Faces of AOS: Kathy Martin Bio

Kathy Martin and Mt. McKenzie

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• Website/Blog/Etc:
Home Page: http://profiles.forestry.ubc.ca/person/kathy-martin/
Centre for Alpine Studies: http://alpine.forestry.ubc.ca/

• My position with AOS:

Kathy Martin climbing a cavity tree in Poland

• My current full-time title and institution:
Professor, University of British Columbia
Senior Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada

• My current career stage:
Senior Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
-University of Prince Edward Island, Biology Department, Ian MacQuarrie, undergrad
– University of Alberta, Dept of Zoology, Fred Zwickel, MSc
– Queen’s University, Biology Department, Fred Cooke, PhD
– University of Alberta, Dept of Biological Sciences, Susan Hannon, PDF
– Oxford University, Edward Grey Institute and Uppsala University, PDF sabbaticals
– John Eadie and Susan Hannon, Mentors

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I study how birds solve the problems of living in high alpine habitats, and how others acquire tree cavities for nesting – tangled nestwebs

White-tailed Ptarmigan retain their winter plumage for 8 months. When they lower their nictitating membrane, they become even more visible. (Photo: S Ogle)

• My favorite bird and why:
Ptarmigan are enigmatic and so tough. They can disappear in their alpine habitats year round. Their name acquired a silent P in 1684

• I am involved with AOS because:
I consider AOS my professional family. I gave my first talk at AOU as an MSc student and have been hooked ever since.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Meeting Friends, and seeing how people progress in their careers, develop their study system or evolve to new systems or questions

• Birds are important to me because:
So fascinating to watch individual birds throughout their lifetimes, as they arrive in spring, nest, rear young and then off to winter areas

Kathy Martin and Andrea Norris banding a mountain bluebird

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Try studying birds for your undergrad or MSc, and you will be hooked for life!

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Global and local patterns of how birds solve the problem of living in mountains, and how they will cope with climate change.

• Fun random fact about myself:
Travelled to all 7 continents. Same suitcase!

• Something else birdy I’d like to share:
Have had two research programs throughout my career, alpine bird life history and cavity nesting bird community dynamics, have never been able to give up one of them!

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