Environmental Impacts on Tropical Birds Topic of July 13 UW Research Center Talk

woman standing in lush forest with large microphone
University of Wyoming Department of Zoology and Physiology Assistant Professor Corey Tarwater will discuss how changes in the environment impact tropical birds Thursday, July 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service Research Center. (Corey Tarwater Photo)

A discussion involving environmental changes and the subsequent impact on tropical birds will take place Thursday, July 13, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

UW Department of Zoology and Physiology Assistant Professor Corey Tarwater will discuss “Life in the tropics: dispersal, reproduction, and survival in tropical birds,” as part of the center’s Harlow Summer Seminars at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, located north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue, at a cost of $5 per person, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are not required.

Tarwater says tropical species are predicted to be more vulnerable to environmental changes than many temperate zone species. The majority of future bird extinctions are predicted to be in the tropics owing to continued land-use change and climate change.

“But, we still know very little about the basic natural history of many of these species, how changes in the environment impact them and what makes them vulnerable to changing conditions,” she says.

Tarwater will explain how she uses long-term data of tropical birds in Panama to discuss the influence of changing rainfall on the demography -- survival and population growth -- of a suite of tropical birds using a 33-year data set. She also will present a detailed case history of one bird species and discuss how the environment influences parental care, survival and dispersal.

“Long-term studies that examine both patterns and processes are critical for predicting how species will respond to future conditions,” Tarwater says.

Originally from San Diego, Calif., Tarwater earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California-Davis. She obtained both her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Tarwater began her research on tropical birds in Panama in 2003 during her first field season as a master's degree candidate. After obtaining her Ph.D. degree, she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of British Columbia-Vancouver. She has been at UW since January 2015, and maintains active research programs in Panama and Hawaii.

The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and government scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the greater Yellowstone area.

For more information about the Harlow Summer Seminars, contact Michael Dillon at (307) 543-2463 or michael.dillon@uwyo.edu.



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