Tropical Avian Ecology and Conservation in Fragmented Landscapes
My dissertation research at University of Florida explores the patterns and processes shaping avian community disassembly in high elevation Andean cloud forests undergoing rapid fragmentation. Using a mix of community-wide surveys, mist netting, radio telemetry, bio-logging technology, and vegetation surveys I (1) describe how landscape heterogeneity and functional traits explain patterns in avian community structure among along a gradient of forest fragmentation and agricultural land-use change, and (2) explore how potential mechanistic links, including space use, micro-habitat selection, and light micro-environments, contribute towards community assembly in fragmented landscapes. The work occurs in Amazonas, Peru amidst one of the most dramatic disruptions in the Andes Mountains, creating extreme topographical and climatic complexity. I and fellow graduate student Felicity Newell started the project Aves del Bosque Montano Peruano to help share our science with our local community partners via environmental outreach programs.