Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Congratulations to EBL Graduate Student Ann Marie Gawel

Congratulations to EBL graduate student Ann Marie Gawel for being selected by ESA as one of the Katherine S. McCarter Graduate Student Policy Award recipients.

Monday, March 5, 2018

2 Internship Positions starting in May!

DUTIES: Interns will be responsible primarily for resurveying tagged forest plots, along with other tasks such as monitoring phenology, surveying tagged seedlings, and entering data. Interns will rotate between Saipan, Guam, and Rota, as needed for research. Each intern will have an opportunity to develop an independent side project. Note that this position does not involve research with birds; rather, it is a plant-focused position. 

REQUIREMENTS: The successful applicants must be responsible, pay attention to 
detail, work well individually and as part of a group, and be flexible. They must have experience in plant identification. Applicants must be able to work in high heat and humidity, walk over rough terrain, and tolerate the tedious, and at times monotonous, work necessary for all scientific endeavors. They must have some experience working with people that have different backgrounds than their own. A good sense of humor is always appreciated. They must be available for 9 months, starting in April or May 2018.

POSITION DETAILS: Each intern will receive a round-trip ticket from any major airport in the US to the Mariana Islands, housing on all islands, transportation, and a monthly stipend of $700. In addition, interns will receive valuable research experience in the fields of conservation biology and field ecology, and training that will help them to pursue a career in ecology (e.g. feedback on cover letters, CV's, and graduate fellowships; advice on applying to graduate school; experience reading scientific papers, etc.). 

TO APPLY: Email a single pdf document including a cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references to McKayla Spencer ( The subject line should read “EBL Intern Position”. The cover letter should describe your previous research experience, career goals, and why you are interested in this position. Applications must be submitted by Sunday, March 18, 2018.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Island Forest Ecology Field Course

Dates: May 21- June 8, 2018
Sponsored by the US Forest Service, University of Guam, Iowa State University, and the Ecology of Bird Loss Project.
Do you work in the conservation and natural resource management field in the Mariana Islands, Palau, or the Federated States of Micronesia? Or are you a student at Northern Marianas College, Guam Community College, or University of Guam? Are you interested in learning more about the unique ecology, conservation challenges, and natural resources of the Mariana Islands? If so, apply to participate in the Island Forest Ecology Field Course! Instructors include Dr. Ross Miller, Dr. Haldre Rogers, Dr. Evan Fricke, and more.
Overview: Participants will learn about the terrestrial ecology of forest of Saipan and Guam through a combination of lectures, field trips, and small group field research projects. 
******Flights, housing, and a small per diem are provided to participants. Academic credit may be granted with prior arrangement with UOG or NMC.******
For more information, email Dr. Ross Miller, UOG,
To apply: Email a cover letter, resume, and your unofficial transcript (if applicable) in a single pdf document to McKayla Spencer ( Write "Island Forest Ecology Application" in the subject line. Your cover letter should describe why you are interested in the course, and how it fits into your career goals.
Application Deadline: March 22, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The EBL lab has added two new people to its crew!
1) Hugo Thierry is a new Postdoc. He finished his PhD in France which focused on modelling spatially explicit pest dynamics in agricultural landscapes. As an ecologist/computer scientist, he is excited to bring his set of skills to the EBL lab.

2) McKayla Spencer is the new Lab Manager. She finished her masters in herpetology this past spring concerning viper physiology and behavior. Before that she was a Brown Treesnake biologist in Guam. As an ecologist she is excited to further her knowledge in community ecology with the EBL lab.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New EBL Paper!

Check out the latest EBL publication concerning seed dispersal as both a cultural and supporting ecosystem service.

Figure 1. Conceptual diagram demonstrating the links between the bird-chili mutualism, its disruption, and the loss of ecosystem services. On the Mariana Islands, forest birds have been functionally extirpated from Guam, but not Rota, Tinian or Saipan. Relative to islands with seed dispersers, the loss of animal-mediated seed dispersal may reduce germination by affecting the spatial distribution of seeds and their condition. The resulting reduction of recruitment could reduce chili populations that are economically and culturally important for people. Photos courtesy M Egerer.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Marianas Terrestrial Conservation Conference

The Ecology of Bird Loss project is helping to organize the first annual Marianas Terrestrial Conservation Conference & Workshop at Guam Community College on November 17 & 18th, 2017. Check out the website for more details!

Fruit Bat postdoc position

We are hiring a postdoc to study fruit bat ecology! Check out the "Jobs" page to learn more. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New EBL paper

Check out the latest EBL publication on mutualisms and coextinctions with data from the Marianas. Big congrats to EBL postdoc and lead author Evan Fricke!

