Tristan Herwood

Software Engineer

I work as a software engineer in Macaulay Library, exploring new features for applications that assist people in their engagement with birds and birding.

Born and raised in southern Africa, I have been an avid birder for as long as I can remember. I was blessed to have grown up traveling to remote regions of Botswana and Namibia with my Dad, who inspired and fostered my love and appreciation of birds and other wildlife. Even though I was able to experience the beauty of the continent’s avifauna, I became all too familiar with their struggle to survive in human-altered landscapes and this sparked a deep passion for avian conservation within me.

Despite my passion for the outdoors, in high school, I became unexpectedly interested in the power and interdisciplinary nature of software development. After finding out about the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I applied and was accepted to study computer science at Cornell University. During my time as an undergraduate, I took advantage of any opportunity I could to work at the Lab and landed up involved in multiple exciting projects across the different centers.

After graduating from Cornell in December of 2022, I started working full-time in the Macaulay Library where I am fulfilling my childhood dream of contributing to projects that combine my academic interest in computer science with my lifelong passion for birds. I couldn’t be happier than to be working with the incredible team I am surrounded by at the Cornell Lab and strive every day to play my part in helping conserve our world’s biological diversity.


B.A., Computer Science, Cornell University

Outside the Cornell Lab

I enjoy hiking, admiring and photographing flora and fauna, and more recently, bike birding! 

Bearded man in green shirt stands on forested mountain vista.
Center Macaulay Library

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library