Curriculum Vitae

Susannah B. Lerman
Post Doctoral Research Associate
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
USA
slerman@cns.umass.edu


Education

2011    Ph.D.    University of Massachusetts, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

2005    M.S.     Antioch University New England, Conservation Biology

1994    B.A.      University of Delaware, American History, minor Psychology

 

Professional Positions

Adjunct Research Professor: Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts; Amherst, MA
September 2013 - present

NSF SEES Fellow: USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, University of Massachusetts; Amherst, MA
June 2012 - present

Research the linkages between stewardship, urban yards and biodiversity for promoting urban sustainability; manage the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center's Neighborhood Nestwatch project in Springfield, Mearch the linkages between stewardship, urban yards and biodiversity for promoting urban sustainability. 

Post-Doctoral Research Associate: USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, University of Massachusetts; Amherst, MA
June 2011 - June 2012

Lead the Urban Wildlife and Biodiversity Initiative for the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station (NRS). Projects include the development and integration of a wildlife habitat component for the NRS iTree urban forest modeling software program; establish and manage the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center's Neighborhood Nestwatch project in Springfield, MA.

Research Assistant: University of Massachusetts; Amherst, MA
May 2008 – May 2011

Assist with establishing Urban Long Term Research Area (ULTRA) in Boston, MA. Study ecological function of urban open spaces and urban greening projects. Create biodiversity maps and areas of rapid development. Research impact of canopy loss on biodiversity.

Research Associate: Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Project (CAP LTER); Tempe, AZ
February 2006 – May 2011

Dissertation Research. Research the conservation value of different residential landscape designs and how they influence bird community structure using quantitative landscape measurements and behavioral experiments.

Field Project Manager: University of Massachusetts; Amherst, MA
May – September 2005, February – September 2006, May – October 2007,

Assisted with study design and implementation of researching the impact of tree removal on cavity nesting birds at Quabbin Reservoir, MA, and residential areas of Hampshire County, MA, using bird surveys and a vegetation inventory.

Principle Investigator: Antioch University New England; Israel
May 2003 – May 2005

Master’s Thesis Research. Designed and conducted study on distribution and winter ecology of Striated Scops Owl Otus brucei in the Arava Valley of southern Israel. Created a habitat suitability model.

Research Assistant: Center for Biological Diversity; San Diego, CA
August 2003 – December 2004

Prepared documents for petitioning USFWS to list coastal population of Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus under the Endangered Species Act. Created distribution database from recent sightings and museum specimens, prepared draft.

Research Associate: Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory; Keene, NH
May 2004 – August 2004

Managed two MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) stations to document annual survivorship at a long-term monitoring site. Recorded biometrics from birds captured from mistnets and trained volunteers.

Research Technician: Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences; Woodstock, VT
June – December 2003

Assisted in long-term monitoring project of population dynamics of Bicknell’s Thrush Catharus bicknelli in VT and NH to help guide a conservation plan. Recorded biometrics from birds captured from mistnets and monitored nests. Conducted point counts and a vegetation inventory of habitat in sub-alpine zones.

Field Technician: CAP LTER Project; Tempe, AZ
September 2001 - August 2002
Monitored long-term impacts of urbanization and human settlement on bird populations and the natural environment through bird point counts and behavioral experiments.
                                                    

Environmental Consultant: Southwest Center for Education and the Natural Environment; Tempe, AZ
October 2001 – July 2002

Created, designed and implemented native wildlife habitats for schoolyards. Developed curriculum activities and provided students and teachers with hands-on experiences in creating habitats, birdwatching and environmental studies.

Bird Tour Leader: Speyside Wildlife, Wildwings, Birdfinders; UK
May 1998- August 2002, March 2004

Lead birdwatching tours in Israel, New England, Arizona, Texas, Spain, and Greece. Located, identified and explained key features of migrant and resident birds and mammals of particular areas. Planned and developed tours.

