Student & Early Career Information

Information for Early Career Professionals

Early Professionals Mini-talk Symposium

Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Walnut Dining Room, 16:00-17:30

The Early Professionals Committee is hosting a special symposium designed to highlight the exciting research performed by professionals in the beginning stages of their careers (i.e., post-doctoral researchers, pre-tenure faculty members, and scientists outside of academia who have received academic degrees within the past five years). During this lively and fast-paced event, early professionals will present 5-minute talks using automatically advancing slides to showcase their recent research advances, the techniques they employ, or the future directions their research will take.

Presentation Schedule:

  • 16:00-16:05 Michael Butler (, Providing Resources to Early-Professional Ornithologists
  • 16:05-16:10 Brian Olsen (, Evolutionary succession
  • 16:10-16:15 Jeremy Ross (, Avifaunal impacts of severe storms
  • 16:15-16:20 Luis Sandoval (, Avian acoustic communication ecology in tropical urban habitats
  • 16:20-16:25, Clark Jones (, Landscape-level influence on the distribution and movement of southeastern pine forest specialists in urban and agricultural settings
  • 16:25-16:30 John Withey (, Are migratory birds in North America mistiming their arrival due to climate change, and do they suffer fitness consequences as a result? Testing the phenological mismatch hypothesis at an unprecedented scale
  • 16:30-16:35 Elizabeth Gow (, Tracking Northern Flickers throughout the annual cycle: linking parental effort to migration
  • 16:35-16:40 Scott Taylor (, Avian hybrid zones as windows on evolution and ecology
  • 16:40-16:45 Emma Greig (, The transition from behavioral ecologist to citizen science project manager
  • 16:45-16:50 Eugenia Zarza (, Towards a comparative phylogeography of the Mexican Highlands: insights from genomic ultraconserved elements in a bird species complex
  • 16:50-16:55 Iris Levin (, Measuring social interactions in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) using Encounternet proximity tags
  • 16:55-17:00 Helen Sofaer (, Resource acquisition and allocation in avian life history theory
  • 17:00-17:05 Raymond Danner (, The evolutionary ecology of changing thermal and auditory landscapes
  • 17:05-17:10 James Maley (, Clapper and King Rail hybrid zone genomics
  • 17:10-17:15 Clark Rushing ( Combining high-resolution remote sensing data with information about migratory connectivity to quantify full annual-cycle drivers of population trends within demographically-defined populations of a migratory bird
  • 17:15-17:20 Richard Feldman (, Habitat selection at the scale of species ranges
  • 17:20-17:25 Monica Iglecia (, Supporting shorebirds on farms and wetlands from coast to coast
  • 17:25-17:30 Graham Fairhurst (, Advances in ecophysiology using feather corticosterone    

Mini-Talk Symposium Presentation Guidelines


  1. All presentations must be in a slideshow format (e.g., PowerPoint) with automatically advancing slides. You can spend as much time as you like on any individual slide, but they must advance automatically. In other words, after your presentation has begun, you shouldn’t need to touch the computer again at all.
  2. Your presentation must FINISH at 4 minutes and 40 seconds. This will allow 20 seconds for transitioning to the next individual’s presentation.
  3. Your presentation will be checked prior to the beginning of the symposium, and there will be no exceptions to these rules. Check your e-mail for details regarding this component.
  4. There will not be time for questions at the end of your talk. All questions will have to wait until the social event following the symposium.

Additional suggestions/important information:

  1. You are encouraged to be broad, and present the big picture. This forum is meant for you to showcase who you are as a scientist and what your contributions are to the field (both present and future), and not necessarily the specifics of your most current paper. You have less than 5 minutes to tell a story, so don’t get your audience lost in the minutiae. The most successful speakers will be those that envision meeting E.O. Wilson/Richard Dawkins/Your Hero, and answering the question “So in general, what do you do?”  It is okay if you deviate from your submitted abstract in order to make your talk more broad.
  2. You do NOT have to limit your talk to just the work you’ve completed – future thoughts, ideas, goals, etc. are certainly fair game, and are encouraged.
  3. Just as with an elevator speech, you can’t tell the entire story. Hit the important parts.
  4. We have specially invited senior scientists from non-profit organizations, government agencies, R1 universities, and small liberal arts colleges to attend this symposium. At the end of the symposium, there will be a social event wherein you can mingle with these individuals to receive feedback on your talk, or to ask other questions that might assist in your professional development.
  5. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, etc., please contact Mike Butler at If there is a senior scientist you are particularly eager to meet, let Mike know that, too, as he can then invite that person to attend the social event after the symposium so that you can speak with that scientist about your work.

Early Professionals Social

Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Walnut Dining Room, 17:30-18:30

Immediately following the Early Professionals Mini-talk Symposium, the Early Professionals Committee will host a social event for all individuals in the beginning stages of their careers (including those who did not present during the symposium). At this event, early professionals will mingle with each other and senior scientists from academia, government co-ops, and the public sector. This informal event will allow those in the beginning stages of their careers to receive advice and guidance from senior scientists who have served on search committees and tenure review committees, as well as to network with their fellow early-stage colleagues. No need to RSVP – just show up. Light snacks and beer will be available.