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Lab News

Current graduate students Melissa Hannay, Olivia Utley, and Sarah Groendyk have been meeting their research and teaching challenges with great perseverance the last six months and my hats are off to them. We are weathering this storm together.

Sarah Groendyk is the recipient of the George J. Wallace and Martha C. Wallace Endowed Scholarship Award from the Integrative Biology Department.

Olivia Utley successfully passed her comprehensive exams this past year! Congratulations!

*******************************************************************************************************************  I thought it was time for a brief update on the whereabouts and positions of our recent former lab members. We think of them fondly, out in the world, using their skills to advance understanding of, and protect, our ecosystems, and to mentor the next generation of biologists:

Melissa Hannay, while finishing her Ph.D., is a Project Specialist at Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, San Antonio, Texas.

Steve Roels is a Senior Natural Resource Specialist for the City of Louisville, Colorado.

Megan Shave is a Conservation Agent and Planner for the City of Brockton, Massachusetts.

Sean Williams is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Biology Dept. at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Rachel Eaton is the Graduate Student Administrator for the BioSciences Dept. at Rice University, Houston, Texas.

Spring 2019

I'm excited to begin my work as Editor-in-Chief of The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

https://amornithnews.org/2018/11/27/catherine-lindell-named-editor-of-the-condor-ornithological-applications/

Steve Roels published the second chapter of his dissertation: Recovery of bird activity and species richness in an early-stage tropical forest restoration. Avian Conservation and Ecology 14(1):9 doi.org/10.5751/ACE-01330-140109

Melissa Brady published the first chapter of her dissertation: Bird Species and Abundances in Fruit Crops and Implications for Bird Management. Crop Protection 120:43-49.  doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2019.02.015

Steve Roels successfully defended his dissertation, "Recovery of insectivorous bird ecological function in tropical forest restorations". Congratulations!

Steve Roels at Agua Salud, Panama, working on exclosure

We were saddened about the passing of our colleague, Dr. Brian Maurer, who played an instrumental role in obtaining the funding for our current project on the roles of American kestrels in fruit-production regions. Meeting with Brian was always a mixed bag; he was unfailingly friendly and hospitable but, on the flip side, he would find every flaw in your proposal or paper or plan for analysis and back to the drawing board it was! I also laughingly remember Brian's advice about child-rearing..."divide and conquer" which, he mentioned, becomes much more difficult once the offspring outnumber the parents. We will miss Brian.

Follow these links to recent National Science Foundation articles about our work enhancing agricultural landscapes for native predators of crop pests.

March 1, 2018...https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=244549&org=NSF&from=news

May 15, 2018...https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=245124​​

Northern Michigan sweet cherry orchard in bloom; full white blossoms but no leaves yet.

Megan Shave, who defended her dissertation last April, will shortly begin work for the city of Brockton, MA as a Conservation Agent. Home sweet home for Megan!

Steve Roels' first chapter has been accepted for publication: Roels, S.M., J.L. Porter, and C.A. Lindell. In press. Tropical forest restoration strategy affects predation pressure by birds and arthropods on herbivorous insects. Restoration Ecology.

Our lab's "group project" from last year was recently published: Lindell, C.A., R.A. Eaton, P. H. Howard, S.M. Roels, and M.E. Shave. 2018. Enhancing agricultural landscapes to increase crop pest reduction by vertebrates. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 257:1-11.

Current and recent lab members delivered several presentations at the American Ornithological Society/Society of Canadian Ornithologists meeting here at Michigan State University this summer. C. Lindell delivered a talk at the World Conference on Ecological Restoration Meeting in Foz do Iguassu, Brazil, in August. Iguassu Falls was breath-taking. Click link for titles of talks.

Lindell, C.A. and S.M. Roels. 2017. What we know and don’t know about the role of birds in Forest Restoration.  World Conference on Ecological Restoration, August 27 – Sept. 1, 2017, Iguassu Falls, Brazil. Invited speaker for Symposium: Making the most of birds and mammals in restoration, Dr. Wesley Silva organizer.

Lindell, C.A., R.A. Eaton, S.M. Roels, and M.E. Shave. 2017. Enhancing Agricultural landscapes to increase crop pest reduction by birds. American Ornithological Society/Society of Canadian Ornithologists Joint Meeting, July 31-August 5, 2017, East Lansing, MI.

