Faces of AOS: Mike Butler Bio

Mike Butler
Mike Butler with northern shrike

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• Website/Blog/Etc:

• My position with AOS:
Chair, Membership committee

• My current full-time title and institution:
Assistant Professor, Lafayette College

• My current career stage:
Early Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Undergraduate: Bowdoin College (Nat Wheelwright) Masters: Boise State University (Al Dufty, Jr.)
Ph.D.: Arizona State University (Kevin McGraw)

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I watch how birds respond when I annoy them.

• My favorite bird and why:
Black-capped chickadee. They don’t seem to mind winter storms, and when they’re trapped in a mist-net, they look you in the eye before they bite you.

• I am involved with AOS because:
I can learn about physiology, behavior, genetics, and evolution all at one meeting. Also, the colleagues I’ve met through the AOS provide both professional development and a home society.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
These inter-personal networks persist; the AOS meetings provide a great time to learn, brainstorm, and play – all with people that are interesting and approachable.

• Birds are important to me because:
They’re dinosaurs, and that’s awesome. I can honestly say I get paid to work with dinosaurs.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Listen. Speak up. Listen some more. Speak up again. And set your own career goals – don’t let anyone else do it for you.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Understanding the post-fledgling period a LOT better.

• Fun random fact about myself:
I pole vaulted in college. I’ve also had dinner in a salt mine … while an orchestra played. I also once held my breath for 2 minutes, 27 seconds. I’ve also rated 86 tequilas, and yes – I use a spreadsheet.


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