Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY, USA 14853
E-mail: mad55@cornell.edumailto:mad55@cornell.edushapeimage_8_link_0
I am using experimental and comparative observational approaches to investigate the scale and mechanistic influences of flamingos on their aquatic habitats in the Bolivian altiplano.  

Flamingos of the high Andes (Andean flamingo, Phoenicoparrus andinus and James flamingo, P. jamesi) are the most endangered flamingos on the planet.  They are also the least studied. Effects of flamingos on primary productivity and community structure Dissertation research Andean flamingo James flamingo Role of marginal habitat in in protecting Florida Scrub-Jays Master’s thesis
My dissertation research is supported by: Cornell University Graduate School, Cornell Biogeochemistry & Environmental Biocomplexity Program, Waterbird Society, PADI Foundation, the Kramer family, and Turner Designs Donation Program.
I examined the impact of habitat modification on the reproductive performance and foraging efficiency of federally threatened Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens).  

This study suggested that marginal (modified) habitat may serve as suitable nesting and foraging habitat for Florida Scrub-Jays, as long as a modest proportion of native habitat is still available for use. Habitat Conservation Plan for Florida Scrub-Jays Applied project
I was part of a multidisciplinary team charged with developing a regional Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Florida Scrub-Jays in Sarasota County, Florida. HCPs represent a creative way for achieving a balance between conservation and development. In Sarasota, we used spatially explicit population modeling to help the County design urban/suburban development plans while ensuring the stability of one of the state’s most important metapopulations of Scrub-Jays.

Our plan is currently under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
These systems are experiencing intensifying pressures from unregulated ecotourism, extraction of minerals, and development of geothermal energy.  I hope to provide information that will help in generating the solution-driven action needed to address this pressing environmental challenge in Bolivia. This case study illustrates how broadened definitions of ‘suitable habitat’ may augment existing conservation strategies for specialist species facing substantial and rapid modification of their habitat. people research more...