Allison Huysman is a research technician at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center. She currently works on the Migratory Connectivity Project and the Atlas of Migratory Connectivity for the Birds of North America. These projects aim to advance the understanding of migratory connectivity by tracking unknown migrations and synthesizing all available tracking data for the Atlas of Migratory Connectivity. Huysman helps in all aspects of these projects, including field work, analyzing data and compiling information for the Atlas.
Prior to her current role, Huysman was an intern for the Migratory Bird Center. She began her internship in the Washington, D.C. area, where she assisted with education programs, including Bridging the Americas and Neighborhood Nestwatch. She also supported gray catbird research, deploying geolocators and monitoring nests. Huysman led the education program at Mad Island Marsh Preserve as part of the Texas Coastal Banding Project before leaving to pursue a master’s degree.
Huysman received her master’s degree from Humboldt State University in 2019, where she studied barn owl response to wildfires in Napa, California, vineyards. This research was part of a larger project to determine if placing nest boxes in vineyards to attract barn owls could be an effective means of rodent pest control. Huysman studied barn owl behavior by monitoring nest boxes throughout Napa Valley and by deploying GPS tags to determine what land-cover types the barn owls use to hunt.
Originally from New York, Huysman earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 2015. In addition to studying birds, she loves to spend time outside hiking and climbing.