I am currently working with L. Wes Burger, Jr. and Ross Conover to assess differential benefits of early-succession habitat in the row-crop, agricultural matrix of northwest Mississippi. This project is in collaboration with an effort by the USDA-NRCS to reverse non-crop habitat loss on private US farmlands and subsequently, enhance agricultural sustainability while simultaneously providing quality wildlife habitat. Results from this research will elucidate habitat-use patterns by farmland avian communities and mediate future decisions on wildlife habitat establishment and management in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Habitats of interest in this study are early-succession blocks (~120 acres), riparian buffers (RB), filter strips (FS), and field borders (FB). The overall study objectives are to assess benefits to: 1) avian reproductive success, 2) avian community response, 3) Northern Bobwhite habitat-use, and 4) Dickcissel post-fledging ecology.
In 2008 I began working with Dr. Michael Quist at Iowa State University, Michael Bower of the National Park Service, and other biologists to better understand population dynamics in the highly endangered Devils Hole Pupfish. Maria Dzul, a M.S. student I co-advise with Dr. Quist, has been analyzing historical count data to better understand their long-term decline. She has also been trying to understand sources of variation (e.g., time of day or different divers) that influence pupfish counts so that we can refine the monitoring protocol fot this species. Eventually, she will develop a population model for the pupfish that should be useful for informing future management decisions for this species.