Landon R. Jones, PhD Candidate
University of Louisiana Lafayette
Co-advised by Paul Leberg and Derek Johnson
I am a 5th year PhD student interested in conservation research in tropical ecosystems and ecological modeling. For my PhD dissertation, I conducted fieldwork at the campus of the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) in Turrialba, Costa Rica on a Fulbright fellowship, researching toucans and seed dispersal. With a fantastic team of volunteer field assistants, I trapped and tracked the movements of Collared Aracaris (Pteroglossus torquatus) and Keel-billed Toucans (Ramphastos sulfuratus) in a mosaic landscape of fragmented agricultural habitats and continuous forest. We also conducted seed retention trials to determine how long toucans retain different seed species in the digestive tract after consuming fruits. I am currently combining the movement and seed retention data from the project to estimate spatial patterns of seed dispersal in mathematical simulations to test hypotheses on seed dispersal in fragmented landscapes. I collected field data until the spring of 2013 with the help of volunteer assistants from countries all over the world.