change and natural disturbance such as hurricanes, sea level
rise, and coastal subsidence have caused a reduction in the
amount of forested habitat along the northern coast of the Gulf
of Mexico, including the
Coastal Cheniers near Johnson Bayou in
southwestern Louisiana where my study is located (Johnson Bayou
Banding Site). Because coastal forests may serve as critical
stopover sites for migratory birds, disturbances that alter them
may affect the ability of migrants to rest and refuel following
flight across the Gulf of Mexico. Since fall 2005, forested
habitat along the SW coast of Louisiana has been impacted by
hurricanes Rita and Ike (Hurricane Rita Aerial Photos). Most
studies related to the impacts of hurricanes on migratory birds
have focused on the direct effects when storms coincide with
fall migration or the impacts on migrants wintering in the Neotropics. Few studies have considered the indirect impact of weather
events on migratory birds, and even less so on the impact of
This study examines the effects of hurricanes on the
migrant-habitat relations during stopover, and will be conducted at two levels of analysis:
- Whether bird species assemblages change in response to post-hurricane habitat changes.
- Examine whether stopover biology (e.g. stopover length, mass gain/fat gain) is
influenced by hurricane impacts on habitat.
Research Interests and Experience
My research interests are primarily on ecosystem restoration and monitoring,
with a focus on disturbance ecology. Previous research includes the use of breeding bird surveys and vegetation surveys to assess the
ecological impacts of disturbances such as fire and windstorms in the upper Great
Lakes region, particularly the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota (BWCAW).
I have also assisted with vegetation monitoring following savanna restoration on several sites
in Indiana State natural areas, and have assisted with forest ecology research in Mexico.
- Lain, E.J., A. Haney, J.M. Burris and J. Burton. 2008. Response of vegetation and birds to
severe wind disturbance and salvage logging in a southern boreal forest. Forest Ecology and
Management 256 (5): 863-871.
- Haney, A., M. Bowles, S. Apfelbaum, E. Lain and T. Post. 2008. Gradient analysis of an eastern
sand savanna’s woody vegetation, and its long-term response to restored fire processes. Forest
Ecology and Management 256 (8): 1560-1571.
Department of Biological Sciences
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive # 5018
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Johnson Bayou Crew 2009