Jeffrey J. Buler, Professor
B.A. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 1995
M.S. Louisiana State University, 1999
Ph.D. The University of Southern Mississippi, 2006

Jeff received his B.A. from St. Mary’s College where he studied biology.  He went on to study nesting songbirds for his M.S. research at Louisiana State University and stopover ecology of songbirds using a variety of methods including weather surveillance radar for his dissertation research at The University of Southern Mississippi.  In 2011, he joined the faculty at the University of Delaware and, over the next few years, has strived for excellence in developing a productive extramurally-funded research program in Wildlife Ecology.  Jeff is an international leader in the discovery of novel methods to expand scientific knowledge within the young field of aeroecology focused on the basic and applied ecology of organisms that inhabit the atmosphere.  His current research focuses on radar biology, avian ecology and migration, landscape ecology, and conservation biology.  See his work on Google Scholar, Research Gate, and the Research Projects page.

Katherine Bird, M.S. Student
B.S. University of Delaware, 2018
Undergraduate Thesis: Stopover Habitat Use by Migratory Songbirds in Rhode Island
M.S. Thesis: Investigating Purple Martin Movements and Roosts in the Mid-Atlantic

Katie joined the Aeroecology lab in 2016 as an undergraduate research assistant. She then completed a senior thesis in the lab, studying stopover habitat of migrating birds in Rhode Island, in conjunction with their breeding bird atlas effort. After graduating and spending a year serving with AmeriCorps in Reno, Nevada, she returned to the lab in 2019 to process data for the gulf coast and Tucson. She started her master’s in the lab in the fall of 2020, studying local movement ecology of Purple Martins. Follow her work on LinkedIn or ResearchGate!

Since starting her master’s Katie has been awarded a Delaware Ornithological Society Conservation Science Grant ($3,000) and a Purple Marple Conservation Association Research Grant ($2,400).

Besides radar, she loves birding, biking, road trips, and training her dogs.

Matthew Hardy, M.S. Student
A.S. Northampton Area Community College, PA
B.S. Delaware Valley University, PA

Matt Hardy holding a trapped Canada Goose.

Matt has been an M.S. research assistant at the University of Delaware since the fall of 2020 and is also a member of the Williams Waterfowl & Upland Gamebird lab. Matt graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2017 with a B.S. in wildlife conservation and management. Since graduation he has worked as an assistant biologist at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia through the SCA (Student Conservation Association), wildlife research assistant at the University of West Virginia and as a loon/waterbird/marsh bird technician for the Biodiversity Research Institute in Maine and New Hampshire. His master’s research project will look to combine radar, radio telemetry and predictive modelling to track target waterfowl species (canada geese, greater snow geese and mallards) spatially and temporally across the landscape in order to create an interactive avian influenza biosecurity model for the Mid-Atlantic poultry industry. In his spare time, he enjoys birding, soccer, tennis and spending time with loved ones. 

Amanda Crandall, M.S. Student
B.S. James Madison University Amanda holding a canada warbler!

Amanda received her B.S. from James Madison University in 2017 where she studied biology and geographic science. She has spent the past three years working in the field to collect data for various avian-related research projects across the U.S. Her M.S. research will focus on using radar to analyze and potentially predict migratory landbird responses to land cover change, climate change and short-term weather events along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Amanda received $10,000 from the UD Gerard J. Mangone Climate Change Science and Policy Hub to collect fall migration data in the Atchafalaya River Basin of Louisiana using a portable dopplar radar. (March 25, 2022).

In addition to wildlife conservation, Amanda enjoys hiking, yoga, and traveling.

Nur Annis Hidayati, Ph.D. Student
B.S. Universitas Sebelas Maret, Indonesia, 2006
M.S. University of Groningen, the Netherlands, 2012

Annis joined the Aeroecology lab in Fall 2020 under the Dikti-Fulbright for Indonesian lecturer. She starts her Ph.D with her growing curiosity on different birds’ migration strategy and their responses to the landscape changes. By joining the lab, she expects to benefit from the advance methods in radar aeroecology, that have been developed under Dr. Buler’s leadership, to understand the birds’ migration strategies. She’s also keen to expand the networking across countries throughout the migratory flyway.

Shelly Eshleman, Ph.D. Student

B.S. University of Pittsburgh, 2014
M.S. North Dakota State University, 2020Shelly holding a Downy Woodpecker.

Shelly joined the Aeroecology lab in 2021 after completing her M.S. at North Dakota State University. Her previous research used data logging tags to track the migratory movements of red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and correlated reproductive hormones at arrival to the breeding site with spring migration distance in a collaborative project with the USDA. Under Dr. Buler’s mentorship, her dissertation research will focus on the conservation of Pennsylvania’s avian species and will utilize the Motus tracking system, a network of automated radio telemetry receivers.

Meredith Lewis, Ph.D. Student

B.S. Colorado State University, 2015
M.S. University of Maine, 2022Meredith holding a female American Kestrel.

Meredith completed her B.S. at Colorado State University where she studied Wildlife Biology with minors in Applied Statistics and Spanish. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she worked on various avian ecology projects from Lance-tailed Manakin behavioral ecology to surveying bird communities along altitudinal gradients. She then migrated to the East Coast to complete a M.S. in Ecology and Environmental Science at the University of Maine using remote sensing techniques to survey seabird colonies on coastal islands. Before coming to the Aeroecology Lab in 2023, she worked on analyzing rail movement data using the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. Her PhD research will focus on using bioacoustics to study landbird migration on the Texas-Mexico Border. When she is not thinking about birds or fixing code in the lab, you can find her birding, hiking, and traveling.

Melinda Kleczynski, Graduate Researcher

Melinda is an applied mathematics graduate student at UD. Her primary research area is applied topology. Her work with the Aeroecology Program involves screening weather radar data for “roost ring” features created by birds like Purple Martins. When she’s not at her computer, she enjoys going for walks and taking pictures of wildlife.

Claire Bernard, Undergraduate ResearcherClaire and her dog

Claire is an undergraduate at UD studying Wildlife and Insect Ecology and Conservation. She joined the Aeroecology lab in 2022, and will be studying the diets of nestling purple martins in the local area. She has wanted to work with birds since she was young, and hopes to one day study tropical bird-insect relationships. Other than working, she enjoys birding with Blue Hen Birding, playing in the 8-Bit Orchestra, and jigsaw puzzles.

John Hendell, Undergraduate ResearcherJohn Mendell

John is a Wildlife Ecology and Conservation major at the University. He developed an enthusiasm for birds through birdwatching throughout his childhood, a passion encouraged by his family. His senior thesis will investigate bobwhite quail habitat. Along with birds, John’s interests include reading, fishing, and hunting.

Brett Butcofsky, Undergraduate ResearcherBrett holding a chickadee. He is wearing a black polyester shirt and a yellow hat. Behind him are two green tree lines along a dirt road.

Brett is an Undergraduate Researcher at UD studying Wildlife and Insect Ecology and Conservation. He joined the lab in 2021, and is currently working on a project testing correlation between radar data and migrating hawks. He developed a passion for nature while growing up and spending time in White Clay Creek State Park. Along with birds, Brett enjoys playing music and fishing in his free time.