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AFO Council

The AFO's Council consist of both amateur and professional ornithologists, in recognition of the contributions that both make to ornithology. If you are interested in assisting with the governance of AFO, or if you would like to nominate a candidate for the AFO council, email the nominations committee.

Officers and Councilors

Kathryn Purcell
Vice President
Reed Bowman
Michael Lombardo
W. Gregory Shriver
Assistant Treasurer
Jeffrey Buler
Assistant Treasurer
Brian Harrington
Journal Editor
Gary Ritchison
Past President
L. Scott Johnson
Councilors: Class of 2014
John Cavitt
Valentina Ferretti
Alex Jahn
Dan Lambert
Diane Neudorf
Councilors: Class of 2015
Ethan Clotfelter
Tom Gardali
Mary Victoria McDonald
Paul Rodewald
Scott Stoleson
Councilors: Class of 2016
Dan Ardia
Dan Cristol
Dale Gawlik
Julie Jedlicka
Martin Raphael

Associate Editors
Dan Ardia, Juan Ignacia (Nacho) Areta, David Brown, Chris Hill, Jeffery Hoover, Miguel Ângelo Marini, Abby Powell, Tex Sordahl

Recent Past Presidents
David N. Bonter (2009-2010), Cecilia Riley (2007-2008), Eugene Morton (2004-2006), Scott Sutcliffe (2003-2004), Jerry Jackson (2000-2002), Charles Duncan 1997-1999), Elissa Landre (1995-1997), Gregory S. Butcher (1993-1995), Edward H. Burtt Jr. (1991-1993)

AFO Committees

AFO Afield Content Editor:


AFO Representatives on the Strengthening Ornithology Initative Committees

Steering Committee: Scott Johnson and Kathryn Purcell

Publications Committee: Gary Ritchison and David Bonter

Meetings Committee: Michael Lombardo

AFO Representatives for Other Organizations

OSNA: Michael Lombardo and Dan Lambert

Ornithological Council: Scott Stoleson and Dan Cristol

North American Banding Council: Ian Ausprey and Tom Gardali


Traditionally the Vice President takes the lead on working with the council to identify a slate of new council members and officers to be presented at the Annual Meeting. The committee has a minimum of 3 individuals.

Membership Committee

Responsibilities: Develop and implement strategies to increase the number of AFO members. This includes developing effective ways of communicating with existing members to keep them informed of AFO’s activities and value and recruiting new members.

Finance Oversight: General Matters

Finance Committee

Responsibilities: Responsible for oversight of the endowment funds. Develop an investment plan, identify investing trustees, who will then advise on investment firms. Review the performance of the investment company at least once per year, report to the AFO Council on performance and recommend continuation or otherwise with the current professional manager and the current investment guidelines.

Finance Oversight: Banding Supplies Business Oversight and Marketing

Responsibilities: To review and advise on all aspects of the AFO’s Banding Supplies business including finances, sales operations, and inventory decisions, and to develop and implement strategies for marketing the business.

Neotropical Outreach Committee

Responsibilities: Coordinate AFO’s Neotropical initiatives, including recruitment of members from the Neotropics, and informing ornithologists in the Neotropics of AFO meetings, awards and other activities.

Publications Committee

Responsibilities: a) Work with Wiley-Blackwell Publishers on issues related to publishing the Journal of Field Ornithology. b) Work to increase the quality and “impact” of JFO. c) Work to maintain/increase library subscriptions/revenue.

Skutch Medal Committee:

Best Student Publication Award Committee

Responsibilities: To identify the student-generated paper in each volume of the Journal of Field Ornithology that best exemplifies quality research and scholarship.

Best Publication Award Committee

Responsibilities: To identify the student-generated paper in each volume of the Journal of Field Ornithology that best exemplifies quality research and scholarship.

Skutch Research Award Committee:

Responsibilities: Advertise Skutch Award, evaluate proposals, award gift.

