The Carl J. Strikwerda Award for Excellence named for previous Dean of Arts and Sciences of The College of William and Mary recognizes a graduate student for their outstanding scholarship and written papers on thesis research. The recipient is selected by a multidisciplinary panel of William and Mary faculty and advisory board members. Previous award recipients have been commended for original investigation, distinguished excellence in scholarship and potential contribution to the discipline. Courtney Turrin is the 2013 Strikwerda Award recipient.
Courtney, a graduate student working with Bryan Watts within The Center for Conservation Biology is studying nesting bald eagles within the lower Chesapeake Bay. Her work is focused on how eagle territory holders cope with birds that are searching and completing for territories. As the population has recovered and breeding space becomes increasingly limited we expect to see dramatic contests between birds reaching breeding age and those with existing territories. This last phase of population recovery is how the population will transition to some equilibrium state. We know very little about how this transition plays out in natural populations. Findings will have applications to how we manage breeding bald eagles as populations across their range reach saturation.
Written by Bryan Watts
March 18, 2013