Ecological Volunteer: Kibbutz Lotan Centre for Birdwatching; ISRAEL
August 1996 - June 2001

Assisted with the establishment and maintenance of ecological projects in small desert community. Established, managed and maintained 100 square meter award winning organic garden and ecological demonstration center. Initiated community based recycling program. Conducted census and banded birds to evaluate the health and populations of migrant and resident birds. Planned and constructed desert bird reserve. Educated tourists in identification and location of birds and natural history.

 

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Lerman, S.B., K.H. Nislow, D.J. Nowak, S. DeStefano, D.I. King, and D.T. Jones-Farrand. 2014. Using urban forestry monitoring tools to model urban bird habitat potential. Landscape and Urban Planning 122: 29-40.

Strohbach, M., S.B. Lerman, and P.S. Warren. 2013. Are small urban greening areas enhancing bird diversity? Insights from community-driven greening projects from Boston. Impacts of small greening initiatives on urban bird
diversity – insights from Boston. Landscape and Urban Planning 114: 69-79.

Lerman, S.B., P.S. Warren, H. Gan, and E. Shochat. 2012. Linking foraging decisions to residential yard composition. PLoS ONE 7(8): e43497. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043497.

Lerman, S.B., V.K. Turner, and C. Bang. 2012. Homeowners Associations as a vehicle for promoting native urban biodiversity. Ecology and Society 17(4): 45.

Warren, P.S., R. Ryan, S.B Lerman, K. Tooke. 2011. Social and institutional factors associated with land use and forest conservation along two urban gradients in Massachusetts. Landscape and Urban Planning 102: 82-92.

Lerman, S.B. and P.S. Warren. 2011. The Conservation value of residential landscapes: Exploring the links between birds and people. Ecological Applications 21: 1327-1339.

Shochat, E., S.B. Lerman, J.M Anderies, P.S. Warren, S.H. Faeth, and C.H. Nilon. 2010. Invasion, competition, and biodiversity loss in urban ecosystems. BioScience 60: 199-208.

Warren, P.S., S.B. Lerman and N.D. Charney. 2008. Plants of a feather: Spatial autocorrelation of gardening practices in suburban neighborhoods. Biological Conservation 141: 3-4

Atwood, J.L. and S.B. Lerman. 2007. Vocal variations in coastal Cactus Wrens: should coastal California populations be protected under the U. S. Endangered Species Act? Western Birds 38: 29-46.

Shochat, E., S.B. Lerman, M. Katti, and D. Lewis. 2004. Linking optimal foraging behavior to bird community structure in an urban-desert landscape: field experiments with artificial food patches. American Naturalist 164: 232-243.

 

Book Chapters

Warren, P.S., S. Harlan, C. Boone, S.B. Lerman, E. Shochat, and A.P. Kinzig. 2010. Urban Ecology and Social Organization. Pp. 172-201 in: K. Gaston, editor. Urban Ecology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Shochat, E., S.B. Lerman and E. Fernandez-Juricic. 2010. Birds in urban ecosystems: Population dynamics, community structure, biodiversity and conservation. Pp. 75-86 in: J.A. Aitkenhead Peterson and A. Volder, eds. Urban Ecosystem Ecology. Agronomy Monograph 55, Madison, WI.

Atwood, J.L. & S.B. Lerman. 2006. Family Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers). Pp. 350-377 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Christie, D.A. eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 11. Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

 

Presentations and Reports

Lerman, S.B., K.H. Nislow, A.R. Contosta, P.S. Warren, P.P. Marra, and C. Nicolson. 2014. Promoting urban sustainability via linkages among stewardship, urban yards, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. The 99th Annual Meeting, Ecological Society of America, Sacramento, CA. Symposium talk.

Lerman, S.B. 2014. Backyard birds and beyond. Talk for the Allen Bird Club, Springfield, MA.

Lerman, S.B., C. Nicolson, K.H. Nislow, and E. Svendsen. 2013. Sustainability begins at home: Backyard habitats for birds and people. The 26th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Symposium talk.

Lerman, S.B. 2013. Bringing bird conservationback home. Presentation to the CAP LTER community, Arizona State University.

Lerman, S.B. 2013. Hot topics in urban wildlife research. The North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. Talk.

