Photo by Tristan Spinski

Welcome! Our lab conducts fieldwork and exploration in tropical and temperate systems to understand how environmental change affects wildlife populations and communities.

Thoughts & blogs


News & updates

October 20, 2020

Photo essay on molt and plumage reseach

Michigan Tech published a beautiful and unscripted photo essay detailing our plumage and molt research. Check it out! 

September 21, 2020

Guest blog in "Wingbeats"

Check out Jared's essay detailing relationships between site fidelity and breeding and molting behaviors in songbirds for "Wingbeats", the official blog of the American Ornithological Society. 

September 13, 2020

New research answers the question: do songbirds return to the same molting site year-after-year?

We used over 30 years of banding data from Oregon and California to model the frequency at which songbirds return to the same molting site year-after-year. The paper was recently published in the Auk: Ornithological Advances. Our findings suggest that while our study species exhibited strong breeding site fidelity, they did not exhibit site fidelity to molting areas. The patchy nature of food resources during the post-breeding period likely drives dynamic movements of molting birds in the late summer and early fall.

September 01, 2020

The Wolfe Lab welcome's Maria "Lulu" Ferrer!

Lulu will be joining the Wolfe Lab as a GEM Associate Fellow. She will be pursuing her MSc focused on Avian Malaria in northern Michigan. 

July 31, 2020

NSF proposal successfully funded to purchase mass spectrometer at Michigan Tech

Jared served as a co-PI on a successful NSF proposal to purchase a new Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer for the College of Forest Resources at Environmental Science at Michigan Tech. We will be using the mass spec to assess food web dynamics and migratory connectivity in the Upper Peninsula. 

July 01, 2020

New research on species loss and community change in Amazonian forest fragments

Check out our latest research, published in Global Ecology and Conservation, examining species loss in Amazonian forest fragments relative to phylogenetic relatedness. We also explore nestedness of bird communities in differently sized forest fragments.

June 18, 2020

Shedding light on the evolution of bird coloration

Our paper, documenting the multi-step evolutionary pathway which gave rise to colorful plumage in warblers, was just accepted in Ecology and Evolution. Checkout the preprint here.  

April 01, 2020

Costa Rica conservation action featured on the cover of Conservation Science and Practice

Some good news from quarantine: our collaborative team was featured on the April cover of Conservation Science & Practice (a peer-reviewed journal), for our project focused on bundling Payment for Ecosystem Services to protect Golden-winged Warbler habitat in Costa Rica.

March 19, 2020

New research demonstrates that avian survival in Amazonian forest fragments is driven by age of surrounding regenerating forest

Using long term data from the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragmentation Project (the world’s longest running landscape experiment), Jared and collaborators measured changes in avian survival within Amazonian forest fragments as a function of the age of surrounding regenerating forest. Their recent paper, published in the journal Avian Research, demonstrated that the annual survival of birds dramatically declined following clearing of adjacent forest, followed by a substantial increase in survival after five years of regeneration. These results reveal that value of regenerating forest to wildlife is not static, and can increase quickly with age.

March 17, 2020

Jared elected as the newest board member of Michigan's chapter of The Wildlife Society

Although the Michigan chapter of the Wildlife Society had to postpone their annual meeting until November 2020, the organization was able to hold officer elections where Jared was voted in as their newest board member. 

February 26, 2020

New research demonstrates the power of bundling carbon offsets to protect vulnerable habitat for wildlife

Our recent publication demonstrates that protecting vulnerable habitat for wildlife can be achieved through partnerships with programs that trade in carbon offsets. As proof of concept, we developed recruitment efforts to enroll farmers into offset programs which successfully protected 790 hectares of valuable habitat for the Golden-winged Warbler in a coffee growing region of Costa Rica.

February 04, 2020

Fifth year of bird banding underway in Equatorial Guinea

Biodiversity Initiative field crews began their fifth year of bird banding data collection in second growth and primary forest plots in Equatorial Guinea. We use these data to determine which birds are most sensitive to tropical forest degradation.

Jared presented on his wildlife research and conservation work in Equatorial Guinea

As part of Michigan Tech's Biology Seminar series, Jared provided an overview of Biodiversity Initiative's avian and mammalian research, and conservation action, in the central African country of Equatorial Guinea.

