My lab's research interests: Breeding birds, eavesdropping, foraging ecology, game theory, habitat selection, predator-prey interactions, soundscapes
My research focus is on understanding (1) How we can upscale detailed processes at the level of individuals (i.e., adaptive behavior) into patterns at the population and community scale, (2) How will organisms respond ecologically and evolutionarily to human-induced environmental change, and (3) What types of environmental changes promote adaptive behavioral responses that in turn ameliorate or aggravate the consequences of a changing environment.
The ecology of information is the primary conceptual framework of my research. Information is that which eliminates options, e.g., with whom to mate, locations to breed, developmental pathways to activate, and so on. There is a fundamental relationship between information and fitness: the benefit of information, i.e., the fold-increase in the population growth rate or evolutionary fitness, is equal to (or constrained by) the fold-reduction in options. I focused on understanding this relationship, both empirically and theoretically, particularly as elation to environmental change.
Fieldwork: Studying the breeding ecology of passerines, in particular, provides my inspiration and passion for fieldwork. More generally, the lab works in the Northeast to South Africa examining behavioral and population ecology of birds and mammal.
April 24: Janice Kelly's manuscript was recently accepted for publication in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology: Not all Nesting Guild members are alike: Nest Predators and Conspecific Abundance Differentially Influence Nest Survival in the ground-nesting Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) and Veery (Catharus fuscescens).
Read our latest pub: Schmidt, K. A., M. A. Betts, and J. Johansson. 2015. Information mediated Allee effects in breeding habitat selection. American Naturalist: 86, vol.6. DOI: 10.1086/683659
Now or never: adaptive phenology and biotic interactions press release for the January 2015 issue of Oikos dedicated to phenological change.
Undergraduate research: Myer, L., K. A. Schmidt and B. Robertson. 2015. Invasive plants as evolutionary traps for nesting Veery. The Condor 117:320-327. See press coverage at Science Daily here
BBC Nature picks up Quinn's Emmering's research on eavesdropping birds here
Northern Woodlands 'Survellience for Survival' picks up our dusk chorus work here
Dr. Kenneth Schmidt