Graduate Students

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Katie Simmons

simmons, katie


Advisor:  Dr. Mike Eichholz

Research Interest:

The quantity and quality of grassland habitat in the United States has declined dramatically since the 1930’s due to increases in broad scale agriculture and a lack of a disturbance regime.  This has resulted in the decline of many grassland bird species, including the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). Although the bobwhite is a highly-studied species, their national population continues to decline.  Therefore, remaining suitable habitat must be managed and monitored effectively. 

My research involves the monitoring of different habit management practices and subsequent bobwhite responses in terms of habitat selection and survival.  I am specifically interested in how northern bobwhite and the grassland community respond to variability in patch size and shape, habitat juxtaposition and plant composition. Previous studies regarding grassland bird responses to these variables are inconsistent. Therefore, it is important that my research identify the regional environmental mechanisms affecting bobwhite responses and use this information to implement management actions that can most effectively influence their productivity.