Jinelle Sperry


Adjunct Assistant Professor

P.O. Box 9005
Champaign, IL 61826
Phone: 217.373.4543 

2008 Ph.D.University of Illinois; Champaign, IL
2004 M.S. Humboldt State University; Arcata, CA
1999 B.S. University of Montana; Missoula, MT

Research Interests: My research has addressed a wide array of topics clustered around the core theme of community ecology and the effects of human-caused and natural disturbances on multi-species interactions.  Most of my recent work has focused on the ecological factors that influence predator-prey interactions between snakes and birds.


Brett DeGregorio


Brett's Webpage

MS. 2008. Indiana – Purdue University; Fort Wayne, IN
BS. 2005. University of Massachusetts; Amherst, MA

Research Project: My dissertation focuses on how climate change
is expected to alter predator - prey interactions between snakes
and nesting birds. All of my research is conducted at the
Savannah River Ecology Lab in South Carolina. I have just
completed my fourth and final field season and anticipate
defending my dissertation spring 2015. I have also begun work as
a wildlife biologist for the Army Corps of Engineers, which will allow me to continue working closely with Dr Sperry.


Jason Gleditsch


Jason's Webpage

MS. 2012. Pennsylvania State University; University Park, PA
BS. 2009. Pennsylvania State University; University Park, PA

Research Interests: I am interested in the relationship between
bird communities and plant communities. Specifically, I am
investigating how this relationship effects the behavior,
ecology, and evolution of avian species and what role
species invasions have in these processes. In addition, I am
interested in examining how these two communities influence
each other through seed dispersal networks and what this means
for community assembly and conservation. Currently I am working
on a massive, broad scoping project taking place on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu trying to answer some of these questions with the exotic bird community there. This project includes collaborators from three other institutions and is a part of the DoD’s environmental science and technology program, SERDP.


Daniel Kovar


Daniel's Website

BS. 2008. Ohio University; Athens, OH

Research Interests: My primary interest is in avian ecology, although I am also interested in connections with other topics. I joined the Sperry-Weatherhead lab during the summer of 2013. I am currently conducting a study comparing the habitat use and nest survival of the endangered Black-capped Vireo to the similar and closely related, but common, White-eyed Vireo.



Valerie Buxton


Val's Website

M.S. 2014 − University of Illinois; Urbana-Champaign, IL
B.A. 2009 – University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI

Research Interests: My research interests broadly include behavioral ecology, landscape ecology, community ecology and conservation.  More specifically, I am interested in how species’ life history and environment interact to influence behavior. I am currently investigating the prevalence and use of social cues in frogs and toads and whether such cues can be used as a management or conservation tool. Though my current work focuses on anurans, I also am interested in how such topics apply to avian species.

Former Lab Members

Dr. Patrick J. Weatherhead - Principal Investigator: Website
Dr. Than Boves - Postdoc: Website
Erika Dittmar - Master's student