Mario Pesendorfer is a research associate at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center, which strives to understand and mitigate the drivers of declining bird populations. Pesendorfer’s work with SMBC focuses on the conservation and ecology of North America’s most range-restricted passerine, the island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis), which is endemic to Santa Cruz Island in California’s Channel Islands National Park. He is particularly interested in the role of the scrub-jay's symbiotic relationship with oaks, which appears to have accelerated the woody habitat recovery of the island following 150 years of habitat destruction.
Pesendorfer MB, Sillett TS, Koenig WD, Morrison SA. 2016. Scatter-hoarding corvids as seed dispersers for oaks and pines: a review of a widely distributed mutualism and its utility to habitat restoration. The Condor: Ornithological Applications 118: 215-237.
Pesendorfer MB, Sillett TS, Morrison SA, Kamil AC. 2016. Context-dependent seed dispersal by a scatter-hoarding corvid. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 798-805
Pesendorfer MB, Koenig WD. 2017. Competing for seed dispersal: evidence for the role of avian seed hoarders in mediating apparent predation among oaks. Functional Ecology 31: 622–63