October 18, 2019

Jared invited to present at George Mason University's biology seminar series

Jared was invited to present as part of George Mason University's biology seminar series. During his presentation, Jared discussed how evolutionary modifications of molt strategies helped birds exploit new niche space in lowland tropical rainforests. 

October 02, 2019

Michigan Tech wildlife students & faculty present at 2019 TWS meeting

MTU's wildlife students and faculty presented on a diversity of topics at this year's Wildlife Society national meeting in Reno. Topics included the effects of different silviculture practices on small mammal communities and Eastern red-backed salamanders in northern hardwood forests.

August 22, 2019

Protecting Wood Thrush habitat throughout working landscapes in Costa Rica

Pablo Elizondo and Jared received funding from the USFWS Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grant program to leverage the power of preexisting carbon sequestration and biodiversity easement programs to protect Wood Thrush habitat in working landscapes throughout the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica.

July 27, 2019

New publication summarizing demographic and behavioral effects of barred owls on spotted owls

Invasive barred owls are driving the northern spotted owl extinct, as such, we published a thorough literature review and synthesis in the Journal of Wildlife Management detailing behavioral and demographic interactions between the two species. This is a timely contribution that will, hopefully, bring us one step closer to mitigating the damaging effects of the barred owl invasion. 

July 10, 2019

Daily Mining Gazette covers our new bird banding station

The Daily Mining Gazette covered the creation of our new bird banding station at the Ford Center and Forest in Alberta, MI. Data from the banding operation will be used to study avian survival, productivity, timing of lifecycle events, and the spread of avian malaria. 

June 26, 2019

Jared interviewed by the Washigton Post about Prothontary Warbler study

Jared was interviewed by the Washington Post regarding the scientific and conservation implications of a recent study that used small tracking devices to identify the wintering grounds of Prothonotary Warblers—a small and brilliantly colored migratory songbird. You can read the story and excerpts in the Washington Post article

May 18, 2019

The Wildlife Society recognizes "Molt of Neotropical Birds" as one of the best wildlife books of 2019

Out of 54 books considered, Erik  Johnson and Jared made the The Wildlife Society's shortlist of best wildlife books of 2019 for "Molt in Neotropical Birds: Life History and Age Criteria" 

May 13, 2019

Field Ornithology was a success!

Just finished our non-stop 3 day/2 night birding trip around the Upper Peninsula with our Michigan Tech Field Ornithology class. The class was full of students new to birding (and camping) and how impressive they were! After experiencing rivers of raptors passing over Whitefish Point, jack pines full of colorful warblers, stunning sunsets over Superior, and mouthfuls of s'mores, I believe we successfully fledged a cohort of new birders and campers. Click here for class photos. 

April 23, 2019

Jared awarded Research Excellence Fund

Jared Wolfe, Kristin Brzeski, and Ezequiel Medici were selected as Research Excellence Fund recipients for their conservation work in Central Africa. 

March 27, 2019

Our research featured in a Klamath Bird Observatory blog & press release

Our improved method of measuring wildlife diversity was discussed in a recent blog post from Klamath Bird Observatory. 

March 13, 2019

New research improves our capacity to identify and manage quality habitat for wildlife

In our latest paper - published in Ecology and Evolution - we introduce "Informed indices", a simple, powerful, and better way to use diversity estimates to identify and manage valuable habitats for wildlife.

January 17, 2019

New research investigating links between visual constraints and bird sensitivity to forest degredation

Our latest publication in Oikos assessed the relationship between sensitivity to second growth forest and pupil diameter as indirect test of the visual constraints hypothesis in Amazonian birds. 

January 10, 2019

Our research is one the most viewed artcles in PeerJ!

Our research investigating lost and vagrant birds was on of the top 5 most viewed Animal Behavior and Population Biology PeerJ articles published in 2018

December 21, 2018

New publication details our investigation into warbler vagrancy on the West Coast

Why do some birds get lost and become vagrants? Check out our latest research addressing the question. Our analysis was based on banding data & Stanley Harris's meticulous archival of vagrant birds in northern California

December 01, 2018

Jared delivered invited lecture at Ohio State University

Jared delivered an invited lecture at Ohio State University's School of Environment and Natural Resources where he presented on his ongoing research with Biodiversity Initiative in Equatorial Guinea, central Africa. 

