Spencer C. Schubert
I have been passionate about the outdoors and wildlife from a very young age. After graduating from Saint Olaf College in 2013, I volunteered and worked at a number of field stations getting research experience that has played a large role in steering my current research. Some of these include parrot conservation in Bolivia, western scrub jay dispersal of oaks in California, forestry and understory seedling dynamics in Puerto Rico, and monitoring western yellow-billed cuckoo populations in Arizona. Having previously spent time on a project in the Dominican Republic with my old friend Josh LaPergola of Cornell University, I made numerous connections with private land owners and conservation institutions that has enabled me to establish my research project in this region.


Joaris Samuel Gonzalez
Joaris, a Dominican native, earned a degree from Universidad ISA in Santiago, Dominican Republic  in Ecology and Environmental management. Joaris has now worked as a technician and field crew leader for the project for more than a year. Joaris hopes to one day obtain a doctorate in ecological sciences and conduct his own research and ecosystem conservation work in the in the region some day.

Tyler Glaser
Tyler studied Marine Biology and Limnology at San Francisco State University. After graduating, Tyler pursued several internship positions in avian field research including work in Bolivia, Colombia, and China. Most recently Tyler worked as an intern at Point Blue Conservation Science monitoring breeding birds in his home state of California.

Former Field Crew Members

Kimberly Shoback

Kim joined our project during the summer of 2017, having previously studied environmental science at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her previous research and work experience focused primarily on soil nutrient cycling and environmental contaminants, with some additional experience in bat and avian surveys on wind farms. Kim is looking to expand her education and research experience in field ecology in preparation for a graduate research program. She currently works at as an intern conducting research in the Luquillo Forest Dynamics Plot in El Yunque Forest, Puerto Rico with El Verde Field Station and the Univeristy of Puerto Rico.

Alex Lascher-Posner
Alex joined us from his home state of California in January 2017 from his home state of California for a three month stay on the project as a volunteer.  Originally interested in coral reef ecology during his time as an undergraduate at UC San Diego, Alex found himself doing a “180” after an trip abroad to Costa Rica where he conducted a small research project through his host program on the regenerative patterns of bird and bat dispersed seeds on regrowth plots on abandoned farms. Alex is interested in continuing on to a graduate program in the near future, with hummingbird-plant pollination ecology as his prevailing interest.

Paris Werner
A native of Seattle (WA), Paris joined the project as a volunteer in January 2017. During his undergraduate studies at UW Seattle, Paris got his start to field research with recurring intern and technician roles with the Predator Ecology Lab. Following work here in the DR, Paris plans to pursue other positions in wildlife research in preparation for graduate school.

Iram Nsogo Mba
Iram is originally from the small West African national of Equatorial Guinea. He was educated at Universidad ISA in Santiago, Dominican Republic, majoring in Ecology and Environmental Management. Iram worked as a technician at the field site in 2016. He has since returned to his home nation, where he is looking to continue his career in environmental sciences.

Collaborators and Affiliates

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, grass, child, plant, tree, outdoor and nature
Joshua B. LaPergola
Josh, doctoral candidate with Cornell University, has been a pioneer in behavioral ecology research with his ongoing study of the bizarre social and reproductive behaviors of Hispaniolan Woodpeckers in the Dominican Republic. Josh got his Master’s from Villanova University studying Black Catbirds in the Yucatan of Mexico. Together, we have carved out a study area through good relations with local land-owners in the Jarabacoa area for our respective studies. Check out his website for more details.

Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and nature
Holly M. Garrod
Holly graduated with her Bachelor’s in Wildlife Science from Humboldt State University in 2013, and has extensive experience in all things field ornithology. As partners, Holly and I support each other in every aspect of our work. And she has played a devoted role in the early establishment of my project. I, for one, am thrilled by the prospect of our joint pursuit of research in the Dominican Republic. Holly conducted a pilot study of Broad-billed and Narrow-billed Todies at our site in 2016, and she will take this work to her new Master’s program at Villanova University to develop her thesis on what will likely target interspecific interactions between the two Hispaniolan todies. Do they hybridize, compete, or just steer clear of one another? Look to her for the answers in two year’s time.

Dr. Eric L. Walters
Eric is my academic and research advisor, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Old Dominon University. Eric was born and raised in Canada, where he obtained both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Victoria. He completed his PhD at Florida State University with research on the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker for his dissertation as well as post-doctoral positions at Dartmouth College and Cornell University before arriving at Old Dominion. Eric is something of a generalist in the realm of ecology research. His current research includes the long-term study of the Acorn Woodpecker in California and monitoring migratory bird stop-over ecology on the east coast.  Visit Eric’s websiteor our lab’s collective Facebook page to learn more.