Graduate Students


 eric Eric Ledet, M.S. Candidate. Diet Composition of Wintering Waterfowl. My thesis research is on wintering waterfowl diets at the White Lake Conservation Area to determine differences or preference of food items among species during the wintering period. This will enhance efforts to manage wetlands for waterfowl by knowing what types of foods are needed while they are here in the winter.
 ashlee1 Ashlee Minor, M.S. Candidate. Forested Freshwater Wetland Responses to Secondarily Treated Municipal Effluent Discharge. The goal of this study is to determine how the application of secondarily treated municipal effluent impacts the overall functioning of the Thibodaux Assimilation Wetland. Macrofaunal communities, primary productivity, vegetation composition, and surface water quality will be assessed and used as indicators to determine the overall health of the wetland. The results of this study will increase our understanding of the long-term impacts of municipal effluent on receiving wetlands by comparing a variety of ecosystem parameters among the control and treatment sites.
 jeff Jeff Liechty, M.S. Candidate. Diet Composition and Breeding Site Fidelity of Royal Terns and Sandwich Terns on LouisianaBarrierIslands. His thesis objectives are determining diet composition and apparent adult survival of Royal Terns and Sandwich Terns on Isles Dernieres Barrier Island Refuge in South Louisiana.  Jeff is color-banding breeding terns and re-sighting individuals in subsequent years as well as analyzing regurgitations of prey items.  He is also monitoring nesting colonies of Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black Skimmer, and Gull-billed Tern as a part Dr. Pierce’s long-term research project studying productivity of waterbirds on Isles Dernieres.
 P1030573 Jordan Bell, M.S. Candidate Effects of Artificial Perches on Wintering Raptor Visitation and Small Mammal Populations. The objectives of this study were determine if artificial perches affect raptor visitation and/or foraging efficiency in pasturelands and to determine if habitat enhancement by artificial perches affects small mammal populations.
 IMG_0597 David Curtiss, M.S. 2013. Wintering Waterbird Use of Louisiana’s BarrierIslands. This study determined how the barrier island habitats were used by wintering waterbirds based on indices of abundance, habitat use, and prey availability. Surveys were conducted recording waterbird species richness, abundance, and behavior by island and habitat type. Additionally, prey availability, a measure of waterbird foraging quality, was determined by analyzing invertebrates from core samples.
 image006 Tabitha Owen,M.S. 2010. Habitat Requirements and Productivity of Colonial Waterbirds. Nest monitoring was conducted to determine the abundance of breeding Gull-billed Terns and Black Skimmers and we determined their hatching success.  Juvenile survivorship and growth rates of Royal Tern and Sandwich Tern chicks was also be determined and used as an indicator of habitat productivity.
 image004 E.J. Raynor, M.S. 2010 Understanding the Use of Barrier Islands as Nesting Habitat for Louisiana Birds of Concern.The objectives were to quantitatively assess the habitat characteristics of barrier islands that are used for nesting and those not used for nesting by colonial waterbirds. Nest and fledging success was assessed for multiple colonies and related to island characteristics, including an index of predator activity.


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