Current postdocs and visiting researchers
Within the next year, I anticipate advertising postdoc positions to work on our saltmarsh habitat and Connecticut bird atlas projects. If you have specific interest in these topics, please let me know.
Current graduate students
Samantha Apgar is a PhD student studying behavioral and developmental factors that affect extinction risk in coastal marsh birds.
Franco Gigliotti is a PhD student studying saltmarsh birds and their habitat.
Eliza Grames is a PhD student studying mechanisms underlying area sensitive occurrence patterns in forest birds and insect declines.
Danielle Schwartz is in EEB’s BS/MS program in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology and is working on the effects of forest fragmentation on bark foraging birds.
Ben Townson is in EEB’s BS/MS program in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology and is working on the effects of forest fragmentation on leaf litter insect communities.
Current undergraduate students
Nate Davino is doing independent research on pore density in saltmarsh-nesting sparrow eggs.
Bella Cusano is helping to review videos of saltmarsh bird nests and to review literature on insect population change.
Marisa Karasik is helping to review videos of saltmarsh bird nests.
Cassidy Kendall is helping with insect identification for our forest fragmentation research.
Kunzika works on the EntoGEM project, helping to review literature on insect population change.
Valerie Mingrone is helping to review videos of saltmarsh bird nests.
Isabella Sampedro works on the EntoGEM project, helping to review literature on insect population change.
Jerry Su is helping with data entry for the Connecticut Bird Atlas.
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.
Chris Field is a former EEB BS/MS, PhD student and postdoc who studied the demography of tidal marsh birds and coastal conservation planning (among other things). He is currently a postdoc at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. His dissertation can be read here.
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 at Penn State and now works for the Vermont Center for Ecostudies.
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.
Emma Shelly is a former MS student who worked on our tidal marsh bird study. She currently works for the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.
Michael Stankov is a former student in EEB’s BS/MS program in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. He studied the conservation of birds in rice fields.
Theresa Wisneskie is a former MS student who studied wetland birds in California rice fields and developed a systematic map focused on farmland intensification.
Former undergraduate students
Patrick Bukowski helped with invertebrate identification for our saltmarsh bird studies and did independent research on waterbird use of agricultural fields.
Maria Borucinska-Begg studied the way infectious disease and climate change are reported in the media.
Kathleen Callery studied telomere length in American kestrels for her undergraduate thesis. She is now continuing that work as an MS student at the University of Idaho.
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 honors thesis. She left UConn for an internship at the California Wolf Center and is now in grad school at the University of Maine.
Will Demott studied the effects of weather on tree swallow roosts.
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 and now works for the US Forest Service.
Ilanna Gibson conducted independent research on the factors that affect littering for her honors thesis. She went on to postgraduate work at Brooklyn Law School.
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 Humphreys conducted independent research on saltmarsh sparrow nest building behavior for her honors thesis. She now works in environmental education.
Mike Kot studied area-sensitivity in seaside sparrows for his honors research.
Emily Lewson studied the influence of tidal marshes on house prices in coastal Connecticut for her honors thesis.
Alex Minalga studied plumage variation in saltmarsh sparrows for his honors thesis.
Aaron Mueller worked with Manette Sandor on a study of fruit-bearing plant and berry interactions in Northwest Park, Connecticut.
Erika Norton studied cactus wren vocalizations for her honors thesis. She went on to an MS program at William & Mary.
Emma Poryanda studied the microbiome of eggs in ovenbird nests for her honors thesis.
Michelle Przybylek studied the conservation value of Christmas tree plantations.
Ben Ranelli studied nest visitation synchrony by ovenbird pairs.
Chris Roberts worked on Alyssa Borowske’s study of plumage condition in saltmarsh sparrows.
Sarah Rumsey worked on a historical bird occurrence data set from northwest Connecticut.
Piper Stepule studied the effects of different bird feeder designs on bird use.
Michael Stankov studied causes of endangerment in wetland birds for his undergraduate thesis. He is now and MS student at UConn.
Kira Sullivan-Wiley studied saltmarsh sparrow nest attendance. She went on to an MS at Columbia and a PhD program at Boston University.
Robert Turnbull studied understory forest birds in Peru for his undergraduate thesis.
Nomi Vilvovsky studied the way infectious disease and climate change are reported in the media.
Evin Zhao worked on Manette Sandor’s study of fruit-bearing plant and berry interactions, helping to identify which seeds birds eat.
Zachary Zweisler modeled saltmarsh sparrow population viability for his honors 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.
Brian Klingbeil is a former postdoc who worked on coastal conservation planning using our many coastal marsh data sets.
Girma Mengesha was a visiting PhD student from Addis Ababa University in 2012, and worked on waterbird populations in Ethiopia.
Kate Ruskin is a former postdoc who worked on tidal marsh bird demography in relation to Hurricane Sandy and other factors. She is now a lecturer at the University of Maine.
Valerie Steen is former postodc who worked on bird distribution modelling and the use of citizen science data for the Connecticut Bird Atlas.
Iurii Strus was a visiting researcher from the Ukraine in 2019-20, who worked on species distribution models for shorebirds.
Oriane Taft is a former postdoc 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.
Patrick Comins is Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Connecticut. He is responsible for prompting our group’s initial interest in saltmarsh sparrows.
Chris Hill is a professor at Coastal Carolina University who has helped us to study paternity patterns and winter ecology of saltmarsh sparrows.
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.
Michael Reed is a professor at Tufts University and collaborate with Chris on various topics. They frequently get lost when driving places because they’re talking rather than paying attention to where they’re going.