Broadly, my research investigates the relationships between birds, humans, and urban greenspaces, with an emphasis on using citizen science data to answer ecological questions.
Currently, more than half (54%) of the world’s population resides in urbanized areas and by 2030 60% of the world’s population will be living in urbanized areas. This has prompted much recent research in urban ecology. Urban greenspaces (e.g., parks, cemeteries, treatment wetlands) are an essential mechanism by which to study urban ecology. In the increasingly
developed world there tend to be species, both native and non-native, that thrive in heavily developed areas. Urban greenspaces are not only heavily utilized by a variety of taxa, but also by humans. Our ability to preserve and construct urban greenspaces within future urbanization is dependent on our knowledge of their benefits and how they are used. My research intends to investigate the broad role of urban greenspaces throughout urbanized areas.
Two main objectives are: 1) investigating what greenspace characteristics predict the highest avian biodiversity of urban greenspaces and 2) investigating which avian species’ characteristics predict presence in urban environments. Ultimately, the results of this research can aid in planning strategies and establishment of sustainable cities worldwide.
Other research I am currently working on includes:
- the validity, efficacy, and use of eBird data at small-scales in ecological management
- the potential economic benefits of a vagrant bird
- various invasive avian species in the United States
- the role that natural history plays in modern ornithology