Lerman, S.B. 2012. Bringing bird conservation back home. Bridging the Implementation Gap: Bird Conservation Conference in the Northeast. Talk.

Lerman, S.B.,  K.H. Nislow, D.J. Nowak, S. DeStefano, D.I. King, and D.T. Jones-Farrand. 2012. Using urban forestry assessment tools to model urban bird habitat potential. 97th Annual Meeting, Ecological Society of America. Talk.

Warren, P.S., S.B. Lerman, C.H. Nilon, M. Katti, M. Strohbach, R. Danford, L.S. Adler. 2012. Human influences on species interactions in urban communities: Insights from the LTER and ULTRA-Ex networks. 97th Annual Meeting, Ecological Society of America.

Strohbach, M.W., P.S. Warren, S.B. Lerman, R.S. Danford & C. Nicolson. Impacts of small greening initiatives on urban biodiversity – a case study from Boston. International Association for Landscape Ecology Annual Meeting, RI.

Lerman, S.B. Urban forests for urban wildlife: Reconnecting people with nature. Invited talk for the University of Delaware and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Zhang, S., C.G. Boone, S.B. Lerman, and A.M. York. 2012. A multi-scale study of the relationship among land composition, land fragmentation, and bird biodiversity in the Phoenix area. The 14th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium, Phoenix, and the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, NYC.

Lerman, S.B. 2011. Urban forests for urban wildlife: Reconnecting people with nature. Invited talk for the USDA Forest Service Washing Office, Washington D.C.

Lerman, S.B. 2011. The Ecology of Birds in Suburban Yards. Invited Talk for the Harris Center and Keene State College School of Sciences, Keene, NH.

Lerman, S.B., P.S. Warren, and E. Shochat. 2011. Foraging decisions, bird community structure, and residential landscapes: A mechanistic approach to explain the decline of urban bird diversity. 96th Annual Meeting, Ecological Society of America. Talk.

Ryan, R., P. Warren, K. Tooke, S. Lerman, and E. Strauss. 2011. Understanding the multiple-benefits of urban nature: Insights from research on urban greening    projects in Boston, MA. Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Annual          Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Lerman, S.B., V.K. Turner, and C. Bang. 2011. Linking Homeowner’s Associations with biodiversity: A case study from Phoenix, AZ. The 13th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium.

Lerman, S.B. Improving Biodiversity, One Yard at a Time. 2010. Invited Talk for the Green Apprenticeship Program, Kibbutz Lotan, Israel.

Lerman, S.B., V.K. Turner, and R. Watson. Suburban development with wildlife in mind: An investigation of Home Owners’ Associations in Phoenix, AZ. The 12th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium.

Lerman, S.B. & P.S. Warren. 2009. Birds, habitat, and socioeconomic factors: Exploring the relationships in a residential landscape. 94th Annual Meeting of The Ecological Society of America. Talk.

Lerman, S.B. & P.S. Warren. 2009. Birds, habitat, and socioeconomic factors: Exploring the relationships in a residential landscape. International Urban Wildlife Conference. Symposium Talk and Symposium Organizer.

Lerman, S.B. & P.S. Warren. 2009. Birds, habitat, and socioeconomic factors: Exploring the relationships in a residential landscape. The 11th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium.

Lerman, S.B. & P.S. Warren. 2008. Foraging decisions, bird community structure and residential landscapes: Finding the links. The 10th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium.

Ruddell, D.M., S.L Harlan, G. Luikart, & S.B. Lerman 2008. Public Park Ecology and Neighborhood Crime: Assessing Resident Perceptions of Crime and Park Quality. The 10th Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium.

Lerman, S.B. & P.S. Warren. 2007. Urban landscape design and bird community structure in Phoenix, Arizona: Management implications. 92nd Annual Meeting, Ecological Society of America. Poster.

Lerman, S.B., J.P. Smith & J.L. Atwood. 2006. Factors affecting the winter distribution of Striated Scops Owl Otus brucei in southern Israel. IV North American Ornithological Conference, Veracruz, Mexico. Poster.        

