About Me

Hi. My name is Brett Bailey.  This website is intended to highlight some of my academic and professional interests.  Whereas five years ago my professional life was composed mainly of servers, computers, networks and a few hundred clients, today I am more interested in ecosystems, habitats, food webs, and birds.  The transition from information technology to ecology began in 2006 when I decided to apply to the Peace Corps, but that is another story.  Currently, I am a student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst pursing a M.S. in environmental conservation. To break it down succinctly, my goal is to promote conservation through research and education.  

There are more than a dozen major biomes on earth hosting approximately 1.5 million described and perhaps 10 million or more undescribed species of plants and animals.  Aves, the class of vertebrates commonly known as birds make up close to 10,000 of all known species.  As with many other classes of animals, the greatest diversity of birds exist in the tropics, a region where  global(climate) change and anthropogenic modification of land cover pose significant threats.  

The small country of Costa Rica, is home to more than 800 species  of birds, some of which visit the United States and Canada to breed each Summer.  Many of the resident species exist nowhere else on the planet.  I spent six weeks in Costa Rica last summer where I experienced the stunning diversity and complexity of the tropics first hand.  Compared to species found in North America, much remains unknown about the ecology of tropical birds. 

In January 2011 I began my first field season in Honduras where I studied neotropical migrants in small coffee fields and forest fragments.  After less than 3 months in the field I encountered nearly 150 species, a quarter of which were migrants.  Wood Thrushes were especially prevalent in my study area.  In 2012 I expanded the project in Honduras to incorporate bird banding and radio tracking.  Preliminary data has revealed some interesting patterns which we hope to continue exploring in 2013. 

I hope to address more of my interests here in the near future. For now check out some of the links and other information to the left.  You will also find a copy of my CV.

Subpages (1): CV