Recent Lab News
05/29/2015 Our new paper led by Mark Chynoweth is on the discovery and conservation of a new breeding population of Caucasian lynx (Lynx lynx dinniki) in eastern Turkey.
Our work focuses on the world’s threatened biodiversity and ecosystems, especially in human-dominated landscapes where we study the co-existence of people and other species. The causes and consequences of bird extinctions around the world is a major component of our research, including the ecological factors behind the extinction-proneness of certain groups, such as tropical understory insectivores. Complementing the lab’s fieldwork in a range of ecosystems in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Turkey, and Utah, are conservation, ecology and biogeography meta-analyses of a global bird ecology database we have compiled in the past decade. These meta-analyses help us understand the distributions and determinants of avian life history traits and extinction correlates, and assess the implications of avian extinctions on bird-mediated ecosystem processes and services, such as pollination, seed dispersal, and pest control. In addition to long-term bird banding and radio tracking projects, we also study the ecology and population biology of carnivorous mammals (brown bears, wolves, and lynx) in eastern Turkey. Past collaborations have included taxa ranging from plants to bird lice to amphibians. Complementing our empirical research, we conduct community-based conservation and wetland restoration projects in eastern Turkey by communicating our research findings to the public and helping convert conservation science into conservation action. Our conservation ecology work aims to help prevent extinctions and the consequent collapses of critical ecosystem processes while making sure that local communities benefit from conservation as much as the wildlife they help conserve.