André Dhondt

Director, Bird Population Studies


Disease Ecology • Population Ecology • Behavioral Ecology • Evolutionary Ecology • Conservation Biology

As the Director of the Bird Population Studies program I design and coordinate bird-related research. As the Morgens Professor of Ornithology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology I teach and supervise research of undergraduate and graduate students, and collaborate with colleagues both at Cornell and elsewhere.

I am a native of Belgium, and I obtained my Ph.D. at Ghent State University. After working with UNESCO (in Turkey), the UN (as a consultant in Niger) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Madagascar (forestry and conservation) and in Samoa (applied entomology) I joined the newly founded Antwerp University in Belgium as a Professor where I created an active group in animal, behavioral and population ecology studying not only birds, but also mammals, insects and plants.

I spent some time in Zaire, Algeria and France as a visiting professor and in 1994 I joined the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University as the Director of the Bird Population Studies program and as the first Edwin H. Morgens Professor of Ornithology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

At the Lab of Ornithology I developed multiple citizen science projects in collaboration with Rick Bonney and other colleagues. This led to a long-term study of the epidemic following the shift of the poultry pathogenic bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum to House Finches. As Professor of Ornithology on campus I teach and supervise undergraduate and graduate students. These have studied problems as diverse as bird social behavior, effects of habitat fragmentation in temperate and tropical environments, life-history trade-offs, pathogens in birds, and adaptations to high elevations.

I am also a member of the Academia Europaea.


Ph.D., Biology, Ghent State University
M.Sc., Zoology, Ghent State University


I am inspired by things I don’t understand.

Recent Publications

Reinoso-Pérez, M. T., K. V. Dhondt, H. Dulcet, N. Katzenstein, A. V. Sydenstricker, and A. A. Dhondt (2024). Seasonal variation in detection of Haemosporidia in a bird community: A comparison of nested PCR and microscopy. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 60.
Hagler, S. J., K. Abbott, C. D. Hayes, T. I. Hayes, and A. A. Dhondt (2023). Pre-breeding behavior of Ridgway's Hawks (Buteo ridgwayi) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 36:75–80.
Reinoso-Pérez, M. T., K. V. Dhondt, A. A. Levitskiy, G. Dupont, E. R. Tulman, S. J. Geary, and A. A. Dhondt (2023). Are Purple Finches (Haemorhous purpureus) the next host for a mycoplasmal conjunctivitis epidemic? Avian Diseases 67:42–48.
Reinoso-Pérez, M. T., A. A. Levitskiy, K. V. Dhondt, N. Cole, E. Tulman, S. J. Geary, and A. A. Dhondt (2022). Changes in tissue tropism of Mycoplasma gallisepticum following host jump. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 58:716–724.
Schubert, S., H. Garrod, A. A. Dhondt, and S. Dzielski (2022). Palmchat (Dulus dominicus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Hanley, B. J., A. A. Dhondt, M. J. Forzán, E. M. Bunting, M. A. Pokras, K. P. Hynes, E. Dominguez‐Villegas, and K. L. Schuler (2022). Environmental lead reduces the resilience of bald eagle populations. Journal of Wildlife Management 86:e22177.
Corsini, M., P. Leanza, A. D. Rodewald, J. Sudyka, A. A. Dhondt, and M. Szulkin (2022). Coping with novelty across an urban mosaic: Provisioning latency increases closer to roads and is associated with species-specific reproductive success in two urban adapters. Science of The Total Environment 847:157450.
Crouch, E. E., M. T. Reinoso-Pérez, R. V. Vanderstichel, K. V. Dhondt, A. A. Dhondt, J. D. Cruz Otero, T. Piech, and M. J. Forzán (2022). The effect of dexamethasone on hematological profiles, hemosporidian infection, and splenic histology in House Finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). Journal of Wildlife Diseases 53:512–523.
Dhondt, A. A. (2021). Book review: Book of Birds: Introduction to Ornithology. Journal of Field Ornithology 91:103–104.
Hochachka, W. M., A. P. Dobson, D. M. Hawley, and A. A. Dhondt (2021). Host population dynamics in the face of an evolving pathogen. Journal of Animal Ecology 90:1480–1491.
Culina, A., F. Adriaensen, L. D. Bailey, M. D. Burgess, A. Charmantier, E. F. Cole, T. Eeva, E. Matthysen, C. R. Nater, B. C. Sheldon, Z. Zajkova, et al. (2021). Connecting the data landscape of long‐term ecological studies: The SPI‐Birds data hub. Journal of Animal Ecology 90:2147–2160.
Lee, V. M., A. Perez, O. Onyekwelu, J. Chan, D. E. Cannady-Lindner, A. A. Levitskiy, M. T. Reinoso-Pérez, and A. A. Dhondt (2021). Broad-billed Tody (Todus subulatus) response to playback of vocalizations and non-vocal sounds. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 34:12–16.
Møller, A. P., J. Balbontín, A. A. Dhondt, F. Adriaensen, A. Artemyev, J. Bańbura, E. Barba, C. Biard, J. Blondel, J. Bouvier, J. Camprodon, et al. (2020). Interaction of climate change with effects of conspecific and heterospecific density on reproduction. Oikos 129:1807–1819.
Pflaum, K., E. R. Tulman, J. Canter, K. V. Dhondt, M. T. Reinoso-Perez, A. A. Dhondt, and S. J. Geary (2020). The influence of host tissue on M. gallisepticum vlhA gene expression. Veterinary Microbiology 251:108891.
Reinoso‐Pérez, M. T., K. V. Dhondt, A. V. Sydenstricker, D. Heylen, and A. A. Dhondt (2020). Complex interactions between bacteria and haemosporidia in coinfected hosts: an experiment. Ecology and Evolution 10:5801–5814.
DeLeon, S., M. S. Webster, T. J. DeVoogd, and A. A. Dhondt (2020). Developmental polychlorinated biphenyl exposure influences adult Zebra Finch reproductive behavior. PLOS ONE 15:e0230283.
McNeil, D. J., A. D. Rodewald, O. J. Robinson, C. J. Fiss, K. V. Rosenberg, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, K. R. Aldinger, A. A. Dhondt, S. Petzinger, and J. L. Larkin (2020). Regional abundance and local breeding productivity explain occupancy of restored habitats in a migratory songbird. Biological Conservation 245:108463.
Kent, Q. D., M. Edwards, T. Wu, and A. A. Dhondt (2020). Picky Palmchats (Dulus dominicus): Do they really prefer to nest in royal palms? Caribbean Journal of Ornithology 33:111–115.
Heylen, D. J. A., M. T. Reinoso-Pérez, L. B. Goodman, K. V. Dhondt, and A. A. Dhondt (2020). Ectoparasitism during an avian disease outbreak: An experiment with Mycoplasma-infected House Finches. International Journal of Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 12:53–63.
McNeil, D. J., A. D. Rodewald, V. Ruiz‐Gutierrez, K. E. Johnson, M. Strimas‐Mackey, S. Petzinger, O. J. Robinson, G. E. Soto, A. A. Dhondt, and J. L. Larkin (2020). Multi‐scale drivers of restoration outcomes for an imperiled songbird. Restoration Ecology 28:880–891.
Dhondt, A. A., A. P. Dobson, and W. M. Hochachka (2019). Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in House Finches: The study of an emerging disease. In Wildlife Disease Ecology (K. Wilson, A. Fenton and D. Tompkins, Editors). 1st edition. Cambridge University Press, pp. 574–597.
Fracasso, G., E. Matthysen, A. A. Dhondt, and D. Heylen (2019). Experimental study of micro-habitat selection by ixodid ticks feeding on avian hosts. International Journal for Parasitology 49:1005–1014.
Radchuk, V., T. Reed, C. Teplitsky, M. van de Pol, A. Charmantier, C. Hassall, P. Adamík, F. Adriaensen, M. P. Ahola, P. Arcese, J. Miguel Avilés, et al. (2019). Adaptive responses of animals to climate change are most likely insufficient. Nature Communications 10:3109.
Hanley, B. J., A. A. Dhondt, B. Dennis, and K. L. Schuler (2019). Using time series data to assess recent population dynamics of Bald Eagles in the northeast United States. Ecosphere 10:e02963.
Gamelon, M., S. J. G. Vriend, S. Engen, F. Adriaensen, A. A. Dhondt, S. R. Evans, E. Matthysen, B. C. Sheldon, and B. Sæther (2019). Accounting for interspecific competition and age structure in demographic analyses of density dependence improves predictions of fluctuations in population size. Ecology Letters 22:797–806.
Fracasso, G., E. Matthysen, A. A. Dhondt, and D. Heylen (2019). [In Press] Experimental study of micro-habitat selection in ixodid ticks feeding on avian hosts. International Journal for Parasitology.
Potter, A. B., and A. A. Dhondt (2019). [In press] Behavioral observations on White-naped Tits Parus nuchalis during the breeding season. Forktail.
Dhondt, A. A., A. P. Dobson, and W. M. Hochachka (2019). [In press] Mycoplasmal Conjunctivitis in House Finches: The Study of an Emerging Disease. In Wildlife Disease Ecology: Linking Theory to Data and Application. Cambridge University Press.
Dhondt, A. A., J. L. Collison, M. H. Lam, M. J. D’Ambrosio, and T. L. Crisologo (2019). Palmchat (Dulus dominicus) activity at nests in the non-breeding season. Caribbean Journal of Ornithology 32:91–97.
Fleming-Davies, A. E., P. D. Williams, A. A. Dhondt, A. P. Dobson, W. M. Hochachka, A. E. Leon, D. H. Ley, E. E. Osnas, and D. M. Hawley (2018). Incomplete host immunity favors the evolution of virulence in an emergent pathogen. Science 359:1030–1033.
Møller, A. P., J. Balbontín, A. A. Dhondt, V. Remeš, F. Adriaensen, C. Biard, J. Camprodon, M. Cichoń, B. Doligez, A. Dubiec, M. Eens, et al. (2018). Effects of interspecific coexistence on laying date and clutch size in two closely related species of hole-nesting birds. Journal of Animal Ecology 87:1738–1748.
Dhondt, A. A., K. V. Dhondt, A. P. Dobson, S. J. Geary, D. M. Hawley, W. M. Hochachka, D. H. Ley, E. R. Tulman, and K. Pflaum (2018). Epidemic spread and evolutionary changes in an emerging pathogen following a host shift from poultry to wild birds. Investigación en Ciencia Animal 2:149–161.
Barve, S., S. Dixit, A. A. Dhondt, and F. Ishtiaq (2017). Sexual dimorphism in breast stripe width and beak eco-morphology in Himalayan Green-backed Tits (Parus monticolus). Avian Biology Research 10:259–263.
Dhondt, A. A., K. V. Dhondt, W. M. Hochachka, D. H. Ley, and D. M. Hawley (2017). Response of House Finches recovered from Mycoplasma gallisepticum to reinfection with a heterologous strain. Avian Diseases 61:437–441.
Dhondt, A. A., K. V. Dhondt, and S. Nazeri (2017). Apparent effect of chronic Plasmodium infections on disease severity caused by experimental infections with Mycoplasma gallisepticum in House Finches. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 6:49–53.
Barve, S., and A. A. Dhondt (2017). Elevational replacement of two Himalayan titmice: Interspecific competition or habitat preference? Journal of Avian Biology.
Pflaum, K., E. R. Tulman, J. Beaudet, X. Liao, K. V. Dhondt, A. A. Dhondt, D. M. Hawley, D. H. Ley, K. M. Kerr, and S. J. Geary (2017). Attenuated phenotype of a recent House Finch-associated Mycoplasma gallisepticum isolate in domestic poultry. Infection and Immunity 85:e00185-17.
Dhondt, A. A., and A. P. Dobson (2017). Stress hormones bring birds, pathogens, and mosquitoes together. Trends in Parasitology 33:339–341.
Barve, S., A. A. Dhondt, V. B. Mathur, and Z. A. Cheviron (2016). Life-history characteristics influence physiological strategies to cope with hypoxia in Himalayan birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283:20162201.
Ley, D. H., D. M. Hawley, S. J. Geary, and A. A. Dhondt (2016). House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) conjunctivitis, and Mycoplasma spp. isolated from North American wild birds, 1994–2015. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52:669–673.
La Sorte, F. A., W. M. Hochachka, A. Farnsworth, A. A. Dhondt, and D. Sheldon (2016). The implications of mid-latitude climate extremes for North American migratory bird populations. Ecosphere 7:e01261.
André Dhondt
Center Avian Population Studies
Office(607) 254-2445
Website ResearchGate

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library