Welcome to the Ordway Lab!

Our lab studies the origin, maintenance, and conservation of tropical avian biodiversity.

Lab Spring 2017 from left: Felicity, Mitch, Scott, Harry, Ian, Diego, Daniel, Stephanie, Elise.

Lab Director

Scott K. Robinson, Ordway Professor of Ecosystem Conservation, 352-273-1965, srobinson@flmnh.ufl.edu

Our current research interests include the following projects:

  • Effects of urbanization on the community composition and population ecology of birds, with special emphasis on those species that appear to benefit from human habitat modifications
  • Factors governing the elevational distributions of birds in the Andes, including biotic and abiotic interactions
  • Effects of habitat productivity on bird communities, especially in the Amazon Basin where bird communities seem to change greatly among habitats that vary in productivity (e.g., nutrient-poor white sands forests vs. rich early successional habitats along large rivers).
  • Meta-community analyses of birds in isolated patches of relatively unproductive habitats such as white sands soils and cactus-dominated deserts in South America
  • Impacts of brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds on their avian hosts, especially the impacts of “mafia” behavior on the part of the cowbird
  • Experience-based decision rules governing habitat selection and site fidelity in songbirds, and how these decision rules work in human-modified habitats
  • Linking nesting success with patterns of nest predation
  • Life history responses to climatic, productivity, and urban gradients.
  • Impacts of habitat fragmentation on bird communities

Curso de campo

Our lab teaches a research design field course to Latin American students about topics relevant to ecology and conservation. Until now we have taught this course in the Peruvian Amazon and in Colombia, but we are looking to expand to other countries as well. Students have come from Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador to participate in this intensive 10-day field experience that leads to new skills, international collaborations and long lasting camaraderie. Visit course website