Plenary Speakers

Dr. Erica Nol

Dr. Erica Nol is a professor and Program Coordinator for Conservation Biology at Trent University. She has a long history of conducting exceptional research focused on the ecology and conservation of shorebirds and land birds. She has published over 150 papers, including over 90 papers on shorebirds, many in top-tier journals. Her research has greatly advanced our understanding of the full-cycle ecology and demography of sub-arctic and arctic-breeding shorebirds. She has also made important contributions to understanding the impacts of a warming climate on the habitats, life histories, and conservation of these species. Dr. Nol was the recipient of the Robert Cushman Murphy Prize from The Waterbird Society in 2021. The title of her plenary talk is "Secrets of a non-declining shorebird: lessons from a long-term study."


Dr. James Fraser

Dr. James Fisher has served as a professor for the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for 36 years. He has conducted extensive research on raptors and waterbirds, with a focus on the behavior, habitat, population ecology, and conservation of imperiled species, especially the endangered Piping Plover and Red Knot. He has published over 130 papers, many in top-tier journals, and he is the founder and an integral member of the Virginia Tech Shorebird Program, which aims to promote the conservation of coastal wildlife resources through transformational research. Dr. Fraser was awarded the Kai Curry-Lindahl Award for Excellence in Conservation by The Waterbird Society in 2020.

Dr. Larry McKinney

Dr. Larry McKinney is the Chair for Gulf Strategies at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the institution for which he also served 12 years as the Senior Executive Director. Earlier in his career, Dr. McKinney served as Senior Director for Aquatic Resources and Director for Coastal Fisheries at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, where, among other things, he adopted ecosystem-based approaches for coastal fisheries and wetland conservation and restoration, approaches that continue to benefit waterbird populations in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. McKinney established Texas OneGulf, a consortium of nine leading Texas marine research institutes and the first RESTORE Act Center of Excellence in the Gulf of Mexico. Most recently, Dr. McKinney and coauthors published in PNAS a Gulf-wide review of restoration projects following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The title of his plenary talk is "Gulf of Mexico waterbirds and their habitats: testing resilience without a net".

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