I love the desert – its birds, its plants, its heat, its light, its people, its conservation issues.  My dream is to work in all of the Earth’s deserts before my time is up.  At Point Blue, I lead our projects in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of California, Arizona, and Nevada, and I supervise much of Point Blue's work on endangered Willow Flycatcher and Bell's Vireo populations (resume).

I graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment in 1998, and I joined the (then) Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1999.  I have worked here ever since.  I received my Master's at the University of Arizona in 2014, and my thesis work is on the effects of fire and drought on bird populations in the Sonoran Desert.

At Point Blue, I have led research into the impacts of off-highway vehicles and drought on Sonoran Desert birds, the recovery of a population of endangered Bell’s Vireos near Death Valley, the discovery of a sympatric population of Willow and Dusky Flycatcers at Mono Lake, work on Willow Flycatchers of the Owens Valley, saguaro pollination and seed dispersal by birds and insects, and I was lucky to participate in Point Blue’s long term research on Adélie Penguins at Cape Crozier, Antarctica.  This summer, we will complete the 11th field season of our long-term work at the Amargosa River, and I will train and assist on a California Department of Fish and Wildlife survey of Willow Flycatchers and Yellow-billed Cuckoos in the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

Though I am often in the field in random, rocky, dusty places, I can eventually be found near Tucson, AZ.  I have also (and ironically) spent my off-seasons back in Ann Arbor, MI, where my partner Claire serves out a fellowship at the University of Michigan’s creative writing program.


Featured Work:

Drought-caused delay in nesting of Sonoran Desert birds and its facilitation of parasite- and predator-mediated variation in reproductive success (Auk 2015).