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.

Contact Pat


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.


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.


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.