Manu Project: Principal Investigators

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Mark Chappell is a Full Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on animal physiological ecology, especially in understanding species adaptations to extreme conditions, such as those found in desert, polar and montane areas. Mark has a diverse research portfolio including work on foraging behavior and reproductive energetics, aerobic performance and capacity, and energy costs and honesty in vocal signals, to name a few. He is also an authority on metabolic physiology and is guiding our data collection on physiological traits of tropical birds.

Gustavo Londono is an assistant professor in the Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas at the Universidad ICESI in Cali, Colombia, following his postdoctoral position with Mark Chappell at UC Riverside. His research focuses on aspects of nesting ecology, behavior and metabolic physiology. Since 2007, Gustavo has led nest searching teams in this region to study incubation rhythms, nest characteristics, and nest predators of tropical birds. The result of these efforts is an astounding dataset of over 2,000 nests and an unprecedented amount of natural history information on poorly known tropical species.

Mirador above the Alto Madre de Dios River near Atalaya.
Left to right: Mark Chappell, Gustavo Londono, Jill Jankowski, Scott Robinson
Jill Jankowski is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. She has worked in Manu since the beginning of her dissertation in 2004 at the University of Florida. Her research has focused on aspects of elevational ranges in tropical birds, including relationships between bird and vegetation communities and the influence of species interactions on range limits. Following her PhD, Jill held a postdoctoral position in the Biodiversity Research Centre at UBC before beginning as a professor. Her lab continues to study aspects of diversity and distributions, with a focus on ecology and evolution of tropical birds.   
Scott Robinson holds the Ordway Chair of Ecosystem Conservation at the Florida Museum of Natural History. He has studied ecology, behavior and conservation of tropical and temperate birds for over thirty years, with research projects on the effects of urbanization and habitat fragmentation on communities and populations, effects of brood parasitism on avian hosts ("mafia" behavior), how decision rules govern habitat selection and site fidelity, and the effects of numerous productivity gradients on community structure and abundance patterns, including elevational gradients. At UF, Scott runs a productive graduate lab with an emphasis on Neotropical bird communities.