Computational Ecology Page

Depts. Of  Biology and Physics, Canisius College,Buffalo, NY.

 

 

 

 

 

            The Computational Ecology Group at Canisius College is a joint research project of Dr. Sara R. Morris (Dept. of Biology) and Dr. H. David Sheets (Dept. of Physics).  The group focuses on Avian Migration Ecology, utilizing computer-based mathematical methods to study banding data obtained on migratory stopover sites.  We are currently working on the use of Capture-Mark-Recapture models to estimate stopover durations during migration, on approaches to the identification of community structures in banding data or other ecological settings.

 

Current Group Members

 

 

Peggy Buckley, 08, Biology/Psychology

Katie Chmielowiec, 08, Biology/Psychology

Maura Hanna, 08, Biology

Amanda Stockwell, 08, Biology

Ryanne Sullivan, 08, Biology

Bethany Stephan, 09, Environmental Science

Jason Jacobs, 09, Biology

Anna Marie Parise, 09, Biology

 

 

 

Past Members (Graduated!)

 

 

Erica M. Turner, ‘02, Biology

Amanda M Larracuente, ’03, Biology

David A Liebner, ’03, Mathematics/Biology

Kristen M Covino, 04, Biology

Joanna Panasiewicz 04, Biology

Jerry D Dudziak, 05, Bioinformatics

Kathryn E Mattern, 05, Biology

Melissa Mustillo, 05, Biology

Jenn Urbanski, 05 Biology

Emily Caruana, 06, Biology

Sarah Musilli, 06 Biology

Mike Hurban, 06 Biology

Liz Lewis, 06, Biology

Liam Knott, 07, Biology

 

 

close up 2

 

 

 

Owl Banding with the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, Fall 2003.  Rest assured, the owls show no adverse effects from banding.

 

 

 

Papers

 

Morris, S. R., A. M. Larracuente, K. M. Covino, M. S. Mustillo, K. E. Mattern, D. A. Liebner, and H. D. Sheets.  2006.  Utility of open population models: Limitations posed by parameter estimability in the study of migratory stopover.  Wilson Journal of Ornithology 118:513-526.

Sheets, H. D., K. M. Covino, J. M. Panasiewicz, and S. R. Morris.  2006.  Comparison of geometric morphometric outline methods in the discrimination of age-related differences in feather shape.  Frontiers in Zoology 3:15.

Morris, S. R., D. A. Liebner, A. M. Larracuente, E. M. Escamilla, and H. D. Sheets.  2005.  Multiple-day constancy as an alternative to pooling for estimating mark-recapture stopover length in Nearctic-Neotropical migrant landbirds.  Auk 122:319-328.

Morris, S. R., E. M. Turner, D. A. Liebner, A. M. Larracuente, and H. D. Sheets.  2005.  Problems associated with pooling mark-recapture data prior to estimating stopover length for migratory passerines.  Pages 673-679 in Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference 2002 (C.J. Ralph and T.D. Rich, eds.).  U.S.D.A. Forest Service, PSW-GTR- 191, Albany, CA.

 

 

Presentations

 

Buckley, P. E., A. R. Clark, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris. 2007 An analysis of avian migration based on Western New York television tower mortality and banding data.  Wilson Ornithological Society, Wakefield, MA.

Chmielowiec, K. A., D. Brinker, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris. . 2007  Age related differences of Northern Saw-whet Owls during fall migration in a coastal region. Wilson Ornithological Society, Wakefield, MA.

Hanna, M. F., R. Keith, B. Keith, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris. . 2007   A study of age- and sex-related morphological differences in Gray Catbirds.  Wilson Ornithological Society, Wakefield, MA.

Knott, L. T., B. K. Stephan, M. Hamilton, R. L. DeLeon, H. D. and S. R. Morris. . 2007   Avian species composition in disturbed riparian environments: a study of three waterways in Western New York. Wilson Ornithological Society, Wakefield, MA.

Stockwell, A. B., R. Keith, B. Keith, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris. . 2007   Does age have an effect on migration? A study of the stopover ecology of the Tennessee Warbler in Michigan.  Wilson Ornithological Society, Wakefield, MA.

Morris, S. R., S. Weidensaul, S. M. Musilli, M. S. Hurban, E. A. Caruana, and H.D. Sheets.  2006.  Impacts of audiolures on the capture of Northern Saw-whet Owls. North American Ornithological Conference, Veracruz, Mexico.

Caruana, E. A., S. M. Musilli, M. S. Hurban, S. Weidensaul, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris.  2005.  Age-related differences in the fall migration of Northern Saw-whet Owls.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Beltsville, MD.

Covino, K. M., J. M. Panasiewicz, S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2005.  Getting to the point: rectrix shape morphometrics in age discrimination of Ovenbirds.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Beltsville, MD.

Hurban, M. S., E. A. Caruana, S. M. Musilli, S. Weidensaul, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris.  2005.  Stopover rates and durations of migrant Northern Saw-whet Owls in southern Pennsylvania.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Beltsville, MD.

Mattern, K. E., R. W. Suomala, M. S. Mustillo, P. E. Buckley, S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2005  Location, location, location: comparison of stopover at two sites.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Beltsville, MD.

