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Danial Catlin

Research Assistant Professor
134 Cheatham Hall

B. A., Hamilton College (2001) 
M.S., Oregon State University (2004) 
Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2009)


I am a quantitative ecologist that works on the conservation of threatened and endangered organisms, specifically focusing on shorebird ecology. My work uses demographic and behavioral data to inform the management of these species throughout the life cycle. I am especially interested in the effects of management on the condition and survival of these species, using management to improve demographic outcomes in novel ways.

Missouri River Shorebird Project

We have been studying piping plovers, least terns, snowy plovers, killdeer, and spotted sandpipers on the Missouri River for more than a decade, looking at the relationship between habitat and population growth. We are currently assessing the impact of the 2011 Missouri River flood on the demography and ecology of these species. Niobrara River Plover Project – In a continuation of our work on the Missouri River, we are examining the relationship between piping plovers and riverine nesting habitat. In addition to describing and mapping the quality of piping plover nesting habitat, we are looking at the demographic consequences of the connection between the Niobrara and Missouri River systems.

Survival of Piping Plovers in the Southeast

Piping plovers spend most of the year on migration and winter locations. We are working with collaborators across the flyway to understand the factors that are affecting the over-winter survival of plovers at these locations. In particular, we are looking at the effects of temperature, beach management, and disturbance across a range of beaches in South Carolina and Georgia.

Response of Piping Plovers to Hurricane Sandy 

We are looking at the demographic response of piping plovers to storm-created habitats, as well as reconstruction and mitigation efforts by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Friedrich, M. J., K. L. Hunt, D. H. Catlin, and J. D. Fraser. 2015. The importance of site to mate choice: mate and site fidelity in piping plovers. Auk 132: 265–276.
  • Catlin, D. H., O. Milenkaya, K. L. Hunt, M. J. Friedrich, and J. D. Fraser. 2014. Can river management improve the piping plover’s long-term survival on the Missouri River? Biological Conservation 180: 196–205.
  • Gieder, K. D., S. M. Karpanty, J. D. Fraser, D. H. Catlin, B. T. Gutierrez, N. G. Plant, A. M. Turecek, E. R. Thieler. 2014. A Bayesian network approach to predicting nest presence of the federally-threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus) using barrier island features.  Ecological Modeling: 276:36–50. 
  • McGowan, C. P., D. H. Catlin, T. L. Shaffer, C. L. Gratto-Trevor, and C. Aron. 2014. Establishing endangered species recovery criteria using predictive simulation modeling. Biological Conservation 177: 220–229.
  • Catlin, D. H., J. H. Felio, and J. D. Fraser.  2013.  Effects of water discharge on fledging times, growth, and survival of piping plovers on the Missouri River.  Journal of Wildlife Management, 77: 525–533.
  • DeRose-Wilson, A.L., J.D. Fraser, S.M. Karpanty, and D.H. Catlin. 2013. Nest-site selection and demography of Wilson’s Plovers on a North Carolina barrier island. Journal of Field Ornithology 84(4): 329–344.
  • Hunt, K.L., D.H. Catlin, J.H. Felio, and J.D. Fraser. 2013. Effect of capture frequency on the survival of Piping Plover chicks. Journal of Field Ornithology, 84(3): 299–303.
  • Hunt, K.L., N. Taygan, D.H. Catlin, J.H. Felio, and J.D. Fraser. 2013. Demography of Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus) on the Missouri River. Waterbirds 36(2): 220–224.
  • Catlin, D.H., J.H. Felio, and J.D. Fraser.  2012.  Comparison of piping plover foraging habitat on artificial and natural sandbars on the Missouri River.  Prairie Naturalist 44(1): 3–9.
  • Gratto-Trevor, C., D. Amirault-Langlais, D. Catlin, F. Cuthbert, J. Fraser, S. Maddock, E. Roche, and F. Shaffer.  2012.  Connectivity in piping plovers: Do breeding populations have distinct winter distribtuions?  Journal of Wildlife Management 76: 348–355.