Erica Stuber, Ph.D.
Erica Stuber, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor
I've always felt a strong affinity for nature, and particularly wildlife. While working for a wildlife rehabilitation center I saw first-hand the unfortunate results of various accidental human-wildlife conflicts. Initially, I got into research as a way to collect information that could potentially inform applied management or conservation decisions, as a pre-emptive measure to reduce conflict. I was happily distracted by fundamental research regarding physiological and genetic underpinnings of animal behavior, particularly biological clocks and migration behavior throughout my B.S. and M.S. work at Penn State Univ., and consistent individual differences in behavior and behavioral plasticity during my Ph.D. with the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany. Along the way I've discovered a passion for understanding how and why animals make space-use decisions and the implications of climate or anthropogenic change on behavioral decisions.
Broadly speaking, my research interests revolve around understanding how and why animals behave as they do. What genetic, physiological, or environmental mechanisms underlie animals' behavior? Why do individuals/populations/species differ in their behavior? What are the consequences of behavioral decisions?
My current research focuses on the spatial ecology of birds with the goal of investigating how birds inform habitat use decisions and predicting how climate, or land-use change will alter species' distributions.