Dr. Catherine Lindell is an Associate Professor at the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations and the Department of Integrative Biology, where she also serves as Graduate Program Director. She is most interested in avian behavior and ecology in managed ecosystems. Alongside her research team, she combines theoretical and applied approaches to the study of the behavior and ecology of birds and the roles of birds in ecological functions and ecosystem services. She is particularly interested in how to make managed landscapes more hospitable for species that contribute significant ecosystem services.
- Avian behavior and ecology
- Managed ecosystems
- Ecological functions
- Ecosystem services
- Coupled natural and human systems (CNH)
Dr. Lindell leads the Avian Behavior and Ecology in Managed Ecosystems Lab at Michigan State University.
One line of research involves the patterns of bird activity in agricultural systems in North America. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE), new techniques are being developed to encourage the presence of birds with beneficial effects on fruit production, with a focus on cherry and blueberry production regions. This research integrates the economic and social benefits and the costs of bird activity in fruit crops through collaborations with economists and sociologists.
A second line of research investigates bird interactions with abiotic and biotic components of tropical forest restoration systems. Birds are important mediators of various tropical ecosystem processes that facilitate restoration, including seed dispersal, pollination, and consumption of herbivorous insects. Thus, understanding why some restoration strategies attract more birds than others, and the mechanisms underlying these patterns, will help guide future restoration efforts.