Director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
Ken has been at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology since 1993 where he is currently the Director of the Lab’s Conservation Science Program. At the Lab, he directs a series of citizen science projects focused on conservation related questions, including the Cerulean Warbler Atlas Project, Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project, and Birds in Forested Landscapes project. His program also includes the Neotropical bird conservation program, which focuses on conservation and bird-monitoring work in Mexico and Cuba. He currently oversees the Lab’s Ivory-billed
Woodpecker search and research efforts, and he is a member of the USFWS Ivory-billed Woodpecker Endangered Species Recovery Team. Ken is also very active in the international bird conservation consortium, Partners in Flight, where he currently is the co-chair of the PIF science committee and a member of the U.S. Partners in Flight Council, as well as several other initiative committees and technical working groups. His current work combines analysis of bird population trend and distributional data, development of conservation priorities and recommendations, and working with land managers and planners to implement sound bird conservation strategies.
Ken’s previous research interests were mostly in the areas of bird community and behavioral ecology. He worked on several largescale wildlife projects, including in desert riparian habitats in Arizona and southern California and in old-growth Douglas-fir forests in northern California. His doctoral research at LSU focused on foraging specializations in tropical forest birds and how these specializations relate to high tropical bird diversity. He continued this latter research in a post-doctoral position at the Smithsonian Institution, studying the phylogenetic relationships of a diverse Neotropical bird family - the antbirds.
Ken holds a Bachelor’s degree (Natural Resources) from Cornell UniversityArizona State University (1980), and a PhD. In Zoology from Louisiana State University (1976), a Masters in Zoology from (1990).
In addition to his official duties, Ken is the captain of the Lab’s World Series of Birding team, the Sapsuckers, and he writes reviews of binoculars and spotting scopes for the Lab’s magazine Living Bird. He is a lifelong birder and has traveled extensively in North, Central, and South America watching and studying birds.