Photo of Richard Schuster

Richard Schuster

Liber Ero Post-Doctoral Fellow

Degrees:B.Sc., M.Sc. (University of Graz, Austria), Ph.D. (British Columbia)
Office:Bennett Lab
by appointment
Website:Visit my lab website

Current Research

Using citizen science to help prevent the loss of North American bird species.

Problem: One hundred years ago, the Migratory Bird Treaty helped shape North America’s conservation ethic. This year’s “The State of North America’s Birds 2016” report identified a third of the continent’s bird species to be at high conservation risk. The most important threats to migratory birds today are loss and degradation of habitat and climate change. As a consequence, breeding bird populations have been reduced by 1.5 billion individuals since 1970. Today, we need new initiatives in Canada and North America for a sound environmental future.

Solution: Use transformational citizen science projects, such as eBird, to optimize conservation strategies across entire ranges of migratory species, and identify portfolios of sites critical to the global persistence of these species. Facilitate better-informed and more cost-effective conservation programs to help prevent the extinction of migratory species.

Our contribution: We are developing approaches to help pin-point where conservation actions should focus in the places where birds breed, overwinter and stop over during migration. We are based at Carleton University and work with partners at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Environment Canada, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Boreal Songbird Initiative.

Selected Publications

Jackson, C. L., Schuster, R., and Arcese, P. (2016) Release date influences first-year site fidelity and survival in captive-bred Vancouver Island marmots. Ecosphere 7 (5).

Schuster, R., Crombie, M., Morrell, N., and Arcecse, P. (2016) A Prioritization Tool for the Conservation of Coastal Douglas-fir Forest and Savannah Habitats of the Georgia Basin and Puget Sound Lowlands (56pp).

Arcese P., Schuster R., Campbell L., Barber A., and Martin T.G. (2014) Deer density and plant palatability predict shrub cover, richness, diversity and aboriginal food value in a North American archipelago. Diversity and Distributions 20, 1368-1378.

Schuster R., Römer H. and Germain R.R. (2013) Using multi-scale distribution and movement effects along a montane highway to identify optimal crossing locations for a large-bodied mammal community. PeerJ 1, e189.

Schuster R. and Arcese P. (2013) Using bird species community occurrence to prioritize forests for old growth restoration. Ecography, 36, 499–507.