Current lab members

dsc_2486Dr. 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.

Bob Curry profile on ResearchGate

Postdoctoral Fellow

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 will also teach courses in behavioral ecology and tropical natural history, and will join RLC in mentoring research students.

Coppinger web site

BAC profile on ResearchGate

Masters students

Rebecca Garlinger (MS ’22) is studying dominance relationships and social networks in the mixed chickadee population at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. 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) has studied the behavioral ecology and possible hybridization of Narrow-billed and Broad-billed todies in the Dominican Republic since 2016. While still working on her M.S. thesis, Holly now works at the Costa Rica Bird Observatory. @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 is focusing now on cognitive ecology (problem-solving abilities) in hybrid and ‘pure’ chickadees. @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 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. @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 summer 2019 and summer 2021 Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Zara Zimmer (LAS ’22) is investigating personality in relation to genotype among hybridizing chickadees

Recipient of a summer 2020 Department of Biology 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 2021

Kiki Edmark (LAS ’24) joined the lab in fall 2021

Tara Suter (LAS ’24) joined the lab in fall 2021

Former students and post-docs