Meet Our Lab!
Scott K. Robinson
Scott’s career in avian ecology has spanned many disciplines, including community ecology, landscape ecology, demography, and behavior. Much of his work has occurred in temperate forests of New England and the Midwest and tropical rainforests in Peru. As director of the Ordway Lab of Ecosystem Conservation he oversees a large group of graduate students pursuing research in tropical landscapes throughout the world.
I try to understand the patterns and processes shaping avian community assembly in high elevation cloud forests of the Peruvian Andes undergoing rapid fragmentation. Using a mix of community-wide surveys, mist netting, radio telemetry, bio-logging technology, and vegetation surveys I plan to (1) describe how landscape heterogeneity and functional traits explain patterns in avian community structure among forest fragments 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.
Felicity is interested in avian ecology and conservation. Her work focuses on understanding the mechanisms of how species interactions are affected by changes to their environment, and ultimately how these changes scale-up to influence population and community-level processes. Previous work has included examining effects of forest fragmentation, stream acidification, and forest management, mostly focused on neotropical migratory songbirds in both temperate and tropical systems. Felicity is currently studying effects of climate on tropical montane birds in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru. She is trying to understand how abiotic factors, such as temperature and rainfall, influence breeding ecology of a range of montane bird species based on their behavior and life history traits. Felicity is also working with education and outreach in local communities to promote conservation in northern Peru with the project Aves del Bosque Montano Peruano.
Harrison Jones is a third-year PhD student in the lab interested in the effects of forest fragmentation on the conservation of biodiversity in anthropogenic landscapes. His thesis project focuses on how mixed-species foraging flocks of birds and boreal migrant species respond to a gradient of habitat loss and disturbance in the Andes. He works in subtropical cloud forest in the Western Andes of Colombia (Valle del Cauca department), a hotspot for endemic and endangered bird species in the Northern Andes mountain range. His research interests include applied behavioral ecology, landscape ecology, avian natural history, and tropical montane ecology.
Mitch just finished his MS in the Ordway Lab studying the influence of anthropogenic noise on Northern Mockingbird song and behavior. He is staying on for his PhD and will be developing a project regarding tropical avian ecology
Stephanie is studying the social behavior of colonial nesting Weavers in Kenya.
Daniel is examining avian community assembly along a moisture gradient in his native Ecuador.
Diego Garcia Olaechea
Diego studies the ecology and conservation of dry forest bird communities in northern Peru. He is a researcher with Corbidi and is advised by Dr. Bette Loiselle in the Department of Wildlife and Conservation (WEC) and co-advised by Dr. Scott Robinson.
Elise is using a 20-year data set to examine avian community turnover in response to climate change along an elevation gradient in Rwanda. She is advised by Dr. Madan Oli in the Department of Wildlife and Conservation (WEC) and co-advised by Dr. Scott Robinson.
Dr. Juan Pablo Gomez (2016): Postdoc with Dr. Jose Miguel Ponciano at UF
Dr. Judit Ungvari-Martin (2016): AAAS Science Policy Fellow
Dr. Carrie Vath (2014): Director, Academic Center for Excellence, Montana Tech
Dr. Ari Martinez (2013): NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at San Francisco State University
Dr. Gustavo Londoño (2013): Assistant Professor, Universidad ICESI, Colombia
Dr. Jill Jankowski (2010): Assistant Professor, University of British Colombia
Dr. Christine Stracey Richard (2010): Assistant Professor, Guilford College, NC