Lerman, S.B. & P.S. Warren. 2006. Landscape design and bird community structure in Phoenix, Arizona: management implications. LTER All Scientist Meeting, Estes Park, Colorado. Poster.

Lerman, S.B. 2005. Migrating Along the Global Flyway: Birds and Conservation in Israel. Invited talk, Earth Day at Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, NH.

Lerman, S.B., E. Shochat. 2004. Comparing bird foraging behavior in an urban-desert landscape: Conservation implications. 18th Annual Meeting, Society for Conservation Biology. Poster.

 

Grants, Fellowships and Awards

2014 National Science Foundation ($50,000) CNIC. US – UK and Jamaica Planning Visits: Initiating an international collaborative network on the impacts of private yard management for people and urban biodiversity

2012-2015 National Science Foundation ($498,008) SEES Fellow. Sustainability begins at home: Understanding linkages between stewardship, urban yards and biodiversity.

2012 Smithsonian Institution ($25,000, PI P. Marra) Importance of backyard bird populations: The expansion of Neighborhood Nestwatch to Springfield, MA.

2012 Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation ($25,000, Declined) Urban Wildlife and Biodiversity Initiative: Year II Leadership Grant.

2011 Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation ($40,000,) Urban Wildlife and Biodiversity Initiative: Year I Leadership Grant.

2010 Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation ($15,000) Environmental Fellowship.

2010 Quebec Labrador Foundation Middle East Conservation Fellow.

2009 Ecological Society of America ($500) Graduate Student Travel Award.

2009 The Wildlife Society ($175) Graduate Student Travel Award.

2009 Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research (National Science Foundation; $5,000) From patterns to process: studying the conservation value of residential landscapes for native bird communities. Graduate Student Summer Research grant.

2009, 2008 CAP LTER Poster Symposium. Student Poster Contest. 2nd place.

2006 Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research (National Science Foundation; $5,000) Foraging decisions, bird community structure and an urban rural gradient; finding the links. Graduate Student Summer Research grant.

2006 American Ornithologist Union ($400) Graduate Student Travel Award.

2004 Ornithological Society of the Middle East (£300) Research Grant: Winter ecology of striated scops (Otus brucei) owl.

2003 Antioch University New England ($5,000) Jonathan Daniels Scholarship.


 

Teaching Experience

2010                University of Massachusetts Research Methods, Co-Instructor

2008, 09           University of Massachusetts Environment and Society, Teaching Assistant

2006                    University of Massachusetts Animal Behavior, Teaching Assistant

2005-06           University of Massachusetts Urban Ecology, Teaching Assistant

2005                University of Massachusetts Intro Biology Lab, Lab Instructor

2005                Franklin Pierce College Integrated Science, Lab Instructor

2003-04           Antioch University New England Ornithology, Teaching Assistant

 

Professional Service

2013                Workshop Organizer for the 78th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. Workshop title: Wildlife Conservation in Cities and Suburbs.

2013-present   ReGreen Springfield board member


2012-present   Massachusetts Envirothon mentor


2012-present   Israeli Rarities and Distribution Committee member.


2012                Worksession Organizer for Bridging the Implementation Gap: Bird Conservation Conference in the Northeast. Worksession Title: Urban Bird Habitat.


2009-2010       Student Representative Seminar speaker selection committee for the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology program, University of Massachusetts.


2009                Symposium Organizer for International Urban Wildlife Conference, University of Massachusetts. Symposium Title: Managing Residential Landscapes for Wildlife.


2009-2010       Urban Ecology Institute Consultant for research projects and teacher training program for underserved Boston high schools. Presented seminar on urban behavioral ecology.


2006-2010       Ecology Explorers Consultant for the CAP LTER K-12 environmental education group Activities include: bird identification workshops, classroom presentations, assisted student research projects and guidance with teacher training workshops.


Peer Reviewer Landscape and Urban Planning, Studies in Avian Biology, Journal of Biogeography, Urban Ecosystems, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Landscape Ecology, Oecologia, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Ecosphere, Biological Conservation, Animal Conservation  

 

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