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T.J. Zenzal, Ph.D.

TJ Zenzal is a Research Ecologist at the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center. 

My research interests include the movement and behavioral ecology of wildlife, particularly birds, with an emphasis on conservation. My research integrates traditional field methods (e.g., bird banding, surveys) with technological advancements (e.g., radio telemetry, weather surveillance radar, isotopes, RFID) to better understand the ecology of avian species as they face severe weather events, habitat/land use change, climate change, and the migratory journey. My dissertation work focused on the stopover ecology of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird in coastal Alabama. My post-doctoral work focused on 1) the integration of weather surveillance radar and traditional field methods to determine how landbirds use stopover habitat as well as react to hurricanes along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast during migration, and 2) the use of wetland habitat created via drainage water management by shorebirds in the mid-West.  


Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi

B.S., Environmental Science, University of Scranton


2019-Present: Research Ecologist, US Geological Survey, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (formerly National Wetland Research Center), Lafayette, LA, USA

2017-2019: Research Scientist, School of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

2017: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Avian Ecology, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

2016: Visiting Scholar, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA

2016-2017: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Radar Ornithology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

2009-2016: Ph.D. Biological Sciences; NSF GK-12 Teaching Fellow/Graduate Teaching Assistant/Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA

2008-2009: Various avian field technician positions

2005-2008: B.S. Environmental Science, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, USA