Brad Woodworth

Blackpoll warbler

Brad holding a blackpoll warbler

PhD Candidate (2013-present)

Key to effective wildlife conservation and management is knowledge of the demographic and environmental determinants of population growth. For migratory animals, events and conditions during the breeding season, en route during migration, and winter may all act to regulate population growth. Little, however, is known of the role of the non-breeding season for most migratory species. For my PhD, I will combine year-round movement data with a long-term demographic study of an island-breeding population of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) in the outer Bay of Fundy to evaluate 1) the relative contributions of survival, fecundity, immigration, and emigration to population growth; and 2) how these vital rates are influenced by variation in environmental conditions at all stages of the annual cycle.

Publications

Woodworth, BK, Wheelwright, NT, Newman, AEM, & Norris, DR. 2017. Local density regulates songbird reproductive success through effects on double-brooding and nest predation. In press: Ecology

Taylor, PD, Crewe, TL, Mackenzie, SA, Lepage, D, Crysler, Z, Guglielmo, CG, Hamilton, DJ, Holberton, RL, Loring, PH, Norris, DR, Paquet, J, Ronconi, RA, Smetzer, J, Welch, L & Woodworth, BK. 2017. The Motus Wildlife Tracking System: A collaborative research network to enhance the understanding of wildlife movement. Avian Conservation & Ecology 12(1):8.

Woodworth, BK, Wheelwright, NT, Newman, AEM, Schaub, M & Norris, DR. 2017. Winter temperatures limit population growth rate of a migratory songbird. Nature Communications 8: 14812.

Woodworth, BK, Newman, AEM, Turbek, SP, Dossman, BC, Hobson, KA, Wassenaar, LI, Mitchell, GW, Wheelwright, NT & Norris, DR. 2016. Differential migration and the link between winter latitude, timing of migration and breeding in a songbird. Oecologia 181: 413-422.

Mitchell, GW, Woodworth, BK, Taylor, PD & Norris, DR. 2015. Age-specific differences in flight duration and groundspeed are driven by wind conditions aloft: an automated telemetry study. Movement Ecology 3:19.

DeLuca, WV, Woodworth, BK, Rimmer, C, Taylor, PD, Marra, PP, McFarland, K, Bearhop, S, Mackenzie, SA & Norris, DR. 2015. Transoceanic migration by a 12g songbird. Biology Letters 11: 20141045.

Woodworth, B.K., Mitchell, G.W., Norris, D.R., Francis, C.M., and Taylor, P.D. 2015. Patterns and correlates of songbird movements at an ecological barrier during autumn migration assessed using landscape- and regional-scale automated radio-telemetry. Ibis 157: 326-339.

Woodworth, BK, Francis, CM & Taylor, PD. 2014. Inland flights of young Red-eyed Vireos (Vireo olivaceus) in relation to survival and habitat in a coastal stopover landscape. Journal of Avian Biology 45: 387-395.

For his MSc, Brad tracked songbirds at stopover sites and during migration using a series of automated VHF radio telemetry towers. Birds were affixed with a small (<1g) transmitter and the towers picked up these signals as birds passed through the area. Combined with information on the condition of birds at capture and prevailing weather conditions, this allowed Brad to examine movement patterns and understand the factors that influenced when birds decided to stopover and refuel.

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