Scientific Program Committee

The Science Program Committee solicits nominations and organizes the scientific program (plenaries, workshops, roundtables, symposia, and general sessions) and is responsible for scheduling and logistics of the program, locating session chairs, and creating the final program, author index, and abstract book for the NAOC2020.

Patricia Heglund (Pat) | Chair

Chief, Division of Natural Resources and Conservation Planning, USFWS (U.SA.)

Pat holds a BS from the University of Minnesota and an MS and PhD from the University of Missouri. She has held positions with the USGS’s Alaska and Upper Midwest Environment Sciences Centers, and the University of Idaho. She currently serves as the US Fish and Wildlife Service-Midwest Region’s Division of Natural Resources and Conservation Planning Chief for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Her research interests include wildlife-habitat relations, studies of the protected area system, decision analysis, and conflict transformation. She has over 50 publications and has edited a book on species distribution modeling. Pat is an AOS Fellow, a former Cooper and AOU Council member, a former Young Investigator for the national Academy of Science, and received the Edward T. LaRoe III Memorial Award from the Society for Conservation Biology in 2017.

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Colleen Barber

Professor, Saint Mary’s University (Canada)

President of the Society of Canadian Ornithologists/Société des Ornithologistes du Canada (SCO-SOC)

Colleen received her PhD from Queen’s University in Canada, back when multi-locus DNA fingerprinting was done with P-32. She is now a full professor in the Department of Biology at Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada), as well as the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. With her students, she undertakes research on mate choice and parental investment in passerines.

Luisa Diele-Viegas

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Maryland (U.S.A./Brazil)

Luisa Diele-Viegas is a biologist interested in the impacts of human activities on biodiversity and ecosystems. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, where she is evaluating the migration dynamics of the Asian Houbara Bustards. She earned a B.S. from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, a M.Sc. in Zoology in Federal University of Pará, and a Ph. D. in Ecology and Evolution in the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with an internship at Ohio University.  She is the co-founder of the Kunhã Asé Network of Women in Science, aiming at giving support to girls interested in science and women at early stages of their academic careers. Besides, she is also co-founder of the Climate Forum of Salvador City, Brazil, aiming at discussing the climate change impacts on the city, and founder of the Minha Amiiga Cientista, a science outreachorganization aiming at producing scientific material for the general public. Finally, she integrates the Brazilian Science is of quality group of science outreach and the Marine Frontiers without borders organization.

Christina Harvey

PhD candidate, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan (U.S.A.)

Christina has a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University and a M.Sc in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan where she studies how, when and why gliding birds morph the shapes of their wings. 

Nick Mason

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Berkeley (U.S.A.)

Nick is an organismal biologist whose research focuses on natural history museums and the various ways they can be used to learn more about birds. He has a MSc from San Diego State, a PhD from Cornell University, and is currently a postdoc at UC Berkeley. He will be joining Louisiana State University as an Assistant Professor and Curator of Birds in Fall 2020, where his research includes systematics, comparative evolutionary biology, and anthropogenic impacts on bird populations. Nick has become increasingly involved in the American Ornithological Society since attending his first ornithological conference in 2010 and served as the chair of the AOS Student Affairs Committee for multiple years.

Tim O’Connell

Associate Professor, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University (U.S.A.)

Tim’s lab applies principles of landscape ecology to advance conservation of native wildlife. They strive to learn how birds persist across human-dominated landscapes where they face habitat loss and fragmentation, degradation from unsuitable management, mortality from collisions with human structures, and an increasing frequency of weather extremes. He received his BS from Cornell University, his MA from the College of William and Mary, and his PhD from Penn State. He/His/Him.

Matt Reudink

Associate Professor, Thompson Rivers University (Canada)

Matt studies sexual selection, evolution, and behaviour in birds, with an emphasis on the annual cycle of migratory birds. His PhD work focused primarily on understanding the consequences of winter carry-over effects on sexual selection and the evolution of ornamental plumage coloration. At Thompson Rivers University, Matt and his students study the migration ecology and evolution of Bullock’s Orioles and Mountain Bluebirds, movement and behavior in Mountain Chickadees and other winter residents, as well as the conservation biology of Vaux’s Swifts and species of conservation concern. Matt teaches Evolution, Conservation Biology, Terrestrial Vertebrate Zoology, Animal Behavior, and Communicating Biology, with an emphasis on field experiences for undergraduates.

Juliana Rodriguez Fuentes


Juliana is a biologist and microbiologist with broad interests that overlap between the fields of evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology. She did both of her degrees at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, where she worked for her biology thesis studying the vocal behavior of a neotropical songbird. Juliana plans to pursue a MSc in evolutionary biology beginning fall 2020. 

Irene Ruvalcaba Ortega

Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) (Mexico)

Irene received her doctorate degree in Science with an emphasis in Wildlife Management and Sustainable Development from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) and has been a professor and researcher at this institution in the Faculty of Biological Sciences since 2008. She has been working in avian ecology and conservation in northern Mexico, especially with grassland birds, and is part of the Chihuahuan Desert Science Team of the Rio Grande Joint Venture (RGJV) and the Landscape Conservation Cooperative Network. Since 2018 ,she has been the Treasurer of CIPAMEX (Sociedad para el Estudio y Conservación de las Aves en México A.C.).

Adrianne Tossas

Adjunct Professor, University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla (U.S.A.)

Adrianne is a founding member of the Puerto Rican Ornithological Society (SOPI), an elected member of BirdsCaribbean Board of Directors, and member of American Ornithological Society (AOS). At the University of Puerto Rico, she leads undergraduate students conducting their first research projects, as part of the Avian Ecology and Conservation Project. Her main interest is in the long-term monitoring of bird populations, particularly insular endemics. Other projects include assessing seabirds and wetland species. To introduce youth on the island’s avian diversity, she published the book Birds of Puerto Rico for children, with profits donated to conservation. Adrianne obtained her PhD in ecology from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, under the supervision of Dr. Joseph M. Wunderle, Jr. Her dissertation was on the breeding biology, distribution in the landscape, and metapopulation structure of the endemic Puerto Rican Vireo.

Mike Webster

Professor, Cornell University (U.S.A.)

Mike is the Robert G. Engel Professor of Ornithology at Cornell University and Director of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. His research focuses on the evolutionary causes and consequences of communication signals, such as plumage color and song, in Australian fairywrens and North American wood warblers. Mike also active in the American Ornithological Society (AOS) and is currently chair of the AOS Meetings Coordination Committee.