Libby Porzig
PhD student in Ecology, University of California, Davis

porzigelporzig [at]
1053 Academic Surge

I am interested in how animals, particularly birds, make habitat selection decisions, and how the decisions of individuals affect population-level patterns. These questions are particularly interesting to me in a framework of dynamic habitat conditions, such as found with climate and land use change. Understanding the factors that limit or enhance a species’ ability to respond to habitat change helps conservationists and managers to protect declining populations and prepare for changes in species distributions. 

More specifically, the concepts I am exploring include:
(1) factors affecting natal dispersal
(2) the role of intraspecific and interspecific interactions in affecting settlement decisions
(3) patterns of avian community response to habitat change
(4) the degree to which fitness is determined by individual variation and habitat quality

My field site is located at the Palomarin Field Station run by PRBO Conservation Science. At Palomarin, I am participating in, and utilizing data from, a long term study that includes territory mapping, nest monitoring and constant effort mist netting of a coastal scrub bird community. Without detailed long term data such as that collected at Palomarin, it would not be possible to address the above research questions in a meaningful way.  I hope that my dissertation research will help highlight the value of long term research projects such as the Palomarin long-term demographic monitoring program.


  • Jastro Shields Research Award, 2008
  • Selma Herr Grant for Ornithological Research, 2008
  • UC Davis Block Grant, 2008-2009


  • Teaching Assistant, UC Davis: Introduction to Biology: Biodiversity and the Tree of Life, Winter 2009.
  • Teaching Assistant, UC Davis: Laboratory in Biology and Conservation of Wild Birds, Fall 2008.
  • Course Assistant, UC Santa Cruz: Biology and Ecology of the Vertebrates, Winter 2007.


  • American Ornithologists Union, Annual Meeting 2007 (poster presentation): Chase, MK, AL Holmes, T Gardali, G Geupel, G Ballard, N Nur, EL Porzig. “Two decades of change in a coastal scrub community: songbird response to plant succession.”


  • Abbaspour, P and EL Porzig. 2007. Coastal Scrub, Breeding Bird Census, 2003. Bird Populations 8: 134.
  • Shults, A and EL Porzig. 2007. Disturbed Coastal Scrub A, Breeding Bird Census, 2003. Bird Populations 8: 134.
  • Jayabose, G and EL Porzig. 2007. Disturbed Coastal Scrub B, Breeding Bird Census, 2003. Bird Populations 8: 134-135.
Revised September 15, 2009