I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science and the Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program for Leadership in Public Science at North Carolina State University. Prior to this, I was an Associate Professor of Vertebrate Ecology in the Dept of Biology at California State University, Fresno.
I am an evolutionary ecologist who discovered birds as an undergrad after growing up a nature-oblivious urban kid near Bombay, went chasing after vanishing wildernesses in the Himalaya and Western Ghats as a graduate student, and returned to study cities grown up as a reconciliation ecologist. I study ecological and evolutionary processes in more or less human dominated ecosystems with the goal of applying our understanding of these processes towards reconciling biodiversity conservation with human development. I am Project Leader of the multidisciplinary Urban Long-Term Research Area - Fresno And Clovis Ecosocial Study (ULTRA-FACES) project, where we study the interactions between water policy, human water use, and urban biodiversity, and Co-Principal Investigator of an NCEAS (National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis) Working Group on the comparative ecology of urban biodiversity worldwide. Other research in my laboratory addresses the behavioral consequences of human activities on other species, such as the effects of urban noise on bird song, and the foraging ecology of mammals and birds in cities. I serve on the Science Advisory Board of Desert Biodiversity, the Advisory Board of Current Conservation and the Editorial Boards of the journals Urban Naturalist, and Indian Birds. I try to make science part of our culture through the Central Valley Café Scientique. I write for the Social Evolution Forum, The Nature of Cities, Coyot.es Network, and other outlets. I founded and coordinate events for the Central Valley Café Scientifique. I also host an affiliated radio show, "Science: A Candle In The Dark" which airs on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 3:30PM (Pacific Time), and is also available as a podcast.