Viviana Ruiz Gutierrez

Assistant Director, Center for Avian Population Studies • Program Leader, Conservation Science


Applied Population Ecology • Conservation Science • Quantitative Ecology • Tropical Ecology and Conservation

My research focus is to work at the interface between science and application to deepen our understanding of the social and environmental factors that shape where and when species occur on a given landscape to improve decision-making and conservation.  My research group works on developing and applying novel quantitative modeling techniques to understand how human drivers of land-use change (e.g. agriculture) affect biodiversity using birds as indicators. We work collaboratively with practitioners, decision-makers, stakeholders, and local communities to design research that supports the development and implementation of strategies that reconcile biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and human well-being.


Postdoctoral Research, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University
Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
B.S., Tropical Biology, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica

Recent Publications

Hochachka, W. M., V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, and A. Johnston (2023). Considerations for fitting occupancy models to data from eBird and similar volunteer-collected data. Ornithology 140:ukad035.
Sayers, C. J., D. C. Evers, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, E. Adams, C. M. Vega, J. N. Pisconte, V. Tejeda, K. Regan, O. P. Lane, A. A. Ash, R. Cal, et al. (2023). Mercury in Neotropical birds: a synthesis and prospectus on 13 years of exposure data. Ecotoxicology 32:1096–1123.
Harris, S. M., O. J. Robinson, Y. Hingrat, E. Le Nuz, and V. Ruiz-Gutierrez (2023). Understanding the demography of a reinforced population: Long-term survival of captive-bred and wild-born houbara bustards in Morocco. Biological Conservation 284:110185.
Sharp, A., C. Rushing, A. Contina, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, S. Sillett, E. Bridge, E. Besozzi, J. Muller, J. Kelly, and A. Given (2022). Spatial and temporal scale-dependence of the strength of migratory connectivity in a North American passerine. [Online.] Available at
Robinson, O. J., J. B. Socolar, E. F. Stuber, T. Auer, A. J. Berryman, P. H. Boersch-Supan, D. J. Brightsmith, A. H. Burbidge, S. H. M. Butchart, C. L. Davis, A. M. Dokter, et al. (2022). Extreme uncertainty and unquantifiable bias do not inform population sizes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119:e2113862119.
Lello-Smith, A., A. D. Rodewald, V. H. Ramos, K. V. Rosenberg, and V. Ruiz-Gutierrez (2022). Repeated burning undermines the value of regenerating cattle pastures for tropical forest birds. Biological Conservation 271:109593.
Stuber, E. F., O. J. Robinson, E. R. Bjerre, M. C. Otto, B. A. Millsap, G. S. Zimmerman, M. G. Brasher, K. M. Ringelman, A. M. V. Fournier, A. Yetter, J. E. Isola, and V. Ruiz-Gutierrez (2022). The potential of semi-structured citizen science data as a supplement for conservation decision-making: Validating the performance of eBird against targeted avian monitoring efforts. Biological Conservation 270:109556.
Rushing, C. S., A. M. Van Tatenhove, A. Sharp, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, M. C. Freeman, P. W. Sykes, A. M. Given, and T. S. Sillett (2021). Integrating tracking and resight data enables unbiased inferences about migratory connectivity and winter range survival from archival tags. Ornithological Applications 123:duab010.
Ruiz-Gutierrez, V., E. R. Bjerre, M. C. Otto, G. S. Zimmerman, B. A. Millsap, D. Fink, E. F. Stuber, M. Strimas, and O. J. Robinson (2021). A pathway for citizen science data to inform policy: A case study using eBird data for defining low‐risk collision areas for wind energy development. Journal of Applied Ecology 58:1104–1111.
Lees, A. C., K. V. Rosenberg, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, S. Marsden, T. S. Schulenberg, and A. D. Rodewald (2020). A roadmap to identifying and filling shortfalls in Neotropical ornithology. The Auk 137:ukaa048.
Robinson, O. J., V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, M. D. Reynolds, G. H. Golet, M. E. Strimas-Mackey, and D. Fink (2020). Integrating citizen science data with expert surveys increases accuracy and spatial extent of species distribution models. Diversity and Distributions 26:976–986.
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.
Kelling, S., A. Johnston, A. Bonn, D. Fink, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, R. Bonney, M. Fernandez, W. M. Hochachka, R. Julliard, R. Kraemer, and R. Guralnick (2019). Using Semistructured Surveys to Improve Citizen Science Data for Monitoring Biodiversity. BioScience 69:170–179.
Robinson, O. J., V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, D. Fink, R. J. Meese, M. Holyoak, and E. G. Cooch (2019). [In press] Using citizen science data in integrated population models to inform conservation decision-making. Biological Conservation.
Ortega-Alvarez, R., J. Zuñiga-Vega, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, E. Berrones Nebites, I. Medina Mena, and F. Ramirez Felipe (2019). [In press] Improving the sustainability of working landscapes in Latin America: An application of community-based monitoring data on bird populations to inform management guidelines. Forest Ecology and Management.
Freeman, B. G., M. N. Scholer, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, and J. W. Fitzpatrick (2018). Climate change causes upslope shifts and mountaintop extirpations in a tropical bird community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115:11982–11987.
Robinson, O. J., V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, D. Fink, R. J. Meese, M. Holyoak, and E. G. Cooch (2018). Using citizen science data in integrated population models to inform conservation. Biological Conservation 227:361–368.
Dokter, A. M., A. Farnsworth, D. Fink, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, W. M. Hochachka, F. A. La Sorte, O. J. Robinson, K. V. Rosenberg, and S. Kelling (2018). Seasonal abundance and survival of North America's migratory avifauna determined by weather radar. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2:1603–1609.
La Sorte, F. A., D. Fink, P. J. Blancher, A. D. Rodewald, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, K. V. Rosenberg, W. M. Hochachka, P. H. Verburg, and S. Kelling (2017). Global change and the distributional dynamics of migratory bird populations wintering in Central America. Global Change Biology 23:5284–5296.
Ruiz-Gutierrez, V., M. B. Hooten, and E. H. Campbell Grant (2016). Uncertainty in biological monitoring: A framework for data collection and analysis to account for multiple sources of sampling bias. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7:900–909.
Ruiz-Gutierrez, V., W. L. Kendall, J. F. Saracco, and G. C. White (2016). Overwintering strategies of migratory birds: A novel approach for estimating seasonal movement patterns of residents and transients. Journal of Applied Ecology 53:1035–1045.
Viviana Ruiz Gutierrez by Dave Burbank
Center Avian Population Studies
Projects Coastal Solutions, Conservation Science

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library