Dr. Marie-Sophie Garcia-Heras
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management
University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Email: msgheras (at) hawai.edu; ms.garciaheras (at) gmail.com
I am a field ecologist with a strong focus on conservation biology, specifically working with birds of prey and seabird populations. I am interested in developing comprehensive research projects to look at how various environmental and anthropogenic factors may be affecting and limiting species, at both population and individual levels. My primary research interests include habitat use, movement ecology and migration patterns, in addition to ecotoxicology, ecophysiology, and the interactions between top-predators and prey. I am a strong believer of interdisciplinary research and international collaborations as key elements for a broader understanding of the ecology of wild species and the functioning of the ecosystems they depend on.
I received my M.S. in Ecology and Biodiversity Management from the University of Aix-Marseille III (France) in 2011, where, in collaboration with the Estación Biologica de Doñana (Sevilla, Spain) I studied individual patterns of the breeding and feeding ecology of the endangered population of Egyptian Vultures in the Canarian Islands. I then joined the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa for my PhD (2012-2017), where I conducted research on the ecology of the endangered Black Harrier, endemic to Southern Africa. I was interested in looking at how various environmental factors may affect the breeding parameters and health condition of the species, at both population and individual levels. In 2017, for my first postdoctoral position, I left the South African plains to migrate north to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, USA, where I studied the movement behaviours and migration patterns of adult Black Harriers. From 2018-2020, I became a Research Associate Postdoc at the Oregon State University in Oregon, USA, where I was looking at marine space use and at sea movements of a threatened seabird, the Marbled Murrelet. Starting in August 2020, I am now currently working within the Pueo project at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, trying to reveal the mysteries of this elusive native Hawaiian raptor, by looking at different aspects of its ecology such as movement and breeding ecology.