Bioacoustics • Behavioral ecology • Animal communication • Animal cognition
I use passive acoustic monitoring to study riparian bird communities in Southern California. One goal of my project is to understand how historic wildfires have affected birds in Southern California. Another goal is to develop a protocol for acoustic surveys of riparian birds that can be used by the U.S. Forest Service to facilitate bird conservation, and can hopefully be applied to bird conservation in other parts of the world as well.
From the time that I was two years old I have wanted to work with wild animals. I also have a keen interest in human languages and linguistics. So it’s not too surprising that I chose to focus on animal communication for my Ph.D. and first postdoc position, studying the vocalizations of Acorn Woodpeckers and African elephants, respectively.
While I am still fascinated by fundamental questions about how animals communicate with one another, I feel a sense of urgency to help address the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss. That concern has led me to my current position at the Cornell Lab, where I am using acoustic monitoring of birds to facilitate their conservation.
Ph.D., animal behavior, Cornell University
If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit nonhumans for the same purpose?