Frances DiDonato

Master’s Student, School of Natural Resources

I am a Master’s Student in the School of Natural Resources at Mizzou studying the population dynamics of Atlantic brant. In other words, I research factors affecting brant survival and reproduction. Brant are a species of goose that breed in the remote Arctic and spend winters along the Atlantic Coast. They are unique in that 90% of their entire population concentrates in the heavily urbanized areas of New York City (NYC), Long Island, and the Jersey Shore. We have captured and marked brant with colorful, field readable tags and we observe them on their wintering areas to better understand their survival and reproduction. If you ever visit the NYC, Long Island, or Jersey Shore during winter, keep an eye out for brant and you just may see some of them marked with these colorful, field readable tags on their legs. 

In the future, I would like to be a waterfowl biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or state government agency helping to monitor and manage waterfowl populations and their habitats. I really enjoy engaging with the public about wildlife and discussing how science facilitates sound conservation and management of their habitats and populations to sustain them for generations to come. Science on Wheels provides a great resource for helping connect the public and scientists to each other.

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