Bob Taylor

MSc, Biological Sciences, Cal State LA, December 2019

  • Bob is currently a field biologist studying songbirds in the Sierra Nevada

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Project Title: Monitoring the response of riparian bird and butterfly communities to restoration of the Lower Owens River, California

Bob studied the response of the avian community to rewatering efforts on the Owens River, CA. For more information about the Lower Owens River Project (or LORP) see the following.

The poster below details major findings from Bob’s research.

 

Bob’s field efforts were a resurvey of locations that were originally established and surveyed in the early 2000s (pre-watering). There were a handful of post-watering surveys, and Bob added two more years of work to those efforts This poster highlights the change over time by the avian community following rewatering efforts. Avian communities initially rebounded following rewatering, but have seemingly leveled off. While adding water to the system does have a positive impact on the region’s avian community, additional efforts (e.g. creating extensive floodplain habitat) are likely necessary to truly bring the system back.

Bob’s field efforts were a resurvey of locations that were originally established and surveyed in the early 2000s (pre-watering). There were a handful of post-watering surveys, and Bob added two more years of work to those efforts This poster highlights the change over time by the avian community following rewatering efforts. Avian communities initially rebounded following rewatering, but have seemingly leveled off. While adding water to the system does have a positive impact on the region’s avian community, additional efforts (e.g. creating extensive floodplain habitat) are likely necessary to truly bring the system back.


Sevan Esaian

MSc, Biological Sciences, Cal State LA, July 2018

  • Sevan is currently a PhD student at UCSB

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Project Title: The importance of the Los Angeles urban forest as habitat for migratory and resident birds

Sevan studied avian communities in LA across a socioeconomic gradient. His thesis work focused on (1) understanding street tree-species preferences by birds in the urban forest, and (2) distributions of birds throughout the city based on environmental factors.

Below are two posters highlighting important contributions from Sevan’s work in the lab.

An important contribution of Sevan’s work was in understanding street tree-species preferences by birds. Native trees, such as the Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) are preferred by birds. Though, there are a handful of exotic trees that are also valuable foraging substrates for birds. Poster by Jordan Henry, Cal Poly Pomona.

An important contribution of Sevan’s work was in understanding street tree-species preferences by birds. Native trees, such as the Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) are preferred by birds. Though, there are a handful of exotic trees that are also valuable foraging substrates for birds. Poster by Jordan Henry, Cal Poly Pomona.

S evan led an extensive field effort surveying birds all over Los Angeles for two winter field seasons. One of the main contributions from his work was uncovering major differences in the avian community across a socioeconomic gradient throughout LA. In particular, migratory birds tended to spend their time in affluent parts of the city, where the urban forest is extensive. In low income parts of the city, tree cover is low, and there are far fewer birds.

Sevan led an extensive field effort surveying birds all over Los Angeles for two winter field seasons. One of the main contributions from his work was uncovering major differences in the avian community across a socioeconomic gradient throughout LA. In particular, migratory birds tended to spend their time in affluent parts of the city, where the urban forest is extensive. In low income parts of the city, tree cover is low, and there are far fewer birds.


Heather Mackey

MSc, Biological Sciences, Cal State LA, June 2018

  • Heather is currently a wildlife biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Heather was also one of the co-stars of the documentary, ‘The River and the Wall’ (trailer). She was able to take part in the epic project based off of her contributions to wildlife research in the Big Bend Region.

Project Title: The effects of land-cover composition and invasive species on birds and butterflies along the Rio Grande, Big Bend National Park, Texas

Heather studied the effects of invasive species and land cover composition in structuring bird and butterfly communities along the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Heather (and Julie) worked tirelessly for two summers collecting data on birds and butterflies along the Rio Grande. While Julie’s thesis was focused on the effects of restoration on wildlife, Heather’s thesis was designed to understand the broad impacts of invasive species and landcover patterns on biodiversity along the river. In general, at fine spatial extents, invasive species have a strong, negative influence on birds and butterflies, while at broader spatial extent, the configuration of landcover types is the most important factor structuring wildlife communities in the region.

Heather (and Julie) worked tirelessly for two summers collecting data on birds and butterflies along the Rio Grande. While Julie’s thesis was focused on the effects of restoration on wildlife, Heather’s thesis was designed to understand the broad impacts of invasive species and landcover patterns on biodiversity along the river. In general, at fine spatial extents, invasive species have a strong, negative influence on birds and butterflies, while at broader spatial extent, the configuration of landcover types is the most important factor structuring wildlife communities in the region.


Julie Coffey

MSc, Biological Sciences, Cal State LA, May 2018

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Project Title: Avian and lepidopteran community response to invasive species management along the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park.

Julie studied the response of avian and butterfly communities to the removal of Giant Cane (Arundo donax) along the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo in Big Bend National Park, Texas.