Barbara Pierce, Ph.D.
Chair /Associate Professor
Area of Specialization: Physiological Ecology/Avian Ecology
- BI 245 Vertebrate Biology
- BI 265 Conservation
- BI 312 Systems Physiology
- BI 202 Populations to Ecosystems
- BI 112/114 Concepts in Biology II
Research Interests & Grants
Dr. Pierce's research focuses on the specific nutrient requirements of birds during migration and the influence of these nutrients on the bird's ability to complete migration. Her research has found that migratory songbirds are able to distinguish between foods differing only in fatty acid composition, that songbirds prefer foods with specific unsaturated fatty acids, and that birds with certain fatty acids in their fat stores use less energy during flight than birds with other types of fatty acids. Dr. Pierce is currently examining how antioxidants and changes in fatty acid composition of depot fat affect energetic performance in birds. Her research also examines the adequacy of small urban forest fragments as stopover sites for migrating songbirds and whether or not these small fragments offer the specific nutrients birds require during migration.