Speaker: Erin Heller. Cost: Free.
Erin Heller is a third year PhD student in Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech. Her dissertation research focuses on a threatened migratory shorebird species called the red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) that stops-over along Virginia's barrier islands.
Red knots were listed as federally-threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2015 after experiencing an 80% population decline. Because red knots are long distance migrants, travelling upwards of 15,000 km twice/year from wintering to breeding grounds and back, numerous factors across continents may have contributed to this decline. Erin will discuss her research on what factors may limit red knots during their spring stopover along Virginia's barrier islands and why these limitations are important to the red knot's success.