My background is in bird ecology and conservation. I particularly am interested in factors that influence species' distributions and limit population sizes. In my research, I have explored how different biotic factors (e.g., competitors and habitat configuration) and a biotic factors (e.g., hydrology and soil quality) influence numbers of three endangered and endemic water birds in Hawaii. I also have explored island-mainland evolutionary patterns in the 12 subspecies of one particular bird species - the Common Moorhen. Other Hawaiian research has involved different aspects of the ecology of the endangered Hawaiian Moorhen, including molt, limitation of numbers by food energy, and breeding. Additional research includes exploring the reliance of endangered species on conservation initiatives and the threat that climate change poses to shorebirds in North America.
My teaching interests include conservation biology, ornithology (the study of birds!), ecology, environmental science, and general biology. One of my primary goals in teaching is to connect students to the natural world because in this technologically advanced age, we are growing more disconnected from the natural world. As a result, I am very interested in getting students to think critically about the environment and how our actions can influence the world around us - for better or for worse.
If any students are interested in learning more about conservation and birds and getting involved in research, then please contact me.