Research Interests

I am an ecologist with an interest in the population and community ecology of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and intertidal soft-sediment invertebrates.  My current projects include:

1) Monitoring the changes in spring arrival date of Maine migratory birds.  Using a network of volunteer citizen-scientists, I have been tracking the arrival dates of Maine breeding birds for the past 24 years.  I am currently exploring the data through the lens of global climate change.

2) Movement patterns of Purple Finches (Haemorhous purpureus).  Dr. Bets Brown and I are analyzing the 19,000 re-encounters of banded Purple Finches in the database of the Bird Banding Lab.  Our goal is to understand the patterns and extent of movements of these birds in different parts of their range.

3) Gene flow of Bog Coppers (Lycaena epixanthe).  This butterfly is a specialist on the cranberries (Vaccinium spp.), restricted to bogs.  The bogs can be considered islands in a sea of forest and agricultural land in Maine.  We have developed microsatellite markers for Bog Coppers that will allow us to gauge the degree of dispersal of Bog Coppers in promixate and more distant bogs.

4) Maine Butterfly Survey.  Dr. Ron Butler of the University of Maine – Farmington, Dr. Phillip deMaynadier of the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Dr. Reggie Webster and I are coordinating the an eight-year atlas project to determine the distribution of butterflies across the state of Maine at the level of townships.  We are collaborating with the Maritime Butterfly Atlas to produce a joint atlas of Maine and the Maritime Provinces.

5) Irruptive patterns of Red-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta canadensis). Using data from the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count, Dr. Bets Brown and are analyzing the data for longitudinal and latitudinal patterns of winter irruptions across North America.

 

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