This spring, Professor of Biology Mark Deutschlander became the 58th president of the Wilson Ornithological Society (WOS), the second oldest and second largest scientific ornithological society in North America.
Previously, Deutschlander served two years as the organization’s second vice president and two subsequent years as first vice president. His two-year term as president will be followed by an additional two years of service as immediate past-president.
The official announcement was made in March at the WOS’s annual meeting at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, where Deutschlander also presented research, conducted with his master’s student from SUNY Brockport, Jennalee Holzschuh, exploring how the energetic condition of individuals directly affects orientation in white-throated sparrows during migration.
During the 2017 WOS meeting, Madison Sutton ’17 delivered a poster presentation, “Is mass gain in migratory passerines influenced by season, arrival time, or sex?: Models using hourly, daily regressions on mass,” which she completed under the guidance of Deutschlander and Assistant Professor of Biology Bradley Cosentino. The research presented by Sutton is part of her Honors thesis, which she will complete and defend this spring.
Deutschlander and Sutton received the Jed Burtt Mentoring Grant from WOS to support their research and travel to the 2017 conference. Named in honor of the late Edward “Jed” H. Burtt Jr., a past-president of WOS and internationally respected ornithologist who died in April 2016, the grant supports research projects that demonstrate the greatest capacity of mentoring and collaboration with undergraduate students.
Deutschlander’s research interest in birds and migration began while he was an undergraduate student with Professor of Biology Robert Beason at SUNY-Geneseo, where together they studied the magnetic sense of bobolinks. He also has studied magnetic navigation in Australian silvereyes, as a visiting scholar at the University of Technology in Sydney, and in Eastern red-spotted newts and Siberian hamsters.
Deutschlander received his Ph.D. in zoology from Indiana University, where he specialized in animal behavior and minored in neuroscience. His research over the past 20 years has focused on sensory aspects of migration and navigation, particular the use of visual cues and the earth’s magnetic field in animal orientation. His most recent research as expanded into the area of energetics of migration, and he will be employing new radio-tracking technology to study migratory birds at his main field site, the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, on the south shore of Lake Ontario near Greece, N.Y.