In 2017, the following positions will be filled:
- North American Director #3
- Director At Large #3 and #6
- Eurasian Director
Call for nominations: May 2017 issue of Wingspan.
Solicitation of candidates: June – August 2017.
Voting: 10 September – 16 October 2017
Voting is electronic and you will need your OSNA (Ornithological Society of North America, which handles our membership database) login information in order to vote online. Only current members with paid dues for 2017 are eligible to vote. Candidate biographical statements are listed below. If you have questions about the election, please contact Lloyd Kiff, RRF Nominations Committee Chair [email protected]. For assistance with logging into your OSNA account please contact the OSNA membership manager Scott Gillihan [email protected] or (312) 883-4670.
North American Director (1 position):
Marcel Gahbauer, Migration Research Foundation and Stantec, Ottawa, ON
I am a Senior Wildlife Biologist with Stantec Consulting and Executive Director of the Migration Research Foundation, based in Ottawa, Ontario, but actively involved with projects in various parts of Canada. I have 20 years of experience in ecology and conservation biology, starting with a multi-year research and education program focusing on urban-nesting Peregrine Falcons in southern Ontario and Quebec that evolved into the core of my PhD work. As the holder of a master banding permit, I strayed from the raptor world to start up McGill Bird Observatory, the first standardized bird monitoring station in Quebec; it is now in its 13th year of full operation, and I continue to oversee operations and produce detailed annual reports. Based largely on research there, I have created over 80 species accounts on Piranga, the online identification resource for ageing and sexing of western hemisphere birds. However, I have remained involved with raptors too, notably through leading efforts to advance knowledge on the status and conservation of Short-eared Owls over the past 15 years, including coordination of the most recent symposium on the species at last year’s RRF meeting in Cape May and leading preparation of two papers for this year’s World Owl Conference. I also have been engaged in Northern Saw-whet Owl banding research since 2000, and studies on the late-summer concentrations of Swainson’s Hawks in the southern Canadian prairies.
I joined RRF as a student in 2001 and have remained a member, attending all but four of the annual meetings since presenting at my first one in Winnipeg. Although I have not previously served on any RRF committees, I bring experience from election to several other boards. Most notably, I was a councilor for the Society of Canadian Ornithologists for 4 years, during which I revamped and co-edited the society’s newsletter; I was co-chair of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network for 4 years; and since 2015 I have been a co-chair of the Birds Subcommittee of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, responsible for identifying and assessing species at risk. This experience has made me acutely aware of the issues which data gaps pose for effective conservation of species, so I am particularly eager to explore ways in which RRF can encourage and facilitate research on relatively poorly understood raptors. I would also like to further promote RRF membership in Canada, and I look forward to continuing to attend RRF meetings to discuss these and other issues.
Sofi Hindmarch, Fraser Valley Conservancy, Mission BC, Canada.
I am a project coordinator with the Fraser Valley Conservancy and an independent wildlife biologist currently working on various research projects for the government, municipalities and NGO’s. My research focus has been on raptors, mainly barn owls, which was also my introduction to raptor research back in 2006 when I started my MSc at Simon Fraser University. Most recently, I have also started working on a wide range of amphibians and arthropods with a focus on conserving species at risk in the Pacific Northwest.
The focus of my research has been on understanding the threats wildlife are facing and finding solutions for protecting and enhancing habitat for wildlife. I am passionate about how we as humans can co-exist with wildlife as many of our regions become increasingly more urbanized and intensively farmed. I have over the span of my career worked under Dr. John Elliott at Environment Canada, and most recently collaborated with Dr. Barnett Rattner at Patuxent in an effort to understand rodenticide exposure in free living raptors.
I’ve been a member of the Raptor Research Foundation (RRF) since 2008, when I attended my first RRF conference in Missoula, and have been attending RRF conferences since. I sit on the RRF Koplin Travel Award Committee. As a research foundation, working with top predators, some of which have been flagship species for our environment in crisis – think peregrine falcons and DDT. I believe we are in a unique position to promote research and conservation that benefits the larger biodiversity as a whole through our collective work on raptors. I am excited to be presenting my bid to serve as a Director for the RRF. The Raptor Research Foundation has given me the opportunity to meet and connect with exceptional and passionate researchers over the past decade, and I hope to be able to contribute to the welcoming and positive trajectory of the organization so that others may feel the same sense of community within the RRF that I do.
Todd Katzner, U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Boise, ID
I am a Research Wildlife Biologist at the Snake River Field Station of the U.S. Geological Survey in Boise Idaho. I have >25 years of experience in the fields of ecology and conservation biology, most of it focused on raptor biology. My recent work involves study of movement behavior of raptors, especially understanding and mitigating threats from renewable energy to soaring birds of prey. The bulk of my research is in North America, but I also have an international research program focusing on raptors in central Asia. I am part of a large team of biologists, postdocs, students and colleagues and the species we have studied include golden, bald, imperial, white-tailed sea, and steppe eagles, California condors, black and turkey vultures, red-footed and saker falcons and many others. I was a co-editor (with RRF past president Ruth Tingay) and author of the book “The Eagle Watchers” and a co-founder of the wildlife telemetry company Cellular Tracking Technologies, LLC. I recently served for 3 years as an elected councilor for the Wilson Ornithological Society.
I have been a member of RRF since the late 1990s and have, in recent years, served on the board’s Conservation Committee. I am excited about the possibility of serving as a Director at the Raptor Research Foundation. As the technology and statistical tools for studying raptors have improved, so has our understanding of the threats they face. As such, there is opportunity for raptor biologists to make disproportionately large contributions to biodiversity conservation. The Raptor Research Foundation can continue to be a leader in preparing and supporting our scientist-members in their work. I look forward to helping the organization to do this.
Brian Washburn (incumbent), USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services
Brian earned a Ph.D. in Animal Sciences from the University of Kentucky in 2000. He has been a researcher with the USDA, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center since 2003. Brian is considered to be the raptor specialist for his agency and works with a variety of partners (e.g., US Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Society) on efforts to understand and reduce raptor-human conflicts. Brian is also an adjunct professor at Michigan State University. His research interests include wildlife stress and reproductive physiology, reducing human-wildlife conflicts, movement ecology, and habitat management. Currently, he has research projects involving Bald Eagles, Osprey, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, and Short-eared Owls.
Brian has been involved in RRF through a wide range of activities since 2009. He has served as the Editor of Wingspan (RRF’s newsletter) since early 2014, working hard to revamp and expand this critical publication. Brian has served as the North American #3 RRF Board of Directors member since 2015. During his tenure, he has been involved in a variety of issues and topics, including items related to RRF membership, communications, and the USGS Bird Banding Lab. He publishes in and reviews for the Journal of Raptor Research, including serving as a guest editor for a special issue on Ospreys. Brian has hosted and participated in several symposia at RRF conferences, and routinely presents at our meetings.
Brian believes RRF is the premier professional society that leads our profession in the advancement of raptor conservation. He believes the RRF organization is at a critical crossroads in its evolution; this a great opportunity to intermix “older, seasoned” technologies and raptor professionals and “newer” technologies (e.g,. social media) and young, energetic students, especially on a world-wide scale. This is reflected in many of the issues the current RRF leadership has addressed during the past few years. He is excited about the possibilities and would like to see RRF capitalize on our vast resources and talents to increase the impact and value of the organization.
Director-at-Large (2 positions):
Arjun Amar, FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, Biological Sciences Department, University of Cape Town, South Africa
I am a Senior Lecturer at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, which is a Centre of Excellence at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. I have over 20 year of research experience in the ecology and conservation of raptors. My research has focused on understanding the drivers of population declines, including human-wildlife conflicts involving raptors and game birds, and more recently on understanding the evolutionary ecology of colour polymorphism in raptors. I have published over 70 peer reviewed scientific papers, including research on multiple raptor species, including Hen Harriers, Montagu’s Harriers, Peregrine Falcons, Red Kites, Verreaux’s Eagles, Martial Eagles, Bearded Vultures and Black Sparrowhawks. Before coming to South Africa, I worked as a Senior Conservation Scientist at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds at both their UK and Scottish headquarters. Having worked in both Europe and Africa, I have the advantage of being familiar with the issues facing raptors and raptor biologists on two continents.
I first joined RRF as an undergraduate student, and I have attended several of RRF’s international conferences. These were very important experiences for me as a young scientist and I believe these are of great value to RRF and its members. I am very excited that RRF will hold its first international conference in Africa, at Kruger National Park, South Africa in 2018. I hope that conference can act as a catalyst for the growth and influence of the Foundation in the region. I am a strong advocate for the value and importance of using social media for science communication. I am highly active on Twitter, both with my own account (@arjundevamar) and as the manager for my institutes’ Twitter account (@Fitztitute). I believe that the RRF could benefit greatly by having a stronger presence on such platforms to promote raptor conservation and research, and if elected I would be excited to play a leading role in making this happen. I am honored to stand as a candidate for the position of Director at Large for the RRF and I hope that my experiences in Europe and Africa will help contribute to the RRF’s continued international growth.
Rob Bierregaard (incumbent), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Pennsylvania, USA
I have grown up as a raptor biologist with the RRF. The very first bulletin of the organization sits proudly on my bookshelves. I began my life with raptors as a young falconer in 1969 and have been studying them ever since. My Ph.D. thesis investigated competition in raptor communities. I conducted the first nest study of the Crested Eagle and did some nesting and telemetry work with other Amazonian raptors. My recent research has focused on Barred Owls and Osprey population dynamics, ecology, and migration. My papers have been published in J. Raptor Res., Conservation Biology, The Auk, Ornithological Monographs, and BioScience. I co-authored the original Osprey account for the BNA Project and led the recent (2016) revision for the on-line version. I wrote the 81 species accounts for the Neotropical Falconiformes in the Handbook of Birds of the World. Since 1995, I have taught at UNC-Charlotte, where I have been the major advisor for 6 M.Sc. students and on committees for Ph.D. students in the U.S. and Brazil. I have presented papers at as many RRF meetings as possible, as well at those of other organizations, including the AOU, the Society for Conservation Biology, the Brazilian Ornithological Society, and the International Ornithological Congress. I have been a long-time scientific advisor to the Peregrine Fund and am an elective Fellow of the AOU. I have served two terms on the RRF Board and currently chair the Finance Committee and am a member of the Nomination Committee.
Jennifer Coulson (incumbent), Orleans Audubon Society President; Adjunct faculty, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tulane University
My long-term study on the population ecology of the Swallow-tailed Kite, an ongoing study that began in 1995, focuses on intraguild predation, sex-biased predation, effects of urbanization, negative effects of parasites, vital rates and other demographics. Other research interests include: the Great Horned Owl as an apex predator; sociality, cooperation, and heritable variation in Harris’s Hawks; Yellow-headed Caracara cleaning symbioses; and the breeding biology of the Ornate Hawk-Eagle. I received a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Tulane University in 2006.
My experience as President of the Orleans Audubon Society for the past 15 years has given me insight into the organizational and financial needs of non-profits such as RRF. I am also Conservation Chair for the Orleans Audubon Society and co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Swallow-tailed Kite Conservation Alliance. Additional raptor-related experience includes banding, telemetry, falconry, raptor propagation, raptor rehabilitation and education.
I joined RRF in 1985 and attended the meetings in Gainesville, Florida, 1986; Savannah, Georgia, 1997; and New Orleans, LA, 2002. I currently serve on the RRF Board as a Director-At-Large (January 2015 through December 2017). I have published 2 papers, 1 short communication and 3 letters in the Journal of Raptor Research, and have reviewed numerous manuscripts. Additional participation in RRF includes serving as Chair of Fran and Frederick Hamerstrom Award Committee, Chair of Tom Cade Award Committee, and as a reviewer for the Dean Amadon Grant Committee. I was also on the local host committee for the NAOC meeting in New Orleans, 2002.
I believe that the future of RRF will depend largely on the organization’s abilities to adapt to the needs of up and coming raptor researchers in the U.S. and internationally. If re-elected, my primary goals for RRF would be to work on a number of changes that will make the organization more efficient, current, and financially stable. These include developing a long-term plan, modernizing the bylaws, establishing an endowment for general operations, and securing adequate insurance for RRF’s activities. I would like to see the Journal of Raptor Research transition to full open access, and more authors write press releases and use social media to promote their publications.
Paula L. Enríquez, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Department of Biological Conservation, Chiapas, Mexico
I am a Biologist with a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management and a PhD Degree in Animal Science. My main focus of study has been on the ecology and conservation of tropical birds, especially raptors. My research has especially focused on the ecology of tropical diurnal raptors and endangered eagles (Spizaetus genus), in Chiapas, Southern Mexico and the biology of two endangered owls (Bearded Screech Owl and Balsas Screech Owl). I have conducted several studies on owl communities in Mexico and Costa Rica and have guided and supervised undergraduate and graduate students studying diurnal and nocturnal raptor ecology, habitat selection, and the impact of pesticides. Our studies on human perceptions about owls have been important for the development of conservation actions. All these studies have resulted in an increase in the knowledge mainly on owl ecology in Mexico and Central America, but also detailing human threats and perceptions. In 2013, I organized the 1st Symposium of Neotropical Owls in Peru and in 2016 the II Owl Symposium in Costa Rica at a Neotropical Raptor Conference. I encouraged the formation of the Neotropical Owl Studies Group which resulted in more people being involved in owl studies in Neotropical areas. In 2015 I edited the bilingual digital book titled Neotropical Owls: Diversity and Conservation. In 2017 an English version of the book was published. I am a member of various scientific associations such as the Global Owl Project and The World Academy of Sciences. I have been a referee for several scientific journals including the Journal of Raptor Research. In 2016, I became the Editor in Chief for the Revista Mexicana de Ornitología (Huitzil).
It would be an honor for me to participate in a scientific society that promotes the conservation of raptors and owls. We must continue to increase our understanding on ecological and biological aspects in order to propose comprehensive conservation strategies. Additionally we need to encourage the transmission of this knowledge through publications, meetings, and conferences, and to train students in their management, study and conservation. The Raptor Research Foundation is an organization that has been a pioneer in the study of the World raptors for more than 50 years. It would be a privilege to be a member of the Board of Directors.
Bronwyn Isaac, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Wellington Rd, Clayton, Monash University. Victoria, Australia.
I am currently an Associate Lecturer at Monash University, in the School of Biological Sciences. I am passionate about raptor ecology and conservation, but also have a keen interest in developing innovative teaching programs to advance the discipline of science and science communication. My research focus to date has centered on the ecology and conservation of raptors (mostly owls) within altered environments. In particular, determining resource distributions and other influences that play a role in the occurrence, spatial distribution and persistence of raptor populations. If we can identify the drivers and hazards for fauna within modified landscapes, we can then aim to produce biologically resilient systems that can coexist alongside human populations. My research outputs have been disseminated at international and national levels, but also to relevant government stakeholders and the community.
I was lucky enough to attend my first Raptor Research Foundation (RRF) conference, held in Pitlochry in 2009, during my PhD. A bit of a gap followed this contribution, but I reconnected with the RRF in 2016, becoming a member and attending the conference held in Sacramento, CA. Attendance in the 2016 conference directly led to collaboration with US raptor researchers on an up and coming raptor research book, which then facilitated my attendance at the 2017 RRF conference in Cape May, NJ. After attending these conferences, I always return home with many new ideas and techniques that we can implement when studying Australian raptors.
It is an honour to be considered for a position on the RRF Board of Directors as an Australian ‘Director-at-Large’ and I am excited by the opportunity. In this role, I would like to create and strengthen collaboration opportunities between Australian and US raptor researchers, so that raptors and their conservation can be on the forefront of conservation objectives. I look forward to helping ensure that the RRF remains an international organization that can continue to support and disseminate raptor research.
Tricia Miller, Executive Director, Conservation Science Global, Inc.
Tricia (Trish) Miller received her B.S. in biology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her M.S. and Ph.D. in ecology from Penn State. She co-founded and is now the executive director of the non-profit Conservation Science Global, Inc. She studies movement ecology and conservation of raptors. For more than a decade, she has studied the small population Golden Eagles of eastern North American. More recently, she began studying Bald Eagle populations in the Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia and the Midwest. Her research integrates telemetry and spatial modeling to address conflicts with human development. She is an active member of the Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group and ProjectSNOWstorm. She is actively engaged in all aspects of research, including grant writing, field work, data analysis and publication, as well as reviewing manuscripts. In her short career, Trish has published nearly 30 scholarly works including peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and has presented over two dozen scientific presentations.
Trish believes that engaging the public in research strongly promotes conservation and understanding of conservation issues. She, therefore, strives to engage the public when in the field and via public presentations. Trish has been a member of the Raptor Research Foundation since 2011 when she won the Best Student Presentation Award. Trish became actively involved with in RRF 2015, when she volunteered to assist the Scientific Committee. As an RRF Director-at-Large, Trish would like to promote and advocate for increasing involvement of under-represented groups in RRF and continue to promote conservation of the world’s raptors.
José Hernán Sarasola, Independent Researcher, Argentinean Research Council & Center for the Study and Conservation of Birds of Prey in Argentina, Santa Rosa, La Pampa, Argentina.
I am a researcher of the Argentinean Research Council (CONICET) and Director of the Center for the Conservation of Birds of Prey in Argentina (CECARA) at Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Argentina. I have been studying raptors even before I received my undergraduate degree in Natural Resources from Universidad Nacional de La Pampa in 1997. At that time, I served as a field assistant on a team of researchers from Argentina and USA working in an international project to stop the massive poisoning of Swainson’s Hawks in Argentina.
I completed my Ph.D. degree in Biology at the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain, while holding a a doctoral fellowship at the Doñana Biological Station. My Ph.D. project assessed several aspects of the ecology and conservation of the Swainson’s Hawk in its non-breeding grounds in Argentina. Before I moved to Seville, my colleagues and I founded CECARA, and I started directing this center once I was back in Argentina after obtaining my doctoral degree in 2006. While conducting my Ph.D. thesis, I also started a long-term monitoring and field study of the Crowned Solitary Eagle, a little studied and one of the most endangered eagle species in the Neotropical region. I have conducted field research in South America and Europe emphasizing raptor population ecology, migration and conservation. During my career, I have studied several raptor species, including Spot-winged Falconets, American Kestrels, Southern and Chimango Caracaras, Aplomado Falcons, White-tailed Kites, and Black and Turkey Vultures.
During the last ten years I have supervised several undergraduate and graduate students working on raptor ecology and conservation. I have been an RRF member since 1998. As Director-at-Large, I would like to encourage participation by enthusiastic and students in the RRF and work toward increasing the organization’s focus on the conservation concerns of raptors worldwide, particularly in the Neotropics.
Eurasian Director (1 position):
Oliver Krone, Leibniz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany
Oliver is senior scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany. He studied veterinary medicine at the Free University of Berlin, where he was also able to participate on a Lesser Spotted Eagle project, an experience that helped cement his growing interest in raptors. He completed an internship with Pat Redig at The Raptor Center in Minnesota in 1993, learning different techniques for raptor rehabilitation, then returned to Germany for further graduate studies. He completed his Ph.D. at the Leibniz Institute after studying endoparasites and causes of death in birds of prey. Since graduation, Oliver has conducted research on a wide array of wildlife, focusing on parasites, disease, environmental contaminants, pathology and telemetry, although his main passion is still for raptor research. His publications include research on European Eagle Owls, European Kestrels, Northern Goshawks, Peregrines and Sparrowhawks, and especially White-tailed Sea Eagles. With his high motivation and enthusiasm he supervises Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. students in performing research on urbanisation of raptors, in human-wildlife conflicts and conservation medicine. From his work on lead poisoning in raptors, Oliver understands the importance of informing stakeholders and policy-makers about the latest scientific research and would welcome the opportunity to help the Raptor Research Foundation in this challenging endeavour.
