Alicia Berlin, Ph.D.


Alicia Berlin began as an intern at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in 2001 and, ultimately, became a Research Wildlife Biologist in 2008. Her background is in physiological ecology (the science of linking the physiology of an animal with on the ground management actions) and ornithology. Her research interests include bioenergetics modeling of waterbirds, habitat utilization of Atlantic seabirds using state of the art tracking technologies and developing innovative techniques to determine underwater noise impacts and potential deterrents on seabirds.


  • Ph.D., Foraging values of Mulinia lateralis and Ischadium recurvum: energetic effects on surf scoters wintering in the Chesapeake Bay. (May 2008)  University of Maryland, advisor: Dr. Mary Ann Ottinger 
  • M.S., Comparative Analysis of Embryonic Growth Rate and Incubation Length in Dabbling Ducks. (December 2000)   Michigan State University, advisor: Dr. Harold H. Prince
  • B.S., Renewable Natural Resources; Concentration in Wildlife Management (May 1998)  University of Connecticut, Storrs

New Research:

  • Impacts of prey resources, weather, and time of day on habitat use for wintering lesser scaup in the Chesapeake Bay. Collaborators: University of Delaware (UDEL) and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDDNR)
  • Improving and field-testing solar-powered GPS/GSM transmitter design and attachment techniques to increase effectiveness of the technology for tracking marine and coastal birds. Collaborators: USFWS
  • In-air and underwater hearing thresholds and assessment of auditory deterrents on diving birds. Collaborators: USFWS, University of Delaware (UDEL), Naval Undersea Warfare Center
  • Understanding visual stimuli aversive to diving birds to inform fisheries bycatch mitigation development. Collaborators: Royal Holloway University of London, Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), Birdlife Europe and Birdlife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
  • Habitat Vulnerability Assessment for Wintering American Black Ducks in the Chesapeake Bay Refuge System in the Face of Impending Sea-Level Rise and Land Use Change Scenarios. Collaborators: USFWS refuges, Black Duck joint Venture (BDJV), Ducks Unlimited (DU), Atlantic Coast Joint Venture (ACJV)

Previous Research:

  • Captured surf scoters and long-tailed ducks using mist-nets, net gun, and night lighting techniques to implant with satellite transmitters in the Chesapeake Bay, Pamlico Sound, and coastal waters of Rhode Island and Nantucket the delineate the Atlantic flyway populations.   Collaborators: USFWS, SDJV, CWS, MDDNR, VADGIF, URI, MA Audubon
  • Captured surf scoters, red-throated loons, and northern gannets to implant with satellite transmitters to determine potential impacts of offshore wind energy development on migratory seabirds.   Collaborators: USFWS, SDJV, MDDNR, BOEM, VADGIF, BRI, Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Testing the use of newly created GMT solar powered backpack transmitters on seabirds to reduce mortality, increase transmission time and quality, and reduce handling stress on seabirds.    Collaborators: USFWS, BOEM
  • Running a clinical trial comparing the epizootology of our current manual feeder system to a more computerized enclosed feeding system.    Collaborators: UMD, UMUC
  • Determined the electrosensory foraging capabilities of ruddy ducks.    Collaborators: University of Lethbridge, Smithsonian
  • Determine the impact of corticosterone levels on reproductive effort of common eiders.    Collaborators: University of Windsor, CWS
  • Determine the foraging values of an invasive species, Green Crab, and native species, Yellow shore Crab, for harlequin ducks.    Collaborator: UMD
  • Determine the digestibility of eelgrass seeds by wintering Lesser Scaup as a means of seed dispersal in the Chesapeake Bay.    Collaborators: VIMS, William and Mary