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Andy J. Boyce, Ph.D.

Conservation Ecologist
B.A., University of Colorado; Ph.D., University of Montana

Andy Boyce is a conservation ecologist at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's (SCBI) Conservation Ecology Center. His work focuses on understanding how different grazers and grazing systems impact biodiversity in grassland ecosystems. This work, in partnership with the American Prairie Reserve, includes studying variation in species richness and functional diversity of grassland songbirds, mammals and vegetation in pastures grazed by Bison, cattle or without large grazers.

Boyce is interested in just about every aspect of how birds live, where they are found and how evolution shapes the way they reproduce and care for their young. Often, his work focuses on entire communities rather than on single species. Understanding how species that live together interact, and how the environment shapes which species are present and absent, are both critical to comprehending how nature works and vitally important for conservation.
Boyce’s fascination with birds and biology started in the tropical forests of Venezuela and Borneo, but these days he applies them to a system closer to home — the short-grass prairie and sagebrush steppe of Eastern Montana. Current research at the American Prairie Reserve is expanding to include a study of how variation in habitat selection and movement patterns of bison and cattle impact riparian (streamside) vegetation, the birds that breed and migrate through these areas, and the use of riparian corridors by native mammals.
Boyce lives and works in Phillips County, Montana, during the warm months and retreats to the University of Montana in Missoula for the winter. He is inevitably accompanied by his German shorthaired pointer, Otus.
Recent Publications: 

Martin, T.E., A.J. Boyce, K. Fierro-Calderon, A.E. Mitchell, C.E. Armstad, J. Mouton, and E.E.B.  Soudi. 2017. Nest predation versus thermal benefits of enclosed compared with open nests across latitudes. Functional Ecology, 31: 1231-1240.

Boyce, A.J. and T.E. Martin. 2017. Contrasting latitudinal patterns of life-history divergence in two genera of new world thrushes (Turdinae). Journal of Avian Biology, 48: 581-590.
Martin, T.E., J.C. Oteyza, A.J. Boyce, P. Lloyd & R. Ton. 2015. Adult mortality probability and nest predation rates explain parental effort in warming eggs with consequences for      embryonic development time. American Naturalist, 186: 223-236.

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