Rodney Siegel Photo Rodney B. Siegel, Ph.D., Executive Director
Rodney joined IBP in 1998 as a research scientist, after completing his B.A. at Yale University and then his Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. He now splits his time between working as a research scientist for IBP’s Sierra Nevada Bird Observatory and serving as IBP’s Executive Director. Rodney’s research interests include the effects of fire and fire management on Black-backed Woodpecker and other forest birds, the conservation of meadow birds in the Sierra Nevada, the ecology and conservation of owls, and the effects of climate change on forest birds. He is particularly interested in research questions that have practical applications for land management and species conservation. Rodney has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and serves on the Executive Steering Committee of California Partners in Flight. Phone (415) 663-2051. Rodney's CV
David DeSante Photo David DeSante, Ph.D., Comptroller and President
Dave founded IBP in 1989 and was its Executive Director until 2008. He also created the MAPS and MoSI Programs, and Bird Populations, our journal of avian demography and biogeography. Dave earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford, and has held Assistant Professorships at Stanford and Reed College.  Dave's research interests include population dynamics and the winter ecology of landbirds, bio-monitoring, biogeography, and bird migration and navigation. Dave has authored or co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed papers, monographs, and books, and over 160 technical reports. He has won numerous national conservation awards, including the Partners In Flight Investigator's Award (for IBP); Conservationist of the Year by the Western Chapter of the Wildlife Society; and the Chandler Robbins Conservation and Education Award from the American Birding Association. Phone (415) 663-2052. David's CV
Farshid Ahrestani Photo Farshid Ahrestani, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher
Farshid is a quantitative terrestrial ecologist who is motivated by the challenges and opportunities created by global change with research interests focused on: (1) the distribution, structure, and dynamics of populations and communities; (2) the ecology and life-history of historically under-studied species facing extinction; and (3) how species and ecosystems respond to global change. His research interests originally emerged from his concern and interests in wildlife and natural ecosystem conservation, which was the reason why he transitioned from engineering to the ecological sciences. He expects his research to advance frontiers in ecological and global change research, benefit conservation and management of wild lands and species, and help ensure that needed ecosystem services are delivered to the world's human population. Phone (908) 313-6180.
Steven Albert Photo Steven Albert, M.S., Assistant Director for MAPS and MoSI
Steve is the Assistant Director for the MAPS and MoSI Programs. Prior to joining IBP, he was the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Department for the Zuni Indian Tribe in New Mexico, and a senior ecologist with an employee-owned natural resources consulting company. He has for many years been involved with the study and conservation of birds in the U.S. and Latin America. Steve formerly held the positions of adjunct faculty at Prescott College; President of the New Mexico Chapter of The Wildlife Society; and Advisory Board member for the New Mexico Chapter of The Trust for Public Land.  He is currently a manuscript reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals. Phone (415) 663-2050. Steve's CV
Lauren Helton Photo Lauren Helton, Staff Biologist
Lauren graduated from Whitman College in 2008 with a BA in Biology, and is currently finishing up her M.S. degree from Arkansas State University, where she studied the use of aquaculture ponds and restored wetlands by Interior Least Terns and a variety of shorebirds. She began banding with IBP's MAPS Program in 2009 as an intern in Oregon and then in 2010 on Saipan before becoming a MAPS crew leader for IBP in Oregon in 2011. She joined the IBP team at Point Reyes Station in the fall of 2014, where she works to recruit, train, and supervise MAPS crews, receive and verify banding data, and teach bird banding courses. Phone (415) 663-1436. Lauren's CV
Mandy Holmgren Photo Mandy Holmgren, Staff Biologist
Mandy received a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. She began working for IBP as an intern, conducting bird surveys at Mt. Rainier National Park, and has been leading IBP crews conducting point counts in Pacific Northwest national parks since 2006. She has worked as a crew member for IBP and other conservation groups before becoming a full time biologist with IBP in 2010. During the field season, Mandy trains interns in bird ID and survey, supervises crews, and leads field work. During the rest of the year, she recruits field crews, manages data, and writes reports related to the Washington Parks Monitoring Program. She lives and works at Olympic National Park in Washington State. Phone (360) 461-2294.
