Cindy Staicer

BA (San Jose State University, 1977)
MSc (Northern Arizona University, 1982)
PhD (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1991)
  • Teaching & Research
  • Students' Research Topics
  • Graduates' occupations
  • Publications
  • Links
  • Teaching & Research
    Behaviour and ecology of forest birds, ecological monitoring, avian populations, birds, forest ecosystems, lake ecosystems, species conservation, vocal behaviour, wood-warblers.

    esearch of my group focuses on the behaviour and ecology of birds in natural and managed forest ecosystems.

    Themes in our research include:

    • the development of ecological monitoring and research programmes.
    • the effects of forestry and recreation on bird populations and forest vegetation.
    • the use of vocal behaviour of male birds to identify their breeding status.
    Classes in which Cindy currently teaches:

    Several of my honours students have worked in south-western Nova Scotia at Kejimkujik National Park, where we have established permanent sampling sites for monitoring forest birds and vegetation, and studied the singing behaviour of several bird species. The park also serves as a reference site to compare with nearby managed forests, for example, to determine the impacts of forestry on birds and their habitat. By monitoring populations and understanding their habitat requirements, effective conservation measures can be developed.

    By identifying male breeding status through the songs a male sings, we seek to develop protocols for obtaining more accurate indices of breeding bird populations.

    Masters student Melanie Ball completed the first song study of Bicknell's Thrush (species of special concern, COSEWIC) in Gaspe, Quebec. She found that individual males could be identified by their songs and documented the time of day and season of peak vocal activity, thus is ideal for monitoring these birds

    My teaching focuses on development of conceptual understanding and a wide range of skills needed in science in general (in Science 1500, a team-taught, full-time, first-year class that integrates concepts of biology, chemistry, earth science, math, physics, psychology, and statistics), and more specifically, by ecologists and conservation biologists (e.g. in Field Ecology and Ornithology). I have developed many hands-on activities with field, computer, and lab components for a variety of biology classes. Through the SEASIDE programme, I have facilitated the development and offering of eight new summer Biology field-intensive classes.

    Field Ecology trip to Liscombe
    DISP field trip to Peggys Cove
    Examples of Students' Research Topics
    Honors BSc Students
    • Matthew Clarke - Song plasticity in young adult American Redstarts
    • Kate Girvan - Song sharing among American redstarts
    • Liz O'Neill - Vocal behaviour as an indicator of pairing status in Blackburnian Warblers
    • Amy Gordon - Singing behaviour of male warblers and pairing status
    • Amanda Lavers - Least Flycatcher song in relation to breeding status
    • Leslie Fraser - Changes in bird abundance and habitat along the BBS route 036
    • Andrea Clouston - Habitat use by forest birds in central Newfoundland
    • Sarah Bonner - Relating bird densities and habitat variation in hardwood forests
    • Sara Varano - Gypsy Moth and forest bird populations at Kejimkujik National Park
    • Sarah Adamowicz - Ecological gradient analysis of forest plant communities in Kejimkujik NP
    • Ewa Downarowicz - Comparison of forest stands in Kejimkujik NP and surrounding working lands
    • Shelagh Whitley - Impact of roads, trails, and campsites on diversity and composition of vegetation
    • Carrie-Ellen Gabriel - Mercury accumulation in aquatic ecosystems
    • Darla Saunders - Mercury accumulation in macrophytes in six lakes in Kejimkujik NP
    • Brianna Newton - Seasonal and spatial distribution of seabirds in the Bay of Fundy
    Graduate Students
    • Melanie Ball, M.Sc.,Vocal behaviour of Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus minimus)
    • Yunque, Nestor, in progress, Roosting behaviour of the Tartictic Hornbill, Philippines.

      Some Graduates' Occupations

    • Kate Girvan - M.Sc. student at Queens University
    • Sarah Adamowich - M.Sc. student at University of Guelph
    • Amanda Lavers - M.Sc. student at Acadia University
    • Sara Varano - Veterinary student at Guelph
    • Shelagh Whitley - Student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts
    • Tanya Dowdall - Park Warden at Pacific Rim National Park
    • Amy Gordon - Software Engineer in southern California
    • Liz O'Neill - Research Assistant at Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre, Halifax
    Selected Publications

    Staicer, C. A. 1998. Forest bird monitorng at Kejimkujik National Park. Linking protected areas with working landscapes conserving biodiversity. Munro, N. and Willison, J. H. M. (eds). SAMPAA, Wolfville, pp. 947-958

    Staicer, C. A. 1996. Acoustical features of song categories of the Adelaide's Warbler (Dendroica adelaidae). Auk 113:771-783..

    Staicer, C. 1996. Honest advertisement of pairing status: evidence from a tropical resident wood-warbler. Animal Behaviour 51: 375-390.

    Staicer, C.A., Spector, D.A. and Horn, A.G. 1996. The dawn chorus and other diel patterns of acoustic signaling. Ecology and evolution of acoustic communication in birds (D.E. Kroodsma and E.H. Miller, Eds.) Cornell University Press, New York. Pages 426-453

    Srivastava, D., Staicer, C.A., and Freedman, B. 1995. Aquatic vegetation of Nova Scotian lakes differing in acidity and trophic status. Aquatic Botany 51: 181-196.

    Staicer, C.A., Freedman, B., Srivastava, D., Dowd, N., Kilgar, J., Hayden, J., Payne, F., and Pollock, T. 1994. Use of lakes by by black duck broods in relation to biological, chemical, and physical features. Hydrobiologia 279/280: 185-199.

    Margoliash, D., Staicer, C.A., and Inoue, S.A. 1994. The process of syllable acquisition in adult indigo buntings, Passerina cyanea. Behaviour 131: 39-64.

    Staicer, C. 1992. Social behavior of the Northern Parula, Cape May Warbler and Prairie Warbler wintering in second-growth forest in southwestern Puerto Rico. Ecology and Conservation of Neotropical Migrant Landbirds (J.M. Hagan and D. W. Johnston, eds.). Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. pp. 308-320

    Margoliash, D., Staicer, C.A., and Inoue, S.A. 1991. Stereotyped and plastic song in adult indigo buntings, Passerina cyanea. Animal Behaviour 42: 367-388.