects throughout the state of Connecticut.

Adrienne Kovach is a professor at the University of New Hampshire, and is a co-PI on the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP).

Brian Olsen is a professor at the University of Maine, and is a co-PI on the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP).

Michael Reed is a professor at Tufts University.  A long-term friend since our Reno days, Michael and Chris collaborate various topics and frequently get lost when driving places because they’re talking rather than paying attention to where they’re going.

Dave Roberts is an orchidologist (I just made that term up) at the University of Kent who we worked with on several projects involving extinction.

Greg Shriver is a professor at the University of Delaware, and is a co-PI on the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP).