The Research Awards Committee of the Waterbird Society has selected recipients for the 2018 Nisbet, Kushlan, and Waterbird Society Awards. The Nisbet Research Award is open globally to any student, professional, or amateur with a focus on research and conservation of terns and gulls in the Laridae family. The Kushlan Research Award in Ciconiiform Biology and Conservation is open to those undertaking research on the biology, ecology, or conservation of wading birds. The goal of the Waterbird Society Research Award is to encourage significant advances in the biology, ecology, status assessment or conservation biology of waterbirds.
Paige Byerly (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Jacob Dayton (Eastern Connecticut State University), Hugh Ellis (University of San Diego), Matthew Fuirst (Stony Brook University), Dawn Marsh (Northern Michigan University), and Nicole Snyder (North Dakota State University) were all awarded full or partial Nisbet Research Awards. Paige Byerly is studying limiting factors of reproductive success in Caribbean Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii). Jacob Dayton is quantifying patterns of variability in candidate genes associated with migratory behavior: the first of long-distance migrant seabirds, Sterna hirundo and Sterna dougallii. Hugh Ellis is looking at the effects of pollution on the reproductive energetics of Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea). Matt Fuirst is studying anthropogenic pressure on the foraging ecology and microbial community of Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus). Dawn Marsh is doing research on Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) nest success and response to invasive plant species in northern Michigan. Nicole Snyder is exploring phenotypes, specifically how offspring integrate cues of season from the environment and their mothers in Laughing Gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla).
Marisa Martinez (Florida Atlantic University) and Deepthi Chimalakonda (University of Singapore) were the recipients of the Kushlan Research Award. Marisa Martinez is working on how to predict wading bird foraging habitat and prey in dynamic intertidal systems in Florida. Deepthi Chimalakonda is studying patterns and processes in wetland bird diversity: A study of the waterscapes in Telangana, India.
Katharine Goodenough (University of Oklahoma), Eamon Harrity (Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Idaho), and Michelle Stantial (State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry) were awarded Waterbird Society Research Awards. Katharine Goodenough is studying nest site selection of river beach nesting terns and skimmers in the Peruvian Amazon. Eamon Harrity is looking at dispersal behavior of Yuma Ridgway's rails (Rallus obsoletus yumanensis). Michelle Stantial is using miniaturized GPS tags to study breeding season habitat use and migration in threatened Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus).
These grants are funded by endowments provided by the generosity of two former Presidents of the Waterbird Society: Dr. Jim Kushlan and Dr. Ian Nisbet and his wife Shirley; and by the Waterbird Society's general fund ( https://waterbirds.org/research-grants/).