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Avian Ecology Lab – University of Missouri


Chris Merkord

MU’s avian ecology lab includes students and faculty members from both the Division of Biological Sciences and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at the University of Missouri. Students are typically funded through research assistantships, teaching assistantships, or fellowships and work on a diversity of projects throughout the Americas.

Current and recent research field sites include:

  • Mark Twain National Forest – Missouri
  • Mississippi valley bottomland hardwood forests – Missouri
  • Oak-Juniper woodlands – Central Texas
  • Guanica Forest Reserve – Puerto Rico
  • El Cielo Biosphere Reserve - Mexico
  • Manu National Park – Peru
  • Tuamotu Atoll – French Polynesia
  • Coastal longleaf pine – Florida
  • Tropical limestone forest – Guam

Members of the lab are using experimental, observational, and theoretical approaches to answer questions about the ecology and conservation of avian species. Some current projects:

  • winter ecology and competitive interactions between migrants and residents
  • altitudinal migration in the tropics
  • landscape effects on nest predation and nest predators
  • movement and demography in Pacific island kingfishers
  • dispersal in cooperatively breeding woodpeckers
  • influence of landscape resources on sociality

Please visit faculty and student webpages for more detailed descriptions of these and other projects.


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