Williams, S. and C.A. Lindell. 2017. Context-specific vocalization serves as a mechanism of interspecific cohesion in Amazonian mixed-species flocks. American Ornithological Society/Society of Canadian Ornithologists Joint Meeting, July 31-August 5, 2017, East Lansing, MI.

Roels, S., J. Porter, and C. Lindell. 2017. Predation pressure for dummies: avian attacks on clay caterpillars across a tropical landscape. American Ornithological Society/Society of Canadian Ornithologists Joint Meeting, July 31-August 5, 2017, East Lansing, MI.

Shave, M., S. Shwiff, J. Elser, and C. Lindell. 2017. Nest boxes benefit a declining raptor and ecosystem services in a fruit-growing region. American Ornithological Society/Society of Canadian Ornithologists Joint Meeting, July 31-August 5, 2017, East Lansing, MI.

Brady, M. Eaton, R., Wieferich, S., Steensma, K., Leigh, D., Curtis, P., Henrichs, H., Boulanger, J., Lindell, C. 2017. Abundance of fruit-eating birds in agricultural land cover. American Ornithological Society/Society of Canadian Ornithologists Joint Meeting, July 31-August 5, 2017, East Lansing, MI.

Megan Shave recently defended her Ph.D. dissertation EVALUATING THE CONSERVATION AND AGRICULTURAL APPLICATIONS OF ORCHARD NEST BOXES FOR A DECLINING RAPTOR. 

Recently accepted papers:

William, S.M. and C.A. Lindell. In press. Nuclear species in Peruvian Amazonian mixed-species flocks are differentially attractive to transient species and to each other. Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

Shave, M.E. and C.A. Lindell. 2017. American Kestrels occupying nest boxes in Michigan cherry orchards show high reproductive performance and tolerance to video camera monitoring. Journal of Raptor Research 51(1):50-60.

 Rachael Eaton successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation INFLUENCES OF DIET, SPATIAL SCALE, AND SOCIALITY ON AVIAN FORAGING BEHAVIOR AND HABITAT USE IN CULTIVATED SWEET CHERRY ORCHARDS AND THE RESULTING IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT. Rachael is currently the Graduate Program Administrator of the Biosciences Dept. at Rice University.

Sean Williams successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY OF AMAZONIAN MIXED-SPECIES FLOCKS. Sean is currently working for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Recently accepted articles:  

Shave, M.E. and C.A. Lindell. American Kestrels occupying nest boxes in Michigan cherry orchards show high reproductive performance and tolerance to video camera monitoring. Journal of Raptor Research.

Lazos, E., J. Zinda, A. Bennett-Curry, P. Balvanera, G. Bloomfield, C. Lindell and C. Negra. 2016. Stakeholders and tropical reforestation: challenges, trade-offs, and strategies in dynamic environments. Biotropica 48:xxx-xxx

Williams, S. M. 2016. Observations on the mating behavior of the eastern lowland olingo Bassaricyon alleni (Carnivora: Procyonidae) in the Peruvian Amazon. Zoologia 33:e20160027

Williams, S. M. 2016. First description of the nest of the Stipple-throated Antwren (Epinecrophylla haematonota) in Peru. Ornitología Neotropical 27:97-100.

Summer 2016 saw Sean Williams pursuing his work on understory mixed-species flocks on the Madre de Dios River, Peru, while Steve Roels ran field experiments on trophic interactions at the Agua Salud restoration site in Panama. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., American Kestrels, Eastern Bluebirds, and European Starlings used many of the nest boxes we (Melissa Brady, Megan Shave, Catherine Lindell) installed in blueberry fields in Van Buren and Allegan Counties.

 April 2016

Steve Roels is the recipient of the George J. Wallace and Martha C. Wallace Endowed Scholarship Award from the Integrative Biology Department.

Sean Williams is a recipient of the John R. Shaver Graduate Student Award from the Integrative Biology Department.

Rachael Eaton is a recipient of a College of Natural Science Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

American kestrels have begun nesting in nest boxes we installed in Van Buren County, Michigan during the fall/winter of 2015-2016.

Rachael, Bene, Emily July 2015

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