I am a behavioral ecologist interested in social behavior, signal evolution, and sexual selection. My work thus far has all used birds. The overarching theme that unifies my research is looking at how the environment influences animal behavior. I partition the environment into ecological and social components, and use a combination of observational and experimental approaches in my research. Additionally, I utilize a number of tools to answer my research questions, including social network analysis, radio telemetry, hormonal assays, GIS, remote sensing, and field-based experiments.
Click on the photos below for more information about each topic.
Ornamentation expression during non-breeding periods
Across taxa, breeding individuals of many species exhibit seasonal dichromatism, in that sexual signals may be reduced or absent in non-breeding periods. Although exhibiting ornamentation during non-breeding periods could benefit individuals via enhanced access to resources, theory predicts costs to producing or maintaining these signals.
Drivers of space use and social interactions during the non-breeding season
Animals often face different ecological and evolutionary pressures during non-breeding periods relative to breeding periods. I am interested in variation in behavior during the non-breeding season, and what might drive individual decisions during this period.
Environmental affects on wading bird foraging site selection and foraging success
The Everglades, and other environments, are dynamic systems that offer a variety of foraging habitats for wading birds. What environmental variables make for the best foraging habitat for wading birds?