Come to OSU and meet people just like you! People who love birds. We're the Flock!

FLOCK Director: Douglas Robinson

I found birds when I was 10. For a long time I thought I was the only kid in my school who liked birds. Once I got binoculars, I remember going on bird walks alone and turning my back on passing traffic because I thought it was embarrassing to be seen birding. But I really loved birds. They were so beautiful. So many different ones to see, changing from winter to spring to summer to fall. I kept finding new species. I memorized my field guide as I learned what birds might be in my area. Then in sixth grade a new kid showed up at my school and he liked birds, too! His dad was a professor of zoology. I was super excited to have a birding partner. We rode our bikes everywhere looking for new birds. Eventually, I went to college and studied wildlife. My friend's dad became my advisor for my Master's degree. I studied Louisiana Waterthrushes and compared the foraging behavior of males and females. I then went to the University of Illinois for my doctoral work where I got to study bird communities along Pipeline Road and on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama. It's hard to believe, but my first surveys of BCI launched a now-20-year-old study of how and why birds disappear from tropical forests. In addition to science, I also love birding and contributing to eBird both as a reviewer and as a birder. In my current job I get to combine my birding skills with my love of science through the Oregon 2020 project. My dream for the FLOCK is to create a place where students who love birds feel at home, find people they like, and discover the joy of learning about birds, their behavior, ecology and conservation. 

Oregon State University and Corvallis have very active bird and birding groups. The OSU Bird Nerds, The Fish and Wildlife Club, and the Audubon Society of Corvallis are all super active with regular field trips and other activities. Our state birding listserve, OBOL, is one of the busiest in the country. That's understandable when you know Oregon has more than 535 bird species and eight major biomes including the Pacific Ocean, alpine tundra in the Cascade Mountains, and sagebrush ecosystems. We also have huge wilderness areas that require adventure camping to explore fully. Yet we also have one of the nicest cities in America, Portland.

Most students who study birds at OSU are in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, but they are scattered across campus in other departments as well, such as Forest Ecosystems and Society. Our PhD-level ornithologists are all over Corvallis working for OSU, agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Those ornithologists are often looking to provide internships and research experiences for students. Our large number of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are, too. 

Undergraduate teaching assistants in Systematics of Birds

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife provides teaching experience for some of our best bird students. They receive a Department fellowship and get to teach fellow students how to identify birds in the lab and field, learn taxonomy and songs, and how to properly handle museum specimens. We have a bird collection with 9000 specimens that is a great resource for FW 312, Systematics of Birds.

Teaching Assistants since our Dept teaching fellow program began:

2014--Mason Wagner

2015--Ian Souza-Cole

2016--Jesse Laney

2017--Azita Roshani

2018--Gabriel Sandoval

2019--Carolyn Coyle and Zac Kendall

In 2019, Douglas and Tara Robinson started the Robinson Ornithology Fellow award. Given to an outstanding student in Fisheries and Wildlife, the award is aimed at recognizing students who excel and show promise for a great career in ornithology.

 

The first recipient, Carolyn Coyle, is working as a teaching assistant in Systematics of Birds. She also conducted an experiment on the importance of warblers as pollinators for maples in the Coast Range near Corvallis. Check our Instagram feed for more details!

 

 

Below are some of the PhDs who study birds at OSU. Check out their labs and their interests.

 

Name

Affiliation

Website

Specialization/Area of Interest

Lindsay

Adrean

FES

waterbird conservation

John

Alexander

Courtesy

x

conservation, population biology, science delivery

Suzanne

Austin

Courtesy

avian life histories, growth and development

  Lisa   Ballance   FW    seabird ecology

Matt

Betts

FES

x

landscape ecology, forest biodiversity and conservation, hummingbird pollination ecology

Jamie Cornelius IB    physiological ecology

Jon

Dinkins

ANRS

aridlands songbirds and Sage-Grouse

Misty

Donaghy-Cannon

FW

ecampus advising, fire ecology

  Adam  Duarte  FW    environmental change

Bruce

Dugger

FW

x

waterbirds and wetland ecology and conservation

Kate

Dugger

USGS

x

population ecology, effects of climate on survival and reproduction

Susie

Dunham

FW

ecampus advising, grad program coordinator

Collin

Eagles-Smith

USGS

x

contaminants

Eric

Forsman

FW

raptor biology, particularly owls

Julio

Gallardo

FW

tropical conservation, raptor ecology

Jennifer

Gervais

OWI

x

ecotoxicology and risk assessment, population dynamics

Adam

Hadley

FES

x

pollination ecology and genetics

Christian

Hagen

Cascades

x

gamebird conservation and management

Joan

Hagar

USGS

x

forest bird ecology and conservation

Sue

Haig

FW

conservation genetics, wading birds, Micronesian avifauna

Tyler

Hallman

FW

species distribution and abundance modeling

Jeff

Hollenbeck

USGS

spatial modelling

Peter

Konstantinidis

FW

x

vertebrate collections manager

Meta

Landys

IB

x

endocrinology, behavior and physiology

James

Larison

USGS

biogeochemistry of metals and avian ecology

Don

Lyons

NAS

x

seabird/waterbird ecology and conservation

David

Mellinger

HMSC

x

acoustic monitoring, including night flight calls

Randy

Moore

FW

streaked horned lark conservation, avian ecology

Rachael

Orben

FW

x

seabird ecology and conservation

Bill

Ripple

FES

x

conservation biology and trophic cascades

Jim

Rivers

FES

x

behavioral ecology and conservation biology

Douglas

Robinson

FW

x

songbirds, benchmarking biodiversity, citizen science, aridlands and tropical ecology

Dan

Roby

FW

x

ecology and conservation of fish-eating birds, physiology

Dan

Rosenberg

OWI

population biology and statistical ecology

Nathan

Schumaker

EPA

x

spatial and population modeling

Rob

Suryan

FW

seabird ecology

Leigh

Torres

FW

x

seabird behavior, fisheries interactions

Doug

Warrick

IB

x

evolution of flight, functional and ecological morphology

David

Wiens

USGS

x

raptor ecology and conservation

John

Wiens

FW

avian ecology and climate change

Acronym Key

ANRS - OSU Department of Animal and Rangeland Science
Cascades - OSU Cascades Campus
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency
FES - OSU Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society
FW - OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
HMSC - Hatfield Marine Science Center
IB - OSU Department of Integrative Biology
NAS - National Audubon Society
OWI - Oregon Wildlife Institute
USGS - U.S. Geological Survey