The positive relationship between partner diversity and mutualistic dependence reduces coextinction and alters the influence of network structure and partner diversity on coextinction. (a) The portion of species experiencing coextinction in simulations within 11 quantitative networks when assuming all species are obligate mutualists (triangles; horizontal line in inset panel) or using the observed relationship (circles; positive relationship in inset panel). Compare between randomized and empirical structure to assess the decrease in coextinction due to empirical network structure when assuming all species are obligate mutualists (compare triangles between randomized and empirical structure) or when using the observed relationship (compare circles). Simulated within the 11 empirical networks, the relationship between partner diversity and vulnerability to coextinction when assuming that all species are obligate mutualists (b) or when using the observed relationship (c).

Friday, March 31, 2017

RET Opportunity

Attention K-12 teachers in the CNMI:
Ecology of Bird Loss Project, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands

RETers Val Atalic (Rota, 2013) and
Annette Pladavega (Saipan, 2011) at Forbidden Island
Description of the RET program: The goal of the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program is to enhance the professional development of K-12 science educators through research experience with the end goal of bringing new knowledge into the classroom. This summer Iowa State University/University of Guam’s Ecology of Bird Loss project will sponsor two Marianas-based teachers to participate in ecological research for 7 weeks. The teachers will experience scientific field research first-hand by working with project staff to collect scientific data and then develop lessons to enhance science learning in their classrooms.
Description of the project: The Ecology of Bird Loss project examines the effect that bird loss on the island of Guam has on forest ecosystems by comparing forests on Guam, where birds are functionally extinct due to predation by the invasive brown treesnake, to forests on Saipan, Tinian and Rota, where native bird populations are still intact. We are studying the ecology of the native limestone forests in the Mariana Islands with a particular focus on the role of birds and bats in dispersing seeds around the forest. For more information on the project, visit
Duties of the RET: Teachers will participate in field research on at least two islands (out of Guam, Saipan, and Rota), usually working as part of a small field crew. Specific duties may include: identifying trees (including seedlings), measuring and collecting data on plant seedlings, conducting visual observations of frugivory, among other activities. Teachers will work with EBL staff to develop lesson plans, curricular activities, and research experiments that they will be able to use in their classrooms. Teachers should expect to work about 8 hours a day, 5 days a week during the program.
Requirements and Qualifications: We can only take 2 teachers per year, one from Guam and one from the CNMI. The successful applicants must be a K-12 teacher in Guam or the CNMI who is interested in conducting hands-on ecological field research and taking their experiences from the program back into the classroom to enhance education in the Mariana Islands. Field research involves working in high heat and humidity, walking over rough terrain, and maintaining enthusiasm for a variety of different and occasionally tedious activities necessary for all scientific endeavors. Previous experience in ecology or field research is not required, but an excitement for learning new activities and an open mind towards challenging experiences is necessary. We will give priority to teachers with a long-term commitment to education in the Mariana Islands. Applicants must be US citizens with valid driver’s licenses. Each year we have run this program, there have been many qualified applicants; if you have applied before, but not been selected, please apply again!
Duration, Payments and Benefits: Successful applicants will receive a stipend of $1000 per week for 7 weeks between May and August 2017, and $1000 for one week during the school year to implement the curriculum. Each teacher will also have access to $1000 for curriculum supplies or to cover field trip costs during the school year. At least one roundtrip flight within the Mariana Islands will be provided, as well as housing and work-related transportation while off-island. Communication and collaboration between the teachers and the EBL project is expected to continue beyond the end of the summer.
For More Information: Please contact Haldre Rogers ( or any of our previous RET teachers if you have questions related to the program: Sabina Perez– Simon Sanchez HS Guam; Michael Subbert- formerly Guam HS; Mary Garvilles- Tiyan HS, Guam and Annette Pladavega- Kagman HS Saipan; Dan Ho- formerly Southern HS Guam; Valerie Atalig- formerly Rota Junior Senior HS, currently Rota Chamber of Commerce; Greg Ecle – Southern HS Guam; Ben Seman – Hopwood Jr HS Saipan; Roque Indalecio- Hopwood Jr. HS Saipan, and Daniel Pangelinan- Okkodo HS Guam.
To Apply: Candidates should e-mail a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to The cover letter should include a paragraph explaining how the applicant hopes to use the RET program to enhance learning in their classroom. Applicants should indicate preferred start and end dates in the cover letter. Applications must be received by April 8th.