Dylan’s MSc research focused on long-term trends in grassland bird nesting biology and responses to climatic variation at large spatial scales. He started his graduate work with several years of undergraduate experience in the lab including a summer 2018 REU focused the consequences of severe drought on songbird nesting biology at Konza and the trophic interactions driving those effects. You can watch his defense seminar here!
Crew awesome! Photo coming… Katy Silber, Miriam Reynaldo, Liz Sroor, Kevin Perozeni, Victoria Gaa, Henry Castro-Miller, and Aja Wong
(L to R) Dylan Smith
(L to R)
(L to R)
Mary Kate Wilcox
(L to R)
(L to R)
(not pictured) Jesse Nguyen
(L to R)
(L to R top)
(L to R bottom)
(L to R)
Joanna spent two summers chasing sparrows, meadowlarks, and dickcissels, and during 2019, she conducted and independent experimental research project to determine the functional consequences of nest orientation. She became an indispensable member of the lab, processing mountains of data… images, videos, and both hard copy and electronic data management. We miss her quirky sense of humor.
Austin joined the lab in 2018 and contributed to understanding the consequences of drought for grassland songbirds by quantifying prey availability in drought vs. more ‘normal’ years (whatever that is!). Follow him on twitter @AustinRoe12 and check out his Birding Blog.
Mary Kate Wilcox
Mary Kate worked in the lab from 2017-2019 in many capacities; quantifying behavior from videos of manakin leks, as part of the grassland bird field crew at Konza in 2018 , quantifying parental feeding rates from nest cameras, and countless less rewarding aspects of data entry and management. We wish her luck on her current off-campus adventures!
Although Cole is pictured here holding a giant catfish, do not be deceived #BirdvsFish folks! Cole worked on our summer crew in 2017, then came back to the lab in 2018-19 to help Sarah process thousands of hours of nest video data and nestling morphometric data.
Suzy Replogle Curnutt
Suzy worked in the lab during her senior year and then continued to do all the stuff that nobody else has time to do, becoming our full-time field and lab manager. In spring 2017, she got her feet wet (literally), helping Elsie in Costa Rica. She is now teaching in the Kansas City area.
While working at the Marais de Cygne wildlife refuge, Logan collected data to determine the effectiveness of management for Eastern bottomland forest bird communities in KS at the western edge of their distribution. He finished his degree, but is preparing this a manuscript based on these data while working in Wyoming and preparing for graduate school in a wildlife vet program.
Darrien was an REU in 2017. He studied vegetation structure around nests of grassland songbirds and found that although vegetation around successful and unsuccessful nests were similar, birds tracked their preferred vegetation structure throughout the season.
Braiam was an REU student in 2017, coming to us from Puerto Rico. He studied how parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds influences parental activity at nests in three species of grassland songbirds, and whether or not increased activity increased chances of nest predation.
Edwin was an REU student during summer in 2017, coming to us from Beloit College in Wisconsin. Edwin found that although Grasshopper Sparrow don’t adjust clutch size under high parasitism risk, egg mass and clutch size change in opposite ways over the breeding season.
Michaela first joined the lab in January 2016 and stayed with us through fall of 2016. She used 3 yrs data to understanding how changes in Grasshopper Sparrows’ body composition is affected by inter- and intra-seasonal variation in temperature and precipitation.
Yisel was an REU in 2015. She examined the consequences of storms for nest success of Grasshopper Sparrows. Her work demonstrated that sparrow nests are twice as likely to fail within 6 hr of storms than at other times.
Breyana was on the Konza crew in 2014, then continued research in the lab during the 2014-2015 as part of the Developing Scholars program at K-State.
Emily spent part of her freshman year examining how fat stores in songbirds responded to temperature and precipitation during winter months.
…helped out during fall 2014 on a collaborative project involving small mammal populations and metabolites and then worked full time in the lab spring 2015. She recently completed her MSc at Texas Tech University in the McGuire lab studying bat migration physiological ecology.
Chyna investigated interactions between Dickcissels and Grasshopper Sparrows on the Konza in her senior year. She is a MS student studying insect communities in North Dakota.
Steffanie was anREU in 2013, kicking off a project on the cauases of territory aggregation in Grasshopper Sparrows. She is now is pursuing an MA in International Environmental Policy at Berkeley.
Emily with the subject of her MSc thesis… a Grasshopper Sparrow
Emily’s research aimed to explain why Konza’s Grasshopper Sparrows frequently disperse within seasons, sequentially defending multiple territories. Emily documented the frequency and spatial scales of these movements, and tested hypotheses based on food availability and risk avoidance. After four years as an avian biologist at Denali National Park, she began her PhD in Dr. Peter Marra’s lab where she will be studying migration of arctic-breeding birds. Read Emily’s MSc thesis, or check out her 1st publication from her MSc documenting the patterns of breeding dispersal, or her 2nd publication that tests hypotheses explaining why some but not all birds make these movements.
Sarah’s MS research examined the direct and indirect consequences of parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds for nestling development and juvenile survival in three species of grassland-obligate songbirds, and in turn, the consequences for cowbirds of being raised by different host species. She was been involved with research in the lab since 2014. She published a comprehensive test of alternative explanations for territory aggregation, a study that began when she was an REU student. She completed her MS during the summer of 2019 and is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Illinois in Dr. Mark Hauber’s lab.
Elsie’s dissertation addressed the interplay between sources of sexual- and natural-selection, focusing especially on Neotropical manakins. She combined comparative approaches to understand selection on male traits, demographic methods to understand the importance of rain on adult survival, genetic methods to link abiotic constraints on survival to the strength of sexual selection across populations, and individual-level behavioral experiments to understand the drivers of male reproductive behavior. In fall 2020, she joined Dr. Al Uy’s lab where she will study speciation in Solomon Island flycatchers, funded by an NSF post-doctoral fellowship.