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School of Environment and Natural Resources


New Assistant Professor of Avian Ecology

Christopher Tonra joins the school Autumn semester as an assistant professor of Avian Ecology.  Not only does Tonra bring with him a longstanding affection and interest in birds, but also expertise in integrating the fields of behavior, physiology, and ecology.

Tonra has been interested in birds since he was 13 years old and after earning his undergraduate degree in anthropology and working in a variety of jobs Tonra decided to academically pursue his passion by enrolling in a graduate program at Humboldt State University where he studied the relationship between habitat and reproduction in cowbirds.

Upon completion of his master’s degree Tonra enrolled in a biology doctoral program at the University of Maine where he studied the physiology of bird migration.

His post-doctoral work included fellowships at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC where where he studied interactions between birds and salmon during the largest dam removal in US history on the Elwha River in Washington State.

At Ohio State Tonra will grow his research in these areas and notes he is especially interested in working closely with state wildlife agencies and anticipates their needs will serve as a guide to his future research.

Besides leading and developing his research program, Tonra is currently co-teaching ENR 3300 – Introduction to Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife with professors Williams and Dabrowski.

Tonra is ecstatic about the opportunity to cheer on the Buckeyes this season and experiencing a region of the United States he has not yet lived in (he hails from New York).