Amanda Rodewald’s research program seeks to understand the behavioral and demographic mechanisms guiding population, community, and landscape-scale responses of birds to land use change and human activity in the eastern US and Latin America. She tightly integrates her research and outreach efforts to inform policy and management, and as such, regularly interacts with government agencies, conservation organizations, and private landowners. Among her national leadership activities she serves on the Science Advisory Board of US EPA.
As both a faculty member in DNR and Director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, she works to generate, apply, and communicate science in ways that advance understanding of ecology and also support conservation. In the broadest sense, her research program seeks to understand how human activities influence ecological systems and the services they provide. Because she and her students work towards developing a mechanistic understanding of these influences, they work across spatial scales (from microhabitats to landscapes), at multiple levels of biological organization (i.e., individual, population, and community levels), and within both experimental and observational frameworks. As such, her research touches on a variety of sub-disciplines, including conservation biology, landscape ecology, community ecology, population demography, behavioral ecology, and ecological restoration. Most of her current projects focus on understanding how land use change, agroforestry practices, and invasive species affect (1) species interactions, including predator-prey and food web dynamics, (2) population demography and behavioral ecology of forest birds, (3) patterns of avian distribution and diversity at the landscape scale, and (4) selective environments for behavioral and morphological traits. Her current study systems are deciduous forests of eastern and central US (urban, agricultural, and managed forest landscapes) and montane forests of Central and South America.