Photo of Richard Schuster

Richard Schuster

Adjunt Research Professor

Degrees:B.Sc., M.Sc. (University of Graz, Austria), Ph.D. (University of 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

Schuster, R., Wilson, S., Rodewald, A., Arcese, P., Fink, D., Auer, T., and Bennett, J. (2018). Optimizing conservation of migratory species over their full annual cycle. BioRxiv

Wilson, S., Schuster, R., Rodewald, A., Bennett, J, Smith, A, Arcese, P. Prioritize diversity or declining species? Trade-offs and synergies in spatial planning for the conservation of migratory birds. BioRxiv

Schuster, R.*, Germain, R. R.*, Bennett, J. R., Reo, N.J., Secord, D.L. and Arcese, P. Biodiversity on Indigenous-managed lands equals that in protected areas. BioRxiv *denotes co-lead authors

Hill, C.J., Schuster, R., Bennett, J.R. (2019) Indigenous involvement in the Canadian species at risk recovery process. Environmental Science & Policy 94, 220-226.

Schuster, R., Law, E. A., Rodewald, A., Martin, T.G., Wilson, K. A., Watts, M., Possingham, H. P. and Arcese P. (2017) Tax-shifting and incentives for biodiversity conservation on private lands. Conservation Letters.