Melinda Pruett-Jones, Executive Director

aos staff member melinda pruett-jones

Melinda Pruett-Jones applies her decades of experience leading mission-based conservation and science organizations to advance AOS’s vision for ornithology. Her previous roles include Executive Director of Chicago Wilderness, VP for Applied Research at Chicago Zoological Society/ Brookfield Zoo, and Director of Major Gifts at The Field Museum. Melinda also has a research background in the ecology and population biology of birds.

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Crystal Ruiz, Director of Operations & Administration

aos staff member crystal ruiz

Crystal joined AOS in March 2015 and holds a BS/BA degree in accounting and Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential. Prior to AOS, Crystal worked as an administrator at a regional-based environmental non-profit and as an international accountant in a private firm. She enjoys looking at the big picture and figuring out how to successfully roll out programs while keeping the lights on and people smiling. Photo by KayBee Photos.

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Rebecca Heisman, Communications Specialist

aos staff member rebecca heisman

Rebecca joined AOS full-time in January 2019 after four years as an independent contractor. Her experiences prior to her role with AOS include working as an ornithology field assistant in Canada and Australia, leading environmental education programs in Georgia, Wisconsin, and Oregon, and writing about conservation for publications including Audubon and Sierra Magazine.

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Chris Mulvaney, Member Services & AMS Coordinator

aos staff member chris mulvaney

Chris joined AOS as in independent contractor in 2017 and transitioned to a full-time role with the Society in January 2019. Previously, he served thirteen years with Chicago Wilderness, a regional conservation alliance of more than 200 organizations, where he helped to foster partnerships, facilitate regional biodiversity recovery strategies, and develop and monitor metrics toward collective impact.

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Mark Penrose, Managing Editor

aos staff member mark penrose

Mark originally served as managing editor for The Auk under three editors: Kimberly Smith, Spencer Sealy, and Michael Murphy. After a break, he rejoined the newly established joint publication of The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Condor: Ornithological Applications in 2014. Over the years, Mark has worked on everything from journal management to design and layout to typesetting. He is a Jersey boy and a long-suffering Jets fan.

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    From the field

    Hi everyone, I’m Connor Wood (@cmmwood), a PhD student at @uwmadison and AOS member, and I’ll be taking over AOS’s account this week! I use bioacoustics to study Spotted Owls and Barred Owls in California’s Sierra Nevada. Recent advances in bioacoustic hardware and software have opened up exciting new research possibilities in the last few years. I’ll be sharing some photos from my dissertation research, which was the first landscape-scale multi-species owl surveys in the U.S. One paper emerging from that project will be published by AOS’s The Condor this week. Photo by @the.jade.heron. #ornithology #wildlife #birds #owls #science #scientist #stemAs a member of the AOS Council, I am happy to play a role in helping to steer the society forward and also make our conferences a great experience for all! I am particularly keen to make AOS a society that fosters the development of early career ornithologists — they are the ones who will be doing the important work of the future. Thank you for following along this week! Photo by Todd Forsgren. #ornithology #science #stem
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[Thanks to Mike Webster for taking over the account this week! Mike had so much fun putting this together that he decided to create his own Instagram account — you can follow him at @michaelwebster83. If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch!]As Director of the Macaulay Library, I am excited to provide the resources and training that will help ornithologists do the research that helps us understand and conserve birds. This is a shot of me with a few of the students that participated in a bioacoustics recordings and analysis workshop that we ran in India this past year. Calling all researchers: the Macaulay Library has audio recordings, videos, and photos of more than 85% of the world’s birds available for your research project! Photo by Mike Webster. #ornithology #science #wildlife #stem #india
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[Our thanks to AOS member Mike Webster, who's taking over this account for the week!]New Hampshire and Colorado aside, much of my research career has involved tropical birds, starting with my dissertation research (many years ago!) on the breeding system of the Montezuma Oropendola. Photo Credit: Annette Teng/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML83646041). #birds #wildlife #ornithology #science #tropicalbirds
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[Our thanks to AOS member Mike Webster, who's taking over this account for the week!]I grew up in Colorado, where I developed my fascination (and passion) for the outdoors and animal behavior, particular the behavior of wild birds. My first research experience came as a field tech studying the lekking behavior of Greater Sage Grouse in the Sierra Mountains. First photo, Linda Sterk; second photo, Andrew Spencer/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML27679151). #ornithology #birds #science #wildlife #colorado #biology #ecology #birdbehavior
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[Our thanks to AOS member Mike Webster, who's taking over this account for the week!]Another major area of research in my lab is on the effects of climate change on breeding of migratory birds, such as the Black-throated Blue Warbler. Our work with this bird in New Hampshire's White Mountains has revealed that behavioral plasticity allows these birds to deal flexibly with advancing springs, but only up to a point! First photo, Ian Davies/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (ML31729651); second photo, Rebecca Koch; third and fourth photos, Linda Sterk. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #biology #ecology #warblers #conservation #climatechange
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[Our thanks to AOS member Mike Webster, who's taking over this account for the week!]Much of my research focuses on the evolution of communication signals, like plumage coloration and song, in Australian birds. Currently much of my work focuses on the Red-backed Fairywren of northern Australia. I am fascinated by fairywrens because they live in complex, cooperative family groups, and yet show high levels of extrapair mating (that is,
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