Website Development and Maintenance:

Responsibilities: Design and manage all aspects of AFO's web site.

Bergstrom Award Committee:

Responsibilities: Advertise Bergstrom Award, evaluate proposals, award gifts.

U.S./Canada competition reviewers:

Latin American competition reviewers:

Travel Awards:

Responsibilities: Organize and oversee awards for travel by students, post-doctoral fellows, and amateur/avocational ornithologists to annual meetings.

Student Presentation Awards:

Responsibilities: Organize awards and judge student presentations at annual meetings; serve as representatives or co-chairs on student presentation award committees at joint meetings.

Spanish Editors:

Responsibilities: Translate AFO materials for/serve as a liaison with Spanish-speaking members, researchers, and students.

Portuguese Editor:

Responsibilities: Translate AFO materials for/serve as a liaison with Spanish-speaking members, researchers, and students.

Annual Meeting

2014 – with Wilson Ornithological Society 29 May - 1 June, Salve Regina University, Newport RI

2015 - TCB

2016 - NAOC in Washington DC

AFO Representatives to the Joint AOU/COS Task Forces

  • Publications Task Force: Tom Gardali (work complete, task force not active)
  • Meetings Task Force: Alex Jahn
  • Efficiency Task Force: vacant (work complete, task force not active)
  • Website Taskforce: Dylan Maddox
  • Biographies and Addresses


    Kathryn Purcell (President)
    Research Wildlife Biologist
    US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
    Sierra Nevada Research Center
    2081 E. Sierra Avenue
    Fresno, CA 93710
    (559) 868-6233

    Kathryn Purcell is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the Sierra Nevada Research Center, USFS, Pacific Southwest Research Station. She has studied birds primarily in California, from low-elevation oak woodlands to high elevation conifer forests. Her research interests include life histories of open- and cavity-nesting birds, habitat and nest-site selection, source-sink dynamics, responses of birds to habitat alteration, and invasive species. She also has an interest in the design of monitoring programs for detecting population trends and response to habitat change. In addition, she heads up research on fishers in the Kings River Project in the southern Sierra Nevada.

    L. Scott Johnson (Past President)
    Department of Biological Sciences
    Towson University
    Towson, MD 21252 USA
    (410) 704-2587

    Scott is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University, where he specializes in Animal Behavior, Ornithology, and Behavioral Ecology. Over the past 20+ years, he has studied a wide variety of topics including: function of song, nestling growth and development, role of calcium availability in limiting reproductive output, extra-pair mating, and effects of ectoparasites on nestlings/parents. Scott conducts field work during the summer on a site in northern Wyoming along the east slopes of the Bighorn Mountains near the town of Sheridan, focused primarily on secondary cavity-nesters.

    Reed Bowman (Vice President)
    Avian Ecology Lab
    Archbold Biological Station
    P.O. Box 2057
    Lake Placid, FL 33862
    (863) 465-2571

    Reed Bowman is the Research Program Director for Avian Ecology at Archbold Biological Station. Over the last 25 years he has studied the behavioral ecology, population biology, and conservation of several threatened and endangered birds, including the White-crowned Pigeon, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and the Florida Scrub-Jay. One of his primary interests is the many affects, both locally and worldwide, of increasing urbanization on birds, focusing on understanding many of these anthropogenic ecological changes and their impact on birds at a variety of scales, from physiological and behavioral responses to population and community responses. His lab uses a combination of longitudinal, observational studies and controlled experiments to identify ecological patterns and then to test the effects of specific variables. He is the author of more than 70 scientific papers and book chapters and co-editor of two books, including the recently published "Avian Ecology and Conservation in an Urbanizing World".

