Faces of AOS: Chris Tonra Bio

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• Website/Blog/Etc:

• My position with AOS:
Early Professionals Committee member, Elective Member (2014)

• My current full-time title and institution:
Assistant Professor of Avian Wildlife Ecology, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University

• My current career stage:
Early Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Peter P. Marra, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (Ph.D, Post-doc)
Rebecca L. Holberton, University of Maine (Ph.D.)
Matthew D Johnson, Humboldt State University (M.S.)

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I invade the privacy of birds on a daily basis.

• My favorite bird and why:
Song Sparrow – As Margaret Morse Nice captured so elegantly, they have effusive personalities. Also, their nests are a joy to find: a challenge, but not impossibility.

• I am involved with AOS because:
Birds are my passion and my profession, and I suppose I have a tendency to flock. AOS has also supported me in starting my career, so I want to do all I can to pay it forward.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Nerding out on science at annual meetings. The diversity of topics and quality of research, as well as the people, are phenomenal.

• Birds are important to me because:
They changed how I view the world outside. They bring joy to so many people, and they do incredible things. They draw people into nature.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
The best students teach something to their advisor. So challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone, learn new techniques, and work in diverse systems.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
The declines in migratory bird populations.

• Fun random fact about myself:
I make really, really good pancakes. Also, my stress relief has become furniture making. But, seriously, they are really good.