Xander Vitarelli

BS Environmental Science (2022)

Xander joined the Perlut Lab in the Spring 2020 term to lead a new wing of the grassland bird project.  His work compares Bobolink movement ecology by a small isolated population at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, NY, with our long-term study population in Shelburne, VT.  When not birding in his home woods of Central Park, NYC, Xander is a super talented photographer and cross country runner.

Emma White

MS Biological Sciences

Emma White‘s thesis–An investigation into extrapair paternity and juvenile survival in Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)–explored what factors explain a Bobolink’s probability of surviving from year to year. Emma used everything we know about individual birds that return to breed where they were born, ranging from their parents genetics, to their reproductive history. Her work is the first to genotype Bobolinks. She also taught the Museum Specimen Prep class at UNE.  Emma defended her Master’s thesis on Jan 22, 2020.

Maeve McGowan

BS Environmental Science, dual minors in Climate Change Studies and Political Science

Maeve McGowan uses data collected from 2002 to 2018 to explain how phenological shifts caused by climate change on the wintering grounds affected variation in nest initiation dates of Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows breeding in agricultural fields of Vermont.  See her fantastic poster from the 2019 Northeast Natural History Conference here.

Olivia Scott

BS Environmental Science and Biology

Olivia joined the lab for the 2019 field season and is leading the dive into our Savannah Sparrow geolocator data, which details where the birds spent their non-breeding period.  Her first project explored how migration and wintering location affected breeding success.  She transitioned to exploring how reproductive effort and success changes of a individuals lifetime.  Olivia is also an amazing potter!

Emma Burke

BS Environmental Studies

Emma first joined the lab for the 2019 field season and is interested in variation in male Bobolink morphology, especially in how the size of their yellow cap varies.  She is using these morphometrics to see how they influence annual survival.  Emma is also a member of the UNE gymnastics team.

Lab Alumni

Kylee DiMaggio

BS Environmental Science and Marine Science

Kylee DiMaggio quantified within- and between-year divorce rates of two grassland songbird species, Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows. She determined if divorce rates differed after haying or predation-caused nest failure and, if so, whether divorce influenced reproductive success.  See her award winning poster from the 2019 Northeast Natural History Conference here. Kylee graduated in May 2019 with a double major in Environmental Science and Marine Science.

Kady Winsor

BS Environmental Science, minor in Art

Kady Winsor joined the Perlut lab after her first year, working on the Biological Control of Mosquito Project in 2016.  After a travel class to Iceland, she joined the grassland bird crew in Vermont in 2018 and again in 2019.  Kady graduated in Dec 2018.