PhD: Texas A&M University, 1994
Office: SC 271
Phone: (561) 297-3333
lab webpage: www.science.fau.edu/biology/gawliklab
My broad research interests are in avian ecology, wetland ecosystems, and restoration ecology. The main research questions being addressed in my lab focus on mechanisms by which prey in a fluctuating wetland become available to wading birds, the response of wading birds to prey limitations, and species-specific models of habitat suitability. Prey density and prey availability are very different parameters that are affected by different ecosystem processes. Yet, ecologists have been slow to develop models that distinguish between a predator's response to prey density versus availability, despite the fact that foraging theory is based on availability. This topic placed in the broader context of landscape use and wetland restoration is the subject of an Ecological Monograph (Gawlik 2002), which was the first in a series of large-scale field experiments to examine the response of wading birds to different components of prey availability. My students and I have continued to build on the conceptual model for prey availability using a variety of approaches.
Another underlying theme of my lab’s research is that it usually bears directly on the Everglades restoration effort. A decade of conducting research and conveying it to managers has shown me how conservation benefits when scientific knowledge is packaged into tools that translate easily to management outcomes. I have been equally disappointed by watching management proceed unencumbered by scientific knowledge and by seeing elegant research wither in the sole confines of academic journals.