Joseph M. Wunderle, Jr.
Wildlife Team Leader & Research Wildlife Biologist
Sabana Field Research Station
Luquillo, PR 00773
Contact Joseph M. Wunderle, Jr.
Research focuses on the ecology, distribution, and conservation of an endangered Nearctic-Neotropical migrant bird, the Kirtland's Warbler and associated species on its wintering grounds in The Bahamas. Because the warbler feeds on a mixed fruit and arthropod diet we are also studying abundance and phenology of the warbler's favored fruits as well as abundance of arthropod prey the factors that effect the abundance of these food resources. Current research also involves studies to determine how the habitat is produced and maintained. Because our studies have focused primarily on the island of Eleuthera, we are now also conducting surveys of the warbler on other islands of the Bahamas archipelago.
Ecology, behavior and conservation biology of Neotropical birds and Nearctic-Neotropical migrants and their response to human and natural disturbances with the objective of identifying or devising management practices to ameliorate adverse effects. Interests also include disturbance ecology, especially the effects of hurricanes and droughts on tropical wildlife.
Previous research includes diverse studies mostly on birds (see publications in CV): Avian song variation during development and its role in species and individual recognition; breeding ecology, social behavior and a morph ratio cline in the Bananaquit (a nectarivorous Caribbean songbird); response of avian nectarivores to variation in food supplies; development of avian foraging behavior; distribution and ecology of overwintering Nearctic-Neotropical migrant birds in the Caribbean; the effects of hurricanes on terrestrial bird populations and their food resources; role of animal seed dispersal in accelerating native forest regeneration on degraded tropical lands; the contribution of shade coffee plantations to avian diversity in agricultural landscapes; movements and habitat use of the Puerto Rican boa; and bird and bat diversity of terra firme forest in Amazonian Brazil and its response to treefall gaps and reduced-impact logging.
Why This Research is Important
My Forest Service research focuses on natural or anthropogenic disturbances that may negatively effects sensitive, threatened or endangered tropical species with the goal of identifying and developing management actions that will ameliorate these disturbance. My basic goal in my research, teaching, outreach, and capacity building activities is to preserve tropical forest biodiversity.
- Univ. of Minnesota, Ph.D. Ecology & Beahvior, 1980
- University of Minnesota, M.S. Ecology & Behavior, 1976
- University of Maine, B.S. Biology, 1971
- Wildlife Team Leader & Research Wildlife Biologist, International Institute of Tropical Forestry
1988 - Current
- Associate Professor of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey, PR
1985 - 1990
- Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey, PR
1982 - 1985
- Course Coordinator & Instructor, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica
1982 - 1982
Responsible for a graduate tropical ecology field course in Costa Rica
- Post-doctoral research, Independent researcher, Grenada & Tobago, West Indies
1981 - 1982
Funded by several competitive grants
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Zoology, Dept. of Biology, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC
1980 - 1981
- Assistant Course Coordinator, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica
1979 - 1979
Assisted coordinating and running a graduate tropical ecology field course in Costa Rica
- Director & Headmaster, Canadian Junior College for Marine Biology, Carriacou, Grenada, W.I.
1977 - 1978
Responsible for 45 students, 6 instructors, & 18 local support staff in this private school accredited by Ontario Ministry of Education.
- Instructor, Canadian Junior College for Marine Biology, Carriacou, Grenada, W.I.
1975 - 1976
Instructor for grade 13 (Ontario) ecology and human evolution and assisted in lab and field in marine biology for two years 1975-76 & 1977-78
- Neotropical Ornithological Society, President (2007 - 2011)
- Neotropical Ornithological Society, Chair, Francois Vuilleumier Fund For Student Research (2004 - 2008)
- Neotropical Ornithological Society, Co-Chair Scientific Program, Neotropical Ornithological Congress (2007 - 2007)
- Neotropical Ornithological Society, President Elect (2004 - 2007)
- Society For Caribbean Ornithology, President (1995 - 1997)
- Society For Caribbean Ornithology, Vice President (1991 - 1995)
Awards & Recognition
- President's Award, 2011
From Soc. for Conservation & Study of Caribbean Birds for contributions to the Soc. and bird conservation in Bahamas & Caribbean
- Research & Management Partnership Award, 2005
From Wings Across the Americas program, USDA FS for Kirtland's Warbler Research & Training Project in Bahamas; shared with other participants.
- Investigations Award, 2003
From Partner's in Flight, for research findings of the Kirtland's Warbler Research & Training project in The Bahamas
- Distinguished Service Award, 2003
For distinguished service to the Society for Caribbean Ornithology
- Fellow, 1993
American Ornithologists Union
- Elected Member, 1985
American Ornithologists Union
Featured Publications & Products
- Wunderle, Joseph, .; Currie, Dave; Helmer, Eileen H.; Ewert, David N.; White, Jennifer D.; Ruzycki, Thomas S.; Parresol, Bernard; Kwit, Charles. 2010. Kirtland’s warblers in anthropogenically disturbed early-successional habitats on Eleuthera, The Bahamas.