    Michael P. Lombardo (Secretary)
    Professor of Biology
    Department of Biology
    Grand Valley State University
    Allendale, MI 49401-9403
    (616) 331-2501

    Michael is a Professor of Biology at Grand Valley State University. For most of his career his ornithological research has focused on the ecology and evolution of social behavior and reproductive biology, including copulation behavior, extra-pair mating behavior, intraspecific brood parasitism, nest building, parental effort, and sperm competition. He has primarily published papers about the biology of Tree Swallows, but also about Eastern and Mountain bluebirds, European Starlings, and House Sparrows. Theoretical papers include those about the evolution of cooperation, the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of sexually transmitted diseases in birds, and the role of microbes in the evolution of social behavior. He regularly involves undergraduate students in his research.

    W. Gregory Shriver (Treasurer)
    Assistant Professor Wildlife Ecology
    257 Townsend Hall
    Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology
    University of Delaware
    Newark DE 19717-2160
    (302) 831-1300

    Greg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he teaches ornithology and conservation biology. Greg’s research interests include; 1) the effects of different marsh management on breeding birds in mid-Atlantic salt marshes, 2) the interactions among soil chemistry, prey availability, invasive plants, and breeding bird demography in forest fragment, 3) the prevalence of Campylobacter in wild birds of the Mid-Atlantic, and 4) designing and implementing long-term avian monitoring programs. Greg is a collaborator in the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program and has an affinity for sparrows and rails.

    Jeffrey Buler (Assistant Treasurer)
    Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology
    University of Delaware
    531 S. College Ave. RM 250
    Newark DE 19716
    (302) 831-1306

    Jeff is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware. He holds graduate degrees in wildlife and biology from Louisiana State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. His research over the last 16 years has focused on the movement, behavior, and ecology of birds during migratory stopover, the application of radar technology for understanding bird ecology, and modeling species distributions and bird-habitat relationships at a variety of scales. Jeff is one of a handful of biologists in the United States actively using the national network of weather surveillance radars to study the distribution, movement, and habitat use patterns of migratory birds.

    Brian Harrington (Assistant Treasurer)
    Manomet Observatory for Conservation Sciences
    P.O. Box 1770
    Manomet, MA 02345
    Newark DE 19716
    (508) 224-6521

    Bio coming soon...

    Gary Ritchison (Journal of Field Ornithology - Editor)
    Dept. of Biological Sciences
    Eastern Kentucky University
    521 Lancaster Avenue
    Richmond, KY 40475
    (859) 622-1541

    Gary Ritchison is Professor of Biological Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University. Gary's research interests include avian mating strategies, specifically examining factors that influence mate choice (and choice of extra-pair partners) by female songbirds, avian vocal behavior, the ecology and behavior of grassland birds (including Henslow's and Grasshopper sparrows as well as Northern Harriers), raptor behavior and ecology, and, recently, the possible impacts of West Nile virus on Eastern Bluebirds.

    Councilors: Class of 2014

    John Cavitt
    Dept. of Zoology
    Weber State University
    2505 University Circle
    Ogden, UT 84408-2505
    (801) 626-6172

    John currently serves as Professor of Zoology and Director for the Office of Undergraduate Research at Weber State University. For the past eight years, John has been working exclusively on the ecology and behavior of shorebirds and waterbirds breeding at Great Salt Lake, Utah. This research includes the effects of selenium on breeding American Avocets, and the impacts of land management activities on breeding productivity of Snowy Plovers.

    Valentina Ferretti
    Villanova University
    Department of Biology
    Villanova, PA 19085

    Vale is a Mendel Science Experience Postdoctoral Fellow at Villanova University. Her research centers on understanding evolutionary diversification of life-history strategies in birds. At Villanova University, she is studying variation in behavioral and genetic traits associated with mate choice along the distributional range of two hybridizing species of chickadees in collaboration with Dr. Robert Curry.

    Alex Jahn

    Alex’s research focuses on migratory birds, especially the mechanisms underpinning their life history, physiological and ecological traits of birds across the New World, and how this variation can provide information on their evolutionary history and conservation needs.