October 22, 2018

Highlights from bird banding at the Ford Forest Center

Despite some fall snow, students from Jared's Wildlife Habitat course safely captured and processed a number of resident birds at the Ford Forest Center, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Click here to view highlight captures. 

September 01, 2018

Jared invited to deliver keynote at Alabama Ornithological Society's Fall Meeting

Alabama Ornithological Society will be hosting Jared as keynote speaker during their 2018 fall meeting, October 12th through October 14th, Dauphin Island, Alabama. He will be presenting on exploration and conservation in Equatorial Guinea.  

April 21, 2018

Jared awarded 2018 Louisiana Ornithological Society President's Award

The Louisiana Ornithological Society (LOS) announced that Jared Wolfe will receive the 2018 President's Award during their annual meeting in Cameron Parish. The award recognizes Jared's contributions to bird monitoring and education in Louisiana.

March 16, 2018

Review of our Tropical Molt book in Journal of Field Ornithology

Thoughtful review from Peter Pyle in the Journal of Field Ornithologhighlighting the strengths of our work, as well as differences in opinion regarding theory that have yet to be resolved. From the last paragraph of the review, "For this and many other reasons, I consider this an absolute must for any student of either avian molt or avian tropical systems, and it has already become one of the eight or so most critical molt-reference works within immediate reach of my desk."

PhD fellowship at LSU for Africa research

Announcing a fantastic fellowship opportunity for a PhD in Phil Stouffer's Lab at LSU. The successful applicant would perform ornithological research on our (Biodiversity Initiative's) long-term study plots in Equatorial Guinea. The fellowship is available to Americans of underrepresented groups (i.e., sorry white guys). Click here to learn more.

February 02, 2018

Biodiversity Initiative intern finishes second field season

Biodiversity Initiative's intern successfully completed his second field season near Equatorial Guinea's new capital city, Oyala.

January 08, 2018

Africa field season begins

Official beginning of field season with Biodiversity Initiative in Equatorial Guinea, central Africa. In addition to our bird crew, we are working with entomologists and bat biologists to better understand community structure in our long-term study plots.

December 12, 2017

Wolfe and Johnson among highest cited JFO research in past 2 years

Our research documenting migratory connectivity of Prothonotary Warbler was featured as one of the highest cited publications in Journal of Field Ornithology within the past two years.

December 06, 2017

Wildlife Society interview about Hawaii research

Read Jared's interview with the Wildlife Society about his recent publication in Ecology detailing the effects of climate on plant and bird phenology in Hawaii.

November 14, 2017

Hawaii Tribune Herald published an article about our Hawaii research

The Hawaii Tribune Herald published an article detailing our findings that climate has cascading effects on Hawaiian plant phenology and avian breeding and molt seasonality.

December 05, 2017

Symposium accepted for AOS 2018!

Our molt migration symposium proposal was accepted for the upcoming AOS meeting in Tucson

October 30, 2017

Molt book now available through Amazon!

“Molt in Neotropical Birds: Life History and Age Criteria” is now available for purchase through Amazon.

November 10, 2017

USFS press release for Hawaii research

USDA Forest Service issued an official press release about our recent publication in Ecology where we studied the effects of climate on avian food resources and subsequent breeding and molting seasonality.

September 29, 2017

Hawaii research published in Ecology!

Our Research examining the effects of climate on Hawaiian birds has been published in Ecology.

September 14, 2017

Jared wrote a guest blog for KBO

Read about how Klamath Bird Observatory’s international training program shaped bird monitoring throughout Central and South America in Jared's guest blog

September 01, 2017

Molt migration research published in Ecology & Evolution

We used long-term banding data to assess small-distance post-breeding movements to molting grounds throughout the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion. The full paper is available in Ecology and Evolution.

January 01, 2020

"Informed indices" research featured in Klamath Bird Observatory blog

Check out Klamath Bird Observatory's latest blog post detailing our "informed indices" concept - a better way to measure wildlife diversity.

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© 2020 by Jared D. Wolfe

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