Research

I conduct research in behavioral ecology: the study of costs and benefits of performing certain behaviors in a particular environment. I work with birds and mammals in the field with the help of many student collaborators over the years.  One major long-term study is small mammal population ecology in different habitats.  Another new study is the nesting success of seabirds in the Bahamas.   I am also interested in how animals reduce costs of predator avoidance. 


Peromyscus leucopus population ecology

Population surveys of white-footed mice at Tanglewood Nature Center have been conducted regularly. Becky Ikeda and Julie Button are just two of my students who have helped with these research efforts.





Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) nesting on White Cay, San Salvador, Bahamas


Nest density has varied tremendously over the years that we have been observing White Cay.   We hope to establish a current count of nestlings and compare with data from the late 1990's.




Woodchuck (Marmota monax) vigilance and anti-predator behavior

Woodchucks are large, solitary, burrow-dwelling ground squirrels that may be subject to predation risk if they stray too far from their burrow. Trade-offs between foraging and vigilance may differ in varied situations (rural versus urban habitat, or high density of conspecifics). Undergraduate students have contributed much to this research program - see some of their work here.