Andrea Townsend 

Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Hamilton College

I am interested in how changing environmental conditions affect the behavior, fitness, and populations of birds.  My research foci have included disease and inbreeding depression in urban birds, the evolution of mating systems in cooperative corvids, the effects of climate change on population dynamics of songbirds, and the conservation genetics of island endemics. Currently, I am examining the effects of urbanization and other land-use change on disease prevalence in birds, and how disease influences avian social behavior. I am also interested in the role of wild birds as transport hosts for human pathogens. My lab includes undergraduate seniors at Hamilton College as well as postdocs and graduate students at UC Davis and UCSF.

Contact Andrea:


Hamilton Senior Project Students, 2014-2015

Rachel Landman, Hamilton '15Jacob Wagner, Hamilton '15McKenna Kelly

My senior project students study different aspects of behavioral ecology, ecotoxicology, and disease ecology. Rachel Landman is examining factors that affect neophobia (fear of novel objects) of crows within the urban environment. Jacob Wagner is collaborating with ecotoxicologists at the Rome Fish Hatchery to identify aquatic herbicides  that are effective at controlling aquatic plants with minimal impact to fish. McKenna Kelly is examining the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the feces of American Crows with distance from hospital intensive care units, a putative point source of exposure for wildlife.Olivia Garvey is examing the relationship between small mammal activity and the density of deer ticks in New York and lone star ticks in Tennessee.