Faces of AOS: Nicholas A. Mason Bio

Nick Mason
Nick Mason with a snowy owl specimen

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• Website/Blog/Etc:

• My position with AOS:
Chair of Student Affairs Committee

• My current full-time title and institution:
Graduate Student, Cornell University

• My current career stage:
Graduate Student

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Kevin Burns, San Diego State University, M.Sc.
Irby Lovette, Cornell University, PhD

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I study why there are so many species of birds and why species and individuals look different. Museum specimens and DNA help.

• My favorite bird and why:
Common Loon: I like the black and white aesthetic. Growing up in Minnesota, I remember hearing its bizarre call on wooded lakes. Nostalgia!

• I am involved with AOS because:
Involvement in AOS allows me to contribute to a multigenerational legacy of studying and conserving birds.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Exposure to the breadth of research addressed by ornithologists. Annual meetings!

• Birds are important to me because:
Exposure to the breadth of research done by ornithologists and networking opportunities across disciplines.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Be resilient in seeking funding and publishing your work. Let rejections roll off your back like water off the dorsum of an eider.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
How many times have silly walks convergently evolved in birds?

• Fun random fact about myself:
I prefer Twizzlers to Red Vines.


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