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Joanna Burger
Joanna Burger
Distinguished Professor
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(848) 445-4318
B216 Nelson Labs
Animal behavior, avian ecology, behavioral toxicology, ecological risk

Research

Joanna Burger is a behavioral ecologist whose primary interests are in the adaptive significance of social behavior in vertebrates, the effects of incubation temperature on behavioral development, the effects of heavy metals on neurobehavioral development, and ecological risk. In the area of social behavior she works mainly with marine and coastal birds, including the effects of people on reproductive success and ecology of colonial species. The work on reptiles involves examining how the behavior of snakes is influenced by incubation temperature, including locomotion, antipredator behavior, foraging, and over-wintering. For several years she has been examining patterns of heavy metal distribution worldwide, using avian feathers as indicators. This ongoing work involves examining the effects of low level lead, chromium and manganese exposure (similar to what children get when they eat lead paint) on behavior development of Herring Gulls, both in the field and in the laboratory. Her work with ecological risk assessment has included many different species and habitats. She is currently working at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina, developing ecological risk methodologies. She sits on the U.S. National SCOPE Committee, is on the National Academy of Sciences Committee of Endocrine Disruptors, and has participated in several international SCOPE committees on ecological risk, mercury, and hazardous wastes.

Publications


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