Dani Kaschube Photo Danielle Kaschube, MAPS Coordinator
Dani has a BS in Zoology from the University of Calgary, where she studied longspurs, shrikes, bats, and arthropods. She joined the MAPS Program as a summer intern in Kansas in 1995 and then moved to an office position in the fall of the same year. Since starting at IBP she has worked for the Institute in a number of capacities, including being a data verifier, supervising field biologist, data analyst and bander trainer. Her current roles include data analyst, MAPS Coordinator, and Bander Training Coordinator. She works part time for IBP from her home office in Los Angeles, California. Phone (609) 892-0445.
Helen Loffland Photo Helen Loffland, M.S., Meadow Bird Specialist
Helen (Bombay) has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of California Davis, and a M.S. in Biology from California State University Sacramento. She has spent the last 20 years studying Willow Flycatchers and other birds in meadows of the Sierra Nevada. She also has experience with a variety of raptors, carnivores, insects, plants, and fish. The complex disturbance regimes and associated ecological relationships in meadows of the Sierra Nevada are particular research interests for Helen, and for the last 5 years she has worked to develop and implement a multi-species bird monitoring protocol for meadow restoration projects. She is currently expanding her research focus into pollinator use of ephemeral riparian and upland habitats found in post-fire landscapes. Phone (209) 295-3573. Helen's CV
Julie Polasik Photo Julie Polasik, M.S., Staff Biologist
Julie graduated from Paul Smith's College with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. She then worked as a technician on various wildlife conservation projects in New York, Michigan, South Dakota, California, Alaska, Colorado, and Wyoming. In 2012 Julie went back to school at the University of Wyoming to pursue a MS degree in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management, which she finished in 2014. Julie joined IBP in 2015 and currently assists with a wide variety of tasks including data analysis, database management, GIS mapping, scientific writing, logistical planning, as well as training and supervising crews for field work through IBP’s Sierra Nevada Bird Observatory. She enjoys working on a wide variety of Sierra Nevada projects including monitoring riparian songbirds, bumble bees, and raptors. Phone (415) 663-1436. Julie's CV
Peter Pyle Photo Peter Pyle, Staff Biologist
Peter attended Swarthmore College while also working on South Pacific Forest Bird Surveys, and was a biologist on the Farallon Islands for 15 years.  Peter has been affiliated with IBP since 1996, where he conducts research on molt, writes, and holds banding workshops. Peter is a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences and the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers, four books, and a monograph on the birds of Hawaii. He is perhaps best known for his two part Identification Guide to North American Birds, which includes detailed criteria for ageing and sexing all North American birds. In 2011 he had the good fortune of describing a new bird species, Bryan's Shearwater, and naming it after his grandfather. Peter's CV
Chris Ray Photo Chris Ray, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher
Chris joined us in 2015 as a Postdoctoral Researcher focused on hierarchical modeling of point count data on landbirds in western national parks. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of California-Davis and then worked as a Research Associate with the University of Colorado-Boulder for 12 years. She has studied population biology in a variety of plant and animal systems with a number of research teams, and has a special interest in the population dynamics of species responding to habitat fragmentation and climate change. Chris works remotely from her home high in the Rocky Mountains. Phone (303) 489-8863. Chris' CV
James Saracco Photo James F. Saracco, Ph.D., Research Ecologist
Jim joined the IBP staff in 2003 after completing his Ph.D. at North Carolina State University. He has served as program director for tropical and winter monitoring programs (MoSI, MAWS, TMAPS) and has been lead data analyst for a variety of IBP projects. Current research topics include development and application of models for count and capture-recapture data, integrated population models, and the ecology and dynamics of migratory songbirds during the non-breeding season. Jim works for IBP remotely from his home in southeast Alaska. Phone (415) 663-2054. Jim's CV
Ron Taylor Photo Ron Taylor, Staff Biologist
Ron graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Management, then worked with the US Fish & Wildlife Service identifying duck wings, and as a botanist and fisheries crew leader for the US Forest Service. He has also monitored desert tortoises for an environmental consulting firm and studied Black-capped Vireos for The Nature Conservancy. Ron started with IBP in 2004 as a MAPS intern at the Flathead Indian Reservation, then worked as a supervisory biologist for the MAWS and MAPS Programs. In 2005 he became a Staff Biologist. Ron serves as IBP's primary verifier of MAPS data; recruiting, training, and supervising IBP's MAPS field crews; and teaching bird banding courses. Phone (415) 663-1436.
