Katherine Araúz Ponce

I am a Ph.D. student and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Fellow in Chandler Lab and Rushing Avian Ecology Lab. My research focuses on bird conservation in coffee landscapes in the neotropics, and I will work with collaborators from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC).

I am originally from Panama, where I received my BA degree in Biology. As an undergraduate, I volunteered in a bird banding MoSI station in Chagres National Park in Central Panama. For my undergraduate thesis, I used data from MoSI to estimate apparent survival in manakin species. In addition, I was involved in several experiences as a research technician at the STRI in Panama on projects related to the population declines of insectivorous birds and bird diversity in landscapes modified by humans. Later, I completed an MS degree in Management and Conservation of Tropical Forests and Biodiversity at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica. My MS thesis was focused on the impact of climate change on the distributions of birds across an altitudinal gradient, using occupancy models.

Before coming to UGA, I worked in the ecological consultancy area for different Panama NGOs focusing on bird monitoring, community-based monitoring training, and conservation planning. In addition, I have coordinated and executed training and outreach activities related to the eBird Platform, bioacoustics, Bird-Sleuth Curriculum, environmental communication, and Birds Festivals. Since 2021 I have been a research Technician for the Smithsonian Bird Friendly Coffee Program.