Musilli, S. M., M. S. Hurban, E. A. Caruana, S. Weidensaul, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris.  2005.  Sex-related differences in the migration of Northern Saw-whet Owls.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Beltsville, MD.

Mustillo, M. S., E. H. Lewis, K. E. Mattern, S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2005  Timing is everything: seasonal comparison of migratory stopover. Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Beltsville, MD.

Urbanski, J. M., J. D. Dudziak, S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2005.  Is shorter better?  Does truncation increase the utility of open population models in stopover estimation?  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Beltsville, MD.

Covino, K. M., J. M. Panasiewicz, S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2004.  In males shape matters: age and sex dimorphism in the feather shape of Red-eyed Vireos.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Ithaca, NY.

Hurban, M. S., E. A. Caruana, S. M. Musilli, H. D. Sheets, S. Weidensaul, and S. R. Morris.  2004.  Stopover ecology of Northern Saw-whet Owls in Pennsylvania.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Ithaca, NY.

Mustillo, M. S., K. E. Mattern, K. M. Covino, S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2004.  Estimability and the utility of open population models.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Ithaca, NY.

Urbanski, J. M., J. D. Dudziak, S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2004.  Can assemblages of migrating birds be detected using SHEBI analysis?  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Ithaca, NY.

Morris, S. R., K. M. Covino, K. E. Mattern, M. S. Mustillo, A. M. Larracuente, D. A. Liebner, and H. D. Sheets.  2003.  They’re staying how long?  Uncertainties about stopover duration of migrant songbirds.  American Ornithologists’ Union, Champaign, IL

Agugliaro, S. M., A. J. Donovan, and S. R. Morris.  2003.  Accuracy of sex determination of Hatch-Year Common Yellowthroats (Geothlypis trichas) in the fall.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Delaware, OH.

Dudziak, J., S. R. Morris, D. L. Liebner, and H. D. Sheets.  2003.  Approaches to studying avian community structure during migration.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Delaware, OH.

Larracuente, A. M., M. Mustillo, K. E. Mattern, K. M. Covino, D. A. Liebner, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris.  2003.  Reliable use of migration banding data: Effect of sample size and capture history on goodness-of-fit and model selection.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Delaware, OH.

Liebner, D. A., S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2003.  Estimating stopover duration: comparing minimum stopover to estimates derived from open population models.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Delaware, OH.

Morris, S. R., D. A. Liebner, E. M. Turner, A. M. Larracuente, and H. D. Sheets.  2002.  Multiple day constancy as an alternative to pooling in mark-recapture modeling to estimate stopover length.  North American Ornithological Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Larracuente, A. M., E. M. Turner D. A. Liebner, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris.  2002.  Effects of model choice and pooling on estimates of migratory stopover.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Ft. Myers, FL.

Liebner, D. A., A. M. Larracuente., E. M. Turner, S. R. Morris, and H. D. Sheets.  2002.  Analytic and numeric estimates of bias in population parameter estimates produced by pooling of capture-recapture data.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Ft. Myers, FL.

Turner, E. M., D. A. Liebner, A. M. Larracuente, H. D. Sheets, and S. R. Morris.  2002.  Comparison of three approaches to the quantification of migratory stopover.  Wilson Ornithological Society and Association of Field Ornithologists, Ft. Myers, FL.

Morris, S. R., H. D. Sheets, E. M. Turner, D. A. Liebner, and A. M. Larracuente.  2002.  Challenges of estimating length of stopover by migratory passerines.  Partners in Flight, Monterey, CA.

 

 

Talks and Presentations related to Interdisciplinary Research By the Group

 

Statistics and Migration H. David SheetsDept. of Biology, SUC Genneseo, October 15, 2004.

Genneseo, NY.  Seminar discussion of the groups work.

 

Crossing Discipline Boundaries-Bioinformatics,Computational Ecology and Mathematics. Paula

Dehn, Deborah Burhans, H.David Sheets and Janet Anderson. Panel/Workshop at Council of Undergraduate Research, Tenth National Meeting, University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse Wisconsin, June 23-26.

 

They’re staying how long? Methods of and complications in determining stopover estimates using banding data.  Sara. R. Morris and  H. David Sheets, Inland Bird Banding Association, Hickory Corners Michigan, October 2005

 

 

Computational Ecology Software Web Sites

 

These links may prove useful, have a look!

 

Software Bundles used by the computational ecology group:  these are intended for use by the group only, not for general distribution thanks (no support!).

 

Birdbund.exe

 

ComBund.exe

 

mglinstaller.exe

 

DiscrimatationTool (Requires mglinstaller6_5, running under Matlab6.5, rather than mglinstaller!)

 

mglinstaller6_5.exe

 

TPCPAC.EXE-(This is the cumulative capture tool Jerry Dudziak has written-it runs under MATLAB 6.5,      so     It needs mglinstaller6_5)

 

Date Conversion Tool for Band Manager-This is Jerry Dudziak’s conversion tool for converting dates           from Excel to  BandManager format.

 

Fitman Manuals- a work in progress, but here they are

 

BirdBundle3.0- Updates as of 7/24/07 which need the MCRinstaller routines (Matlab 7.4) which are not yet set up for download

 

PermSoundPac- Prototype of random call player for Windows.  This needs the driver files for Matlab 7.6 (download here and install prior to installing PermSoundPac in the \bin\win32 directory).