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Christopher Tonra

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Christopher Tonra

Associate Professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources



367D Kottman Hall
2021 Coffey Rd
Columbus, OH

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  • Ph,D., Biology, University of Maine, 2011
  • M.S., Wildlife Biology, Humbolt State University, 2006
  • B.A., Anthropology, State University of New York, Albany, 1999

I am a conservation biologist who integrates the fields of behavior, physiology, and ecology. My primary research interests lie in examining the underlying mechanisms for how individuals interact with their environments, with a particular focus on avian systems. Revealing such mechanisms is critical to effective management and conservation. I employ a wide range of techniques when addressing these types of questions, including: observational field studies, wild and captive experiments, hormone analysis, and stable isotope ecology. My goals are to: 1) provide detailed information on ecological and physiological mechanisms that can reveal processes shaping behavior, life history, and demographics throughout an organism’s life-cycle and, 2) determine how anthropogenic disturbances influence these processes. From hourly to annual time scales, individuals are faced with innumerable decisions that ultimately shape their fitness. These include: habitat selection, foraging strategy, predator avoidance, phenology, and conspecific interaction. These decisions have wide ranging effects on survival and reproductive success. Thus, the processes that determine how, when, and where individuals complete life-cycle events shape their capacity, and ultimately the capacity of the population, to respond to environmental change. I study how the physiology and behavior of individuals is shaped by their environment throughout their full life-cycles. My previous and ongoing research in this area spans local and international scales and involves collaborations with numerous organizations.

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