    J. Daniel Lambert
    High Branch Wildlife Partners
    3 Linden Road
    Hartland, VT 05048

    Dan is a self-employed ornithologist and conservation project consultant. Between 2000 and 2008 he developed and directed Mountain Birdwatch, a long-term monitoring program for songbirds that breed in high-elevation forests of the northeastern U.S. He led the Northeast Coordinated Bird Monitoring Partnership for American Bird Conservancy from 2005 to 2008. Dan currently works on collaborative research and education initiatives that promote science-based conservation of wildlife populations in northern New England.

    Diane Neudorf
    Associate Professor of Biology & Director of the Texas Bird Sound Library
    Department of Biological Sciences, Box 2116
    Sam Houston State University
    Huntsville, TX 77341
    (936) 294-1548

    Diane Neudorf is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Sam Houston State University and Director of the Texas Bird Sound Library. Diane’s research interests include avian mating systems (particularly female extra-pair mating tactics), parental care, brood parasitism, vocal communication, and most recently conservation of birds in urban landscapes. She has worked with several forest-nesting songbirds including Hooded Warblers, Dark-eyed Juncos, Northern Cardinals and Carolina Wrens.

    Councilors: Class of 2015

    Ethan Clotfelter
    Amherst College
    Amherst , MA

    Ethan is an Associate Professor of Biology in the Department of … He has published on brood parasitism, parental care, behavioral endocrinology, life history evolution, and environmental toxicology. Most recently, his ornithological work has focused on incubation behavior in cavity-nesting tree swallows.

    Tom Gardali
    PRBO Conservation Science
    Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group
    3820 Cypress Drive #11
    Petaluma, CA 93710
    (415) 868-0655 ext. 381

    Tom’s work focuses on the long-term dynamics of bird populations in relation to natural and human caused changes in the environment. These include, for example, weather, climate, plant succession, and restoration. Tom has over 18 years of experience studying birds, their habitats, and the factors that limit their populations. In addition to contributing regularly to the scientific literature, Tom strives to make conservation research more widely available through conservation plans, newsletters periodicals, and via face to face interactions. He recently co-edited a monograph on California’s most at-risk birds – California Bird Species of Special Concern.

    Victoria McDonald
    Associate Professor
    Department of Biology
    University of Central Arkansas
    Conway, AR 72035
    (501) 450-5924

    Vicki is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Central Arkansas and a Smithsonian Research Associate. She continues field research in Arkansas and Virginia, the former focusing on wintering ecology of White-throated Sparrows, and the latter encompassing projects on Kentucky Warbler behavioral ecology, Purple Martin migration, grassland bird population dynamics, and vertebrate population censusing at an EPA Superfund Site in Front Royal, Virginia.

    Paul Rodewald
    School of Environment & Natural Resources
    Ohio State University
    Columbus OH 43210
    (614) 292-9795

    Paul is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University. His research has primarily emphasized the ecology of landbirds during migratory stopover periods, particularly habitat selection, movement behavior, diet, energetic status, and seasonal interactions. Paul is also interested in avian biogeography and the factors that influence distributional change (e.g., climate and land use change). He pursues these interests through his work on the second Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas. Paul has served as the Director of OBBA II since 2006.

    Scott Stoleson
    USDA Forest Service
    Northern Research Station
    Irvine, PA 16329
    (814) 563-1040

    Scott is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the US Forest Service Northern Research Station and also a Research Associate with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, NY. He conducts basic and applied research on avian ecology, with a focus on understanding the impacts of land management practices on the distribution, abundance, and demography of avian populations. Current and recent work includes Cerulean Warbler response to timber management, post-breeding habitat use by forest-interior birds, and assessing the effects of oil and gas development on avian community structure and nest success. Prior to his current position, Scott worked in the southwestern U.S. and Central and South America.

    © 2010 Association of Field Ornithologists. Banner photo of Golden-winged Warbler by Charles Eiseman.