Marketing & Communications Committee

The Marketing and Communications Committee is responsible for the marketing and promotion of NAOC2020 to the global ornithological community via the collective reach of NAOC partner societies’ social media channels, member newsletters, websites, etc.

Matthew Shumar | Chair

Program Coordinator: Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, The Ohio State University (U.S.A.)

The Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative (OBCI) is a collaboration of non-profit groups, businesses, state and federal government agencies advancing avian conservation in Ohio and the region. Prior to working with OBCI, Matthew was the Project Coordinator and co-editor for The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Ohio. Matthew’s research interests include landscape ecology, particularly anthropogenic effects on Neotropical migrants. He is also interested in engaging the public into citizen science efforts and exploring new opportunities for collaborative efforts between academia, agency professionals, and amateur ecologists. Matthew is on the council of the Association of Field Ornithologists (AFO), where he serves as webmaster and co-chair of the Communications Committee.

Rebecka Brasso

Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology, Weber State University (U.S.A.)

Rebecka’s research primarily involves using songbirds as biomonitors of heavy metal contamination across terrestrial, aquatic, and marine food webs. She is particularly interested in the variation in local environmental conditions and food web interactions that drive the risk of exposure to harmful concentrations of metals. Her master’s research used Tree Swallows as biomonitors of mercury (Hg) availability along the contaminated South River, VA, while her PhD research used Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors of Hg in the Antarctic marine food web. During her time as an assistant professor at Southeast Missouri State University she completed a multi-year project investigating the effects of legacy lead (Pb) contamination on breeding songbirds in the Southeast Missouri Mining District. Now in Ogden, Utah, Dr. Brasso continues to use songbirds, and more recently spiders, to track local and regional-scale variation in Hg exposure in wetland ecosystems.

Taylor Brown

PhD student, Trent University (Canada)

Taylor is interested in everything to do with birds and studied owl migration during her BSc at Acadia University (Canada) and shorebird nesting and nest predator ecology for her MSc at York University (Canada). Her involvement with the Society of Canadian Ornithologists/Société des ornithologistes du Canada (SCO-SOC) and in promoting NAOC 2020 center around a desire to improve her own science communication skills and to get more involved in the scientific and academic ornithological communities. When she is not doing something bird-related, you will find her gardening, reading, or out for a walk.

María Andreína Pacheco D

Assistant Professor (Researcher), Temple University.

Maria Andreína got her Lic. in Biology and her Ph.D. in Venezuela, working on avian ecophysiology. She studied the growth requirements of the Green-rumped Parrotlet and the annual cycle of Columbina species in the seasonal savannas of Venezuela. She joined Arizona State University from 2005 to 2015 as a research associate. Then she took a position as associate professor of research at the Institute of Genomic and Evolutionary Medicine at Temple University. She specialized in evolutionary biology with an emphasis on molecular evolution, phylogenetic, and molecular clock methods applied to study the host-parasite relationship. Her current research involves the radiation and biodiversity of avian malarias and related parasites, focusing now on those that infect raptors on the East coast of the United States. She is also collaborating in a project seeking to catalog the diversity of names given to the Venezuelan birds, including indigenous, common, and scientific names. María Andreína is the president-elect of The Neotropical Ornithological Society (NOS).

Jordan Rutter

Director of Public Relations, American Bird Conservancy (U.S.A.)

Jordan is a life-long birder with a passion for connecting others to the natural world through birds. She serves on the Wilson Ornithological Society  (WOS) Council. With an MSc in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and over ten years of experience in the ornithology field, she has a strong science background that helps her better understand current bird research. Having managed the digital communications for other bird organizations (American Ornithological Society, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Effort) and international events (NAOC 2016, Earth Optimism 2018) has aided in her science communication and outreach to non-technical audiences.  Connect with Jordan personally on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @JERutter

Christine Schmidt

Communications Specialist, American Ornithological Society (U.S.A)

Christine joined AOS in June of 2020. For more than 25 years, she’s worked as a communicator and marketer, developing communications plans for various organizations, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and both private and publicly traded corporations. She has co-developed and deployed NASA-mission-based STEAM curriculum in K–12 and institutional environments across the U.S., while mentoring a new generation of female science educators. When she’s not avidly enjoying the Colorado outdoors, sustainably gardening, or practicing yoga in her free time, she’s likely working on illustrations for her children’s books about birds.