Bob Wilkerson Photo Bob Wilkerson, Staff Biologist
Bob has a BS in Ecology and Systematic Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Bob started at IBP in 1998 doing point counts on Yosemite National Park's Avian Inventory.  As a biologist for IBP's Sierra Nevada Bird Observatory and Avian Inventory projects, Bob spends summers conducting field work and training and supervising crews throughout the Sierra Nevada and Pacific Northwest National Parks. Bob's main projects include the landbird monitoring projects in North Cascades, Olympic, Mount Rainier, Sequoia/Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks and the Black-backed Woodpecker monitoring and telemetry work in Sierra Nevada National Forests. Bob's other responsibilities include project design, planning, and field crew recruitment.  He specializes in database management and GIS, and website design and management. Phone (415) 233-0684. Bob's CV
Joanna Wu Photo Joanna Wu, M.S., Staff Biologist
Joanna earned her M.S. in 2012 in Tropical Conservation Biology from the University of Hawaii, Hilo. She has been working in the Sierra Nevada with her alma mater, UC Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology since 2007. She first worked for the IBP surveying for Black-backed Woodpeckers in 2010, and rejoined IBP as a staff member in 2013. Joanna works on data analysis, database management, GIS mapping, crew training, and writing tasks related to the Great Gray Owls, Spotted Owls, and other projects conducted by IBP's Sierra Nevada Bird Observatory. She enjoys fieldwork in the beautiful Sierras and working in programs such as ArcMap and R. Phone (415) 663-1436. Joanna's CV
Luke George Photo Luke George, Ph.D., Research Associate
Luke is an Emeritus Professor at Humboldt State University and a Senior Research Associate at Colorado State University. He specializes in the design, implementation, and analysis of demographic, population monitoring, and habitat selection studies of terrestrial vertebrates. He currently is working with IBP to examine the effects of West Nile virus on survival of landbirds. Other projects include developing a Rapid Ecological Assessment of the Wyoming Basin, estimating the abundance of golden eagles in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan area, examining factors influencing the survival of broad-tailed hummingbirds in Rocky Mountain National Park, and estimating the abundance of corvids in old-growth redwood forests in northern California.
Ruth Lopez Photo Ruth Lopez, M.A., Bookkeeper
Ruth is a long-time Point Reyes Station resident and an independent contractor who handles all of IBP’s bookkeeping. Ruth has a M.A. in education and enjoys teaching children aikido at the Dance Palace community center. Phone (415) 663-1436.
Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez Photo Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez, Ph.D., Research Associate
Viviana joined IBP as a research associate in 2013. She earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University, and spent several years as a post-doctoral researcher at Colorado State University. Viviana is supporting projects related to bird research and conservation in Latin America, including applying novel statistical models to look at overwintering dynamics of Neotropical migrants.  She is currently a Senior Scientist with the International Program at Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, and is active in capacity building efforts of the Neotropical Conservation Initiative Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where she is a Lab Associate.  A native of Costa Rica, Viviana stays active in bird research, monitoring and conservation programs through work with the Costa Rican Ornithologists’ Union. Phone (970) 449-4541.
Morgan Tingley Photo Morgan Tingley, Ph.D., Research Associate
Morgan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. Morgan began working with IBP as a Postdoctoral Researcher from 2011-2012 after completing his Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, and continues to collaborate independently with IBP as a research associate. With IBP, Morgan primarily studies the ecology of bird communities in burned forests of the Sierra Nevada, with a focus on Black-backed Woodpecker occurrence, distribution and ecology. To find out more, visit his personal website Morgan's CV