Motivation to become a board member of the Raptor Research Foundation: As a board member I would like to support the RRF in growing internationally, promote the study of pollutants and pathogens in raptors as early sentinels in a fast changing world at the beginning of the Anthropocene and discuss the usefulness of modern technology such as drones and smart telemetry devices in better understanding life histories of birds of prey. Of course I would like to assist the board in their national and international meetings and conferences and actively in achieving the goals of the RRF.
Allan Mee, Golden Eagle Trust, Ireland.
I have worked on raptors professionally in Scotland, USA and Ireland for some 25 years. Most of my early raptor work in Scotland centered on monitoring, nest protection and research on golden eagles, osprey with the Royal Society for the protection of Birds. After completing PhD studies I carried out post-doctoral research on the wild-breeding population of reintroduced California condors for the Zoological Society of San Diego (2001-2006) as part of the ongoing recovery program for the species and co-authored a book, “California condors in the 21st Century”. In 2007, I returned to Ireland to manage a reintroduction program for white-tailed eagles in collaboration with Norwegian and Irish colleagues. Current research work includes satellite tracking white-tailed eagles and hen (Northern) harriers to study dispersal and survivorship. I served as Chair of the Irish Raptor Study Group for several years and as Ireland’s national coordinator on the pan-European EURAPMON (monitoring for and with raptors in Europe) program.
I have been a member of RRF for some years and believe that RRF has an important role to play internationally in raptor research, raising awareness of threats to raptor populations and opportunities for species recovery and conservation. I look forward to the possibility of serving on the board of RRF and helping build on the reputation of RRF in the raptor community worldwide.
Mátyás Prommer, Herman Ottó Institute Nonprofit Ltd., Budapest, Hungary
Mátyás Prommer completed his M.Sc. degree in Biology/Ecology at Debrecen University in Hungary in 1999. Recently he is working at Herman Ottó Institute Nonprofit Ltd., which is an environmental and nature conservation background organisation of the Ministry of Agriculture. He has been interested in raptors since his childhood and has got involved in bird conservation programmes through BirdLife Hungary. His work has been focusing on large falcons – Peregrine and Saker Falcon -, however he has been involved in projects also about other raptors. He is interested in mapping raptors’ movements, habitat use and migration, as well as population dynamics of large falcons. He has been regularly working together with colleagues in Europe, Asia and Africa (mostly about Saker Falcon conservation). Mátyás has been the national co-ordinator for the Hungarian Peregrine Falcon conservation programme since 2006, he is a member of the Hungarian Saker Falcon Conservation Working Group (within BirdLife Hungary) and the co-ordinator for the European Saker Falcon colour-ringing programme. Mátyás used to be a member of the Board of Raptor Conservation Group in BirdLife Hungary and he is an editor of ‘Heliaca’ (annual journal of Hungarian raptor research and conservation). On international level, he is a member of both the Saker Falcon Task Force and the Technical Advisory Group of Raptors Memorandum of Understanding within the Convention on the Migratory Species or Bonn Convention, an international convention under the auspice of United Nation.
Having been involved in a number of international work, Mátyás sees the need to fill the gap between raptor researchers and conservationists working in the Americas, in Africa and most of Europe, especially in the non-English speaking countries. He got acquainted with the activities of Raptor Research Foundation (RRF) a few years ago, when he attended the annual conference in Argentina in 2013. As a Director of RRF, Mátyás will work on connecting raptor scientists and conservationists from different continents, as well as strengthening the positions of RRF in Europe at the same time. In addition, he would like to emphasise the importance of next generation’s involvement in the raptor professional societies.