• My position with AOS:
• My current full-time title and institution:
Assistant Professor, Oregon State University
• My current career stage:
• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Undergrad (UMass): Don Kroodsma
Ph.D. (Univ. California, Santa Barbara): Steve Rothstein
Postdoc (Oregon State University): Matt Betts
I want to understand how birds work, and how they are influenced by the actions of humans.
• My favorite bird and why:
Brown-headed Cowbird. I maintain it’s the most evolved bird in North America because it has been able to offload parental care duties entirely!
• I am involved with AOS because:
AOS has helped foster my growth as an ornithologist, and I seek to provide similar opportunities to other young scientists interested in pursuing a career in our field.
• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
The annual meeting is best because you get to watch smart and highly motivated people talk about their cool research, all of which is focused on birds. Doesn’t get much better than that.
• Birds are important to me because:
I got interested in birds at a young age, and they’ve always been a connection to quietly observing nature.
• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Although our field is competitive, keep in mind that your destiny is not written for you, it is written by you. Hard work and being open to new opportunities are musts if you want to study birds for a living.
• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Miniaturization of on-animal sensors for small songbirds, including live video links and GPS-level tags. We are getting close, but we’re not there yet.