The Northeast Motus Collaboration is a partnership between the Willistown Conservation Trust, Chester County, PA; the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, Dauphin County, PA; Project Owlnet, a cooperative research project involving more than 125 independent owl-research sites in North America; and Powdermill Nature Reserve, Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Carnegie Institute), Rector, PA.
Lisa kiziuk - Principal
Is director of the Bird Conservation Program at the Willistown Conservation Trust (WCT) in Chester County, PA. As a federally licensed bird bander, she manages the Rushton Woods Bird Banding Station, which includes a migratory passerine program, a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) program, and a Northern Saw-whet Owl research program. In addition to her research and education initiatives at WCT, Lisa is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the graduate program of environmental studies, and frequently serves as a guest lecturer for local universities, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations. Lisa has a masters in environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and was presented with the Rosalie Edge Conservation Award by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club in 2011 for her work in bird conservation.
Scott weidensaul - principal
Is a researcher and award-winning natural history writer based in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. He is a co-director of Project Owlnet, and has directed the Northern Saw-whet Owl research program at the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, Millersburg, PA, since 1998, doing banding, telemetry, geolocation, genetics and a variety of sampling (blood, feathers, etc.). He began banding in 1986, working with Hawk Mountain's raptor trapping crew, and has held a master-personal banding permit since 1993. Weidensaul is one of fewer than 100 master hummingbird banders in North America, specializing in the study of rapidly evolving migratory routes and wintering areas among western hummingbirds. Like Brinker, he is a founder and principal of Project SNOWstorm, the largest collaborative research effort focused on Snowy Owls. Recent awards include the Richard Hopper Medal from the Academy of Natural Sciences, honorary doctorates from Albright College and Kutztown University, and the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association.
David Brinker - principal
Is a regional ecologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Natural Heritage Program since 1990, works on biodiversity conservation, where he specializes on colonial nesting waterbirds and marshbirds, as well as working on freshwater mussels, tiger beetles and odonates. He began banding raptors at the Little Suamico Ornithological Station in 1975, and has been banding Northern Saw-whet Owls in Maryland since 1986, and at Assateague Island since 1991. He founded the continental collaborative banding effort Project Owlnet in 1994. In addition to his professional duties, during his free time he studies Northern Goshawks in West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania and has experience with RF, GSM and satellite telemetry on Black Skimmers, Northern Goshawks, Northern Saw-whet and Snowy owls. He recently co-founded and is a principal in Project SNOWstorm. He has also authored and coauthored a variety of peer-reviewed papers, including topics such as Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Saw-whet Owl migration, goshawk population change, and colonial nesting waterbird trends.
Lucas DeGroote - Principal
Alison Fetterman - Project coordinator
Is a Bird Conservation Associate and Pennsylvania Motus Project Manager at Willistown Conservation Trust. Alison shares her time bird banding at Rushton Farm, managing the bird data, a bird monitoring team, and the statewide Motus array. In addition to her work at WCT, Alison is a co-teacher the Master’s course Ecology of Puerto Rico at the Univesity of Pennsylvania and guest lectures annually to the UPENN's Landscape Architecture class. Alison brings to the Trust seven years experience in bird monitoring methods after working for Point Blue, a leading conservation science organization based in California. In 2016, she earned a Masters of Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jonathan Rice - Conservation Coordinator
Todd Alleger - Project technician
Is an experienced bird bander and biologist, shares his time between Motus Project Technician and Rushton Farm’s Agroecology Project Coordinator. Todd works alongside the farm staff in the crop fields, documenting and cataloging all observed forms of life - from birds to rodents, mammals, insects and pollinators. His research will add to the seven years of Rushton banding data on migratory Neo-tropical songbirds and Northern Saw Whet Owls, focusing on the interaction between cultivated and wild spaces and the impact on biodiversity. In addition, Todd has provided technical support to the Motus project by building the sensorgnomes and installing and maintaining Motus receiver stations across the state of Pennsylvania. Todd attended the University of Vermont where he majored in Wildlife Biology. He has worked as an avian field ecologist on nest monitoring and bird banding projects across the country, including Vermont, Indiana, Wyoming, and Yosemite National Park.