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Research Associates

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute Research Associate Program is designed to broaden RTPI’s scholarly base by recruiting outstanding scholars and graduate students with interests in natural history (or related fields e.g., ecology, conservation biology, wildlife biology), wildlife art, or environmental education, as research associates.

Past Research Associates include:



pbeeson1Peter Beeson earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from Penn State University and a B.S. in geology from Bates College. For over twenty years, Dr. Beeson has worked to incorporate GIS and remote sensing into hydrologic models ranging from simulating effects of wildfires on water capacity to the effects of agricultural practices on water quality. His experience has included projects for Los Alamos National Laboratory and the US Department of Agriculture in seven different states and Mexico. While at RTPI, he researched water quality, assisted local organizations in utilizing new technology in their own projects, and introduced students to GIS, natural sciences, and our unique region.


jmmeyers_photo_copyJ. Michael Meyers received his Ph.D. (Ecology) in 1982 under direction of Drs. Eugene P. Odum and Joshua Laerm at The University of Georgia. He currently conducts research at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Athens, GA. Previously, he directed the Nongame Wildlife Program for Alabama. His research interests are avian habitat and survival in the Caribbean and Eastern United States. He also conducts research on habitat for vertebrates, especially for management agencies of the Department of Interior.



gmorton_copyEugene S. Morton is Senior Scientist Emeritus at the National Zoological Park, Washington, DC, adjunct professor at York University, Toronto, and Director of the Hemlock Hill Field Station in Cambridge Springs, PA. He received his Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Yale University. He has held numerous research and teaching positions and has received many awards and honors for his ornithological research, including the William Brewster Medal by the American Ornithologists’ Union for the “most significant body of ornithological research in the past decade.” He resides in Woodbridge, Ontario, and in Cambridge Springs, PA.



rappole-john-photoJohn Rappole is Scientist Emeritus at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. His main areas of interest are the ecology and evolution of migratory birds, the natural history and conservation biology of terrestrial vertebrates, and the ornithogeography of the southeastern Himalayas. He has published 13 books and 140 professional papers on these and related topics.




DSC_7357Alex Shepack, M. Sc., is a doctoral student at Southern Illinois University (SIU). He has conducted herpetological field research in Costa Rica for the past 7 years. Alex’s research focuses on population ecology of amphibians and his doctoral work at SIU examines how amphibian communities respond to continued exposure to pathogens like the fungus Batrachochytridium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has compromised amphibian populations worldwide in the past decades. Alex collaborates with RTPI president Twan Leenders in studying select recovering amphibian populations in Costa Rica and Panama and is one of the principal investigators on the Atelopus limosus research project that RTPI carries out with partner organization CREA (Conservation through Research, Education and Action) in the Cocobolo Nature Reserve in eastern Panama.


s_stoleson_copyScott H. Stoleson is a Research Wildlife Biologist for the USDA Forest Service at the Northern Research Station, in Irvine, PA. Scott’s Ph.D. is in Wildlife Ecology from Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. His current research involves Cerulean Warblers and the role of disturbance in sustaining songbird populations in managed forests. Scott and his wife Pam reside in Sugar Grove, PA.



stutchburybridgetBridget J. Stutchbury received her Master of Science degree at Queen’s University and completed her Ph.D. at Yale. She was a fellow and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution and is now professor of biology at York University in Toronto, where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Ecology and Conservation Biology. Recognized as an international birding expert, she is affiliated with more than a dozen organizations seeking to preserve bird habitats, including the World Wildlife Fund. She is the author of the book, Silence of the Songbirds, in which she documents the decline of the world’s songbirds and what we can do to save them. She lives in Woodbridge, Ontario, and in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania.