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Nathan W. Cooper, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow
B.S., Michigan State University; M.S., Portland State University; Ph.D., Tulane University

Nathan Cooper is interested in the behavioral ecology and conservation of migratory birds. He studies how migratory birds interact with each other and their environments throughout the annual cycle. While often addressing basic science questions, all of his projects have the goal of informing effective conservation.

For his postdoctoral research, Cooper is focused on the ecology and conservation of the Kirtland’s Warbler. In collaboration with Pete Marra, he is seeking to address three broad questions. First, can cowbird control in Michigan be reduced while still ensuring long-term sustainability of the Kirtland’s Warbler populations? Second, can citizen science be used to pinpoint the location of stopover sites used by Kirtland’s Warblers during migration? Third, how do conditions on the wintering grounds influence spring migration survival and reproductive success?
Cooper earned a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife in 2003, a M.S. in Biology in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2014. He first joined the Migratory Bird Center as a Ph.D. student under Pete Marra in 2008, and has continued there as a postdoctoral fellow since 2014.
In his spare time, Cooper enjoys rock climbing, canyoneering, cycling, landscape photography, and reading dystopian and science fiction novels. He lives in Washington, D.C.