James (Jim) Rivers

• Email:
jim.rivers@oregonstate.edu

• Website/Blog/Etc:
http://people.forestry.oregonstate.edu/jim-rivers/

• My position with AOS:
Council Member

• My current full-time title and institution:
Assistant Professor, Oregon State University

• My current career stage:
Mid-Career Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Undergrad (UMass): Don Kroodsma
Ph.D. (Univ. California, Santa Barbara): Steve Rothstein
Postdoc (Oregon State University): Matt Betts

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I want to understand how birds work, and how they are influenced by the actions of human.

• My favorite bird and why:
Brown-headed Cowbird. I maintain it’s the most evolved bird in North America because it has been able to offload parental care duties entirely!

• I am involved with AOS because:
AOS has helped foster my growth as an ornithologist, and I seek to provide similar opportunities to other young scientists interested in pursuing a career in our field.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
The annual meeting is best because you get to watch smart and highly motivated people talk about their cool research, all of which is focused on birds. Doesn’t get much better than that.

• Birds are important to me because:
I got interested in birds at a young age, and they’ve always been a connection to quietly observing nature.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Although our field is competitive, keep in mind that your destiny is not written for you, it is written by you. Hard work and being open to new opportunities are musts if you want to study birds for a living.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Miniaturization of on-animal sensors for small songbirds, including live video links and GPS-level tags. We’re getting close, but we’re not their yet.

 

Courtney Conway

• Email:
cconway@uidaho.edu

• Website/Blog/Etc:
https://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/faculty/conway

• My position with AOS:
Chair, Scientific Program Committee

• My current full-time title and institution:
Director, Idaho Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit

• My current career stage:
Senior Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Master’s degree from University of Wyoming (mentored by Dr. Stan Anderson)
PhD degree from University of Montana (mentored by Dr. Thomas Martin)
Postdoc from SUNY-Syracuse (mentored by Dr. James Gibbs)

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I study why birds behave as they do. Sometimes the answer is obvious, but often I’m even more puzzled & intrigued after obtaining results.

• I am involved with AOS because:
Professional contacts and staying energized about what I do.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Contributing to and watching the growth of the next generation of ornithologists.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Give a talk at the AOS conference each and every year! That is an investment that will pay off later.

 

 

 

Kathy Martin

Kathy Martin and Mt. McKenzie

• Email:
Kathy.martin@ubc.ca

• Twitter Handle:
@Kathymartinpei

• Website/Blog/Etc:
Home Page: http://profiles.forestry.ubc.ca/person/kathy-martin/
Centre for Alpine Studies: http://alpine.forestry.ubc.ca/

• My position with AOS:
President-Elect

Kathy Martin climbing a cavity tree in Poland

• My current full-time title and institution:
Professor, University of British Columbia
Senior Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada

• My current career stage:
Senior Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
-University of Prince Edward Island, Biology Department, Ian MacQuarrie, undergrad
– University of Alberta, Dept of Zoology, Fred Zwickel, MSc
– Queen’s University, Biology Department, Fred Cooke, PhD
– University of Alberta, Dept of Biological Sciences, Susan Hannon, PDF
– Oxford University, Edward Grey Institute and Uppsala University, PDF sabbaticals
– John Eadie and Susan Hannon, Mentors

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I study how birds solve the problems of living in high alpine habitats, and how others acquire tree cavities for nesting – tangled nestwebs

White-tailed Ptarmigan retain their winter plumage for 8 months. When they lower their nictitating membrane, they become even more visible. (Photo: S Ogle)

• My favorite bird and why:
Ptarmigan are enigmatic and so tough. They can disappear in their alpine habitats year round. Their name acquired a silent P in 1684

• I am involved with AOS because:
I consider AOS my professional family. I gave my first talk at AOU as an MSc student and have been hooked ever since.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Meeting Friends, and seeing how people progress in their careers, develop their study system or evolve to new systems or questions

• Birds are important to me because:
So fascinating to watch individual birds throughout their lifetimes, as they arrive in spring, nest, rear young and then off to winter areas

Kathy Martin and Andrea Norris banding a mountain bluebird

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Try studying birds for your undergrad or MSc, and you will be hooked for life!

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
Global and local patterns of how birds solve the problem of living in mountains, and how they will cope with climate change.

• Fun random fact about myself:
Travelled to all 7 continents. Same suitcase!

• Something else birdy I’d like to share:
Have had two research programs throughout my career, alpine bird life history and cavity nesting bird community dynamics, have never been able to give up one of them!

Carla Cicero

• Email:
ccicero@berkeley.edu

• Twitter Handle:
@cheechero

• Website/Blog/Etc:
https://carlacicero.net

• My position with AOS:
Member of North American Checklist, Collections, Communications, AOS-BNA Liaison committees; former AOU Council and COS Board member,
and service on multiple other committees

Carla Cicero with Vermilion Flycatcher specimens

• My current full-time title and institution:
Staff Curator of Birds, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley

• My current career stage:
Senior Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Ned K. Johnson (PhD), which makes me the academic great-granddaughter of Joseph Grinnell

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I study how bird species evolve, and promote the value, care, and use of museum collections for research and education.

• My favorite bird and why:
I love all birds, but if I had to pick I would choose corvids because of their intelligence, curiosity, and attitude.

• I am involved with AOS because:
I enjoy working with great people who share a love for birds. It’s rewarding to contribute, and it has helped me advance professionally.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Being part of a community focused on research and conservation of birds, and interacting with colleagues and friends at the annual meetings.

• Birds are important to me because:
Because life would not be the same without them. They are beautiful and fun to watch, and everyone can appreciate that.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Follow your passion and find a supportive mentor.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
A robust and stable phylogeny for all birds.

• Fun random fact about myself:
I have a master’s in landscape architecture (I wanted to make life better for urban birds, then realized that I really wanted to work in more natural areas).

• Something else birdy I’d like to share:
A note to students: You are the future of ornithology – get involved in AOS!

Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor with a chestnut-sided warbler in the hand

• Twitter Handle:
@Dr_Scott_Taylor

• Website/Blog/Etc:
http://www.colorado.edu/lab/taylor/

• My position with AOS:
Diversity Committee Member
Early Professionals Committee Member

• My current full-time title and institution:
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder

• My current career stage:
Early Professional

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Vicki Friesen (PhD, Queen’s University)
Irby Lovette (Postdoc, Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I look at the mixed-up genomes of bird hybrids to understand what makes species different.

Light-mantled sooty albatross. Photo by Scott Taylor

• My favorite bird and why:
Light-mantled sooty albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata). They have a classy getup and were great company crossing the Drake Passage.

• I am involved with AOS because:
To play my part in the support and retention of a diversity of ornithologists.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
Playing an active role in a society that has supported me throughout my career.

• Birds are important to me because:
Birds were among the first creatures I experienced as a child that inspired me to look more closely at the natural world. They drove my curiosity as a kid, and still do.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Be curious and don’t worry about having a linear path through academia.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
I’d like to understand the mechanisms that maintain species barriers between birds that hybridize in nature.

• Fun random fact about myself:
My first foray into birds was a poorly illustrated field guide to the birds at my backyard feeder when I was four years old.