Current Students

Juan Oteyza, PhD Candidate

Juan Oteyza

I am broadly interested in ecology, animal behavior and evolutionary biology. Since 2004 I have worked in several ornithological field research projects in different tropical habitats. I first joined Dr. Thomas E. Martin’s long term study on the geographic variation in avian life history traits and parental care behaviors in 2007. Since then I have worked in his Venezuela field site, supervised the laboratory in Montana and the Borneo (Malaysia) field site. I started my Master's project in 2010 in Borneo and will continue to collect data in 2011.

Learn More: Juan's profile and nest predation effects.

Riccardo Ton, PhD Candidate

Riccardo Ton

The two overarching aims of my dissertation are:  a) to test the role of temperature in causing the broad pattern of interspecific variation in development rates among ectothermic embryos; b) to explore the role of interspecific variation in metabolism of endothermic offspring, potentially resulting from the differential selective pressure of predation, in contributing to interspecific variation in growth rate.  To achieve hoses goals, I use an experimental and comparative approach among passerine species on three different continents.

Learn More: Riccardo's profile and passerine growth rates.

Andy Boyce, PhD Candidate

Andy Boyce

I'm currently a PhD student in Tom Martin's lab at the University of Montana. I'm interested in exploring how physiology and competition act to constrain species ranges, shape communities and shape species life-history strategies. My current study system is the avian community at Kinabalu Park in Sabah, Malaysia. Kinabalu provides an opportunity to work on an amazing avian assemblage across an extensive elevational gradient from 500m to 4,100m. This has introduced a strong elevational component to my research and I am excited to continue exploring interesting ecological and physiological questions in this system and others. 

I’m in the midst of my final field season in Borneo and will be returning to Montana in June. I plan to defend my dissertation in May 2017. 

Learn More: Andy's profile and species distributions.

Karolina Fierro, PhD Candidate

Karolina Fierro

I am a Colombian biologist with fieldwork experience in ecology of birds of montane forests. I worked in Fundación EcoAndina and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Colombia from 2004 to 2006. Then, I went to Venezuela to work with Dr. Thomas Martin in his project “Geographic variation in avian life history traits and parental care behaviors” during two field seasons and a three months internship at the University of Montana. From 2008 to 2011, I was the team leader of the research group “Iniciativa Especies Focales” of the Asociación Calidris in Colombia. My team and I estimated population densities for several endangered bird species in the Western Andes, determined their threats, and developed awareness programs in communities surrounding protected forests. I started my PhD program in August 2011 funded by COLCIENCIAS and Fulbright-Colombia.

Learn More: Karolina's profile and warbler territories.

James Mouton, PhD Student

Adam Mitchell, PhD Candidate

Within ecology and evolution, I am particularly interested in biogeography, life history strategies, thermal ecology, animal architecture, and tropical ecology. My dissertation research explores these topics in birds at two disparate field sites along an elevational gradient on Mt. Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo. I am using an experimental manipulation to test if harsh weather may cause slow life history strategies of birds at high elevations (3,200 meters/10,500 feet elevation). Additionally, in collaboration with the Blair Wolf lab at UNM, I use observational and experimental approaches to investigate the energetic costs of different weather conditions (temperature and rainfall) of nestling birds using the doubly-labeled water technique. Lastly, I am exploring avian nest structure varieties to quantify parental effort in nest building and whether or not this reflects a species’ placement along the slow-fast life history continuum. My work has important ramifications for both basic (theoretical ecology) and applied (predicting species’ responses to changing weather patterns) sciences.

Learn More: Adam's profile and life history strategies.

William Blake, MS Candidate

William Blake

I am French-American. I grew-up in Anjou, France, but spent many summers in Montana, and developed an affinity for wildlife and bird-watching at a young age. I transferred to the University of Montana in 2004 and graduated with a BS in Wildlife Biology. Between 2007 and 2014 I worked on dozens of field projects banding birds and monitoring bird nests. I am working fulltime for MPG Ranch since 2014, as a bird biologist, and direct banding operations. I joined MTCWRU’s TEM lab in the Fall 2015, as an MS Candidate in Wildlife Biology. My MS project consists in understanding the relationship between habitat selection and the reproductive success of Lewis’s Woodpeckers (Melanerpes lewis), in western MT. My main interests consist in conservation biology and many topics in avian science, such as migration, life histories of cavity nesters, and avian community responses to fast-changing landscapes. During my free time I also enjoy playing basketball, ultimate frisbee, and all outdoor activities.

Learn More: William's profile.