- Wunderle, Jr, Joseph; Arendt, Wayne J. 2011. Avian studies and research opportunities in the Luquillo Experimental Forest: a tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico.
- Beissinger, S.R.; Wunderle, Jr, J.M..; Meyers, J.M.; Saether, B.E.; Engen, S. 2008. Anatomy of a bottleneck: diagnosing factors limiting population growth in the Puerto Rican Parrot.
- Beltran, W.; Wunderle Jr., J.M. 2013. Determinants of tree species preference for foraging by insectivorous birds in a novel Prosopis - Leucaena woodland in Puerto Rico: the role of foliage palatability.
- Larkin, Claire C.; Kwit, Charles; Wunderle, Jr., Joseph M..; Helmer, Eileen H.; Stevens, M. Henry H.; Roberts, Montara T.K.; Ewert, David N. 2011. Disturbance type and plant succesional communities in Bahamian dry forests.
Publications & Products
- McFarland, K. P.; Rimmer, C. C.; Goetz, J. E.; Aubry, Y.; Wunderle Jr., J. M.; Hayes-Sutton, A.; Townsend, J. M.; Llanes Sosa, A.; Kirkconnell, A. 2013. A winter distribution model for Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli), a conservation tool for a threatened migratory songbird.
- Wunderle Jr., J. M. 2013. Birds of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire.
- Ewert, David N.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Wunderle, Jr., Joseph M..; Currie, Dave; Rockwell, Sarah M.; Johnson, Scott B.; White, Jennifer D. 2012. Duration and rate of spring migration of Kirtland’s Warblers.
- Lugo, Ariel E.; Carlo, T.A.; Wunderle, Jr., J.M. 2012. Natural mixing of species: novel plant–animal communities on Caribbean Islands.
- Brokaw, N.; Zimmerman, J.K.; Willig, M.; Camilo, G.; Covich, A.; Crowl, T.; Fetcher, N.; Haines, B.; Lodge, J.; Lugo, A.E.; Myster, R.; Pringle, C.M.; Sharpe, J.; Scatena, F.; Schowalter, T.; Silver, W.; Thompson, J.; Vogt, D.; Vogt, K.; Waide, R.; Walker, L.; Woolbright, L.; Wunderle, J.M.; Zou, X. 2012. Response to disturbance, Chapter 5.
- Servat, G. P.; Wunderle Jr., J. M. 2012. The IXth Neotropical Ornithological Congress in Peru (Cusco, 8-14 November 2011).
- Beltran, Jose William; Wunderle, Jr., Joseph M.; Arendt, Wayne J. 2010. Changes in home range of breeding and post-breeding male Pearly-eyed Thrashers in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico.
- Vazquez-Plass, Edgar O.; Wunderle, Joseph M. 2010. Differences in knowledge about birds and their conservation between rural and urban residents of Puerto Rico.
- Helmer, E.H.; Ruzycki, Thomas S.; Wunderle, Jr. Joseph M.; Vogesser, Shannon; Ruefenacht, Bonnie; Kwit, Charles; Brandeis, Thomas J.; Ewert, David N. 2010. Mapping tropical dry forest height, foliage height profiles and disturbance type and age with a time series of cloud-cleared Landsat and ALI image mosaics to characterize avian habitat.
- Walters, Jeffrey R.; Derrickson, Scott R.; Fry, D. Michael; Haig, Susan M.; Marzluff, John M.; Wunderle Jr., Joseph. 2010. Status of the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus ) and efforts to achieve its recovery.
- Presley, S.J.; Willig, M.R.; Saldanha, L.N.; Wunderle, Jr., J.M..; Castro-Arellano, I. 2009. Reduced-impact logging has little effect on temporal activity of frugivorous bats (Chiroptera) in lowland Amazonia.
- Ewert, D. N.; Wunderle, Jr., Joseph; Eberly, C.W.; Huber, P.W.; Carey, E. 2009. The Kirtland’s Warbler: interagency and international cooperation works.
- Wunderle Jr., Joseph. 2008. From the past to the globalized future for Caribbean birds.
- Castro-Arellanos, Ivan; Presley, Steven J.; Saldanha, Luis Nelio; Willig, Michael R.; Wunderle Jr., Joseph M. 2007. Effects of reduced impact logging on bat biodiversity in terra firme forest of lowland Amazonia..
- Wunderle, Joseph, Joseph M..; Currie, David; Ewert, David N. 2007. The potential role of hurricanes in the creation and maintenance of Kirtland's warbler winter habitat in the Bahamian Archipelago..