• Twitter Handle:
• My position with AOS:
Chair, Birds of North America liaison committee
• My current full-time title and institution:
Professor, Towson University
• My current career stage:
• My lineage of mentors/labs:
M.S., Dr. Russ Balda, Northern Arizona University
Ph.D., Dr. Ross Lein, University of Calgary
Postdoc, Dr. Bill Searcy, University of Pittsburgh
Have spent my life trying to figure out what birds do to make more birds.
• My favorite bird and why:
House Wren. The “Prince of Passerines.” Always busy; almost never seen loafing. Plethora of interesting behaviors. Uses Homo sapiens to their advantage, but does not seem to care much about them.
• I am involved with AOS because:
Major reason: It makes me better able to advance ornithology as a science. Minor reason: It makes me feel more like a professional.
• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
I can fly my “avian freak flag” and the result is camaraderie, not confusion.
• Birds are important to me because:
Birds are just too fascinating not to spend a lifetime studying.
• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Only chase the “latest hot topic” if/when it will get you a job/promotion/tenure. Otherwise leave a legacy by doing research the results of which will be as useful 50 or 100 years from now as they are today.
• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Why do females pair with already mated males? (The early and intriguing “polygyny threshold hypothesis” was never thoroughly tested!)
• Fun random fact about myself:
I have a secret desire to study Cedar Waxwings, my favourite bird when I was a kid.