Dr. Robert Lawrence (Bob) Curry received his A.B. from Dartmouth College (’79) and his Ph.D. from The University of Michigan (’87). In his doctoral research, he studied social and conservation ecology of Galápagos mockingbirds. He conducted postdoctoral research on Florida Scrub-Jays at Archbold Biological Station (1987-90) and began his position at Villanova in January 1991. He served as President (2013-15) of the Wilson Ornithological Society and continues to take an active role in that organization’s affairs; he currently serves as WOS Trustee. He also contributed to the governance of the former American Ornithologists’ Union (and is a Fellow and Life Member of its successor, the American Ornithological Society) and the Society for Conservation Biology, and he is helping to organize the 2022 Centennial meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists. Dr. Curry is President of the Villanova chapter of Sigma Xi and the faculty advisor for the Ecological Society of Villanova.
Dr. Brittany Coppinger joined the lab in Jan 2021 as a Mendel Science Experience (MSE) Postdoctoral Fellow. Brittany brings extensive experience studying chickadee and titmouse communication and social ecology. Dr. Coppinger’s MSE position focuses on co-teaching our offering for non-science majors about genealogy; she is also teaching courses in behavioral ecology and tropical natural history, and has joined RLC in mentoring research students.
Rebecca Garlinger (MS ’22) studied dominance relationships and social networks in the mixed chickadee population at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and is currently completing her thesis. Becca currently works as a Wildlife Specialist at White Oak, a wildlife conservation organization in Florida. @BecAndTheBrain
Recipient of a 2018 Louis Agassiz Fuertes Grant from the Wilson Ornithological Society; a 2018 Hesse Award from the American Ornithological Society; a 2017 Alexander Bergstrom Memorial Award (AFO); a VU Grad Studies 2017 Summer Research Fellowship; and a Dept of Biology 2017-18 academic year fellowship (1 semester)
Holly Garrod (MS ’22) studied the behavioral ecology and possible hybridization of Narrow-billed and Broad-billed todies in the Dominican Republic in 2016 – 2019 and is currently completing her thesis. @hmg_ornithology
Recipient of a 2018 McCarley Grant from the Southwestern Association of Naturalists; 2017 and 2018 BirdsCaribbean grants from the David S. Lee Fund; a 2017 Alexander Bergstrom Memorial Award (AFO); and a 2017 William B. and Mary G. Robertson Fellowship Award from the Florida Ornithological Society
Breanna Bennett (LAS ’17, MS ’22) studied exploratory behavior as a component of personality in the mixed chickadee population at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary for her undergraduate Senior Thesis. She then focused on cognitive ecology (problem-solving abilities) in hybrid and ‘pure’ chickadees for her M.S. thesis, which she is currently completing … while also enrolled as a PhD student at Princeton University. @TheTinyBirdGirl
Recipient of a summer 2016 Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship and a VU Grad Studies 2019 Summer Research Fellowship; doctoral student at Princeton as of Sep 2021
Margaret Boyle (MS ’22) joined the lab in January 2019. She is examining social network relationships and interactions between Tufted Titmice and both Black-capped and Carolina chickadees and their hybrids. @MargaretNBoyle
Recipient of a 2020 Alexander Bergstrom Memorial Award (AFO) and a VU Grad Studies 2021 Summer Research Fellowship
Shane McFoy (MS ’22) joined the lab in August 2020. He is continuing work on cognitive ecology of hybrid vs. pure chickadees, focusing on spatial memory. @s_mcfoy
Recipient of a 2021 Alexander Bergstrom Memorial Award (AFO) and a 2021 AOS research grant; a VU Grad Studies 2021 Summer Research Fellowship; and a Dept of Biology 2021-22 academic year fellowship (1 semester)
Undergraduate research students
Lily Day (LAS ’22) is studying male responses to songs in the chickadee hybrid zone
Worked in the lab during S19 as a First-year Match participant; recipient of a summer 2019 Sprows Family Undergraduate Research Fellowship (VURF) and a summer 2021 Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Lily is also a 2021-22 Goldwater Scholar.
Zara Zimmer (LAS ’22) is investigating personality in relation to genotype among hybridizing chickadees
Recipient of a summer 2020 Department of Biology Undergraduate Research Fellowship and a summer 2021 Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Savrina Salartash (LAS ’23) joined the lab in spring 2020
Recipient of a summer 2021 Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Carlos Garriga (LAS ’23) joined the lab in spring 2020
Recipient of a summer 2021 Spagnuola Family Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Frank “JR” Rauscher (LAS ’23) joined the lab in fall 2021
Kiki Edmark (LAS ’24) joined the lab in fall 2021
Tara Suter (LAS ’24) joined the lab in fall 2021