Awardee: Daniel Cooper, PhD Student
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Cooper’s research seeks to understand the ways wildlife species deal with urbanization, how certain species are better able to adapt than others, and why this may be. For his Ph.D. dissertation, Cooper is investigating the urban bird community of the Los Angeles area, assessing changes over time using both early-historical records and data from the Los Angeles Breeding Bird Atlas, with a focus on nesting raptors and colonial waterbirds. His work in the central Santa Monica Mountains seeks to compare historical site-selection in raptors with that of the present-day raptor community, which should provide insight into the “filtering” process whereby certain species can thrive here while others cannot.