Jennifer Malpass, Ph.D.


Jennifer Malpass is an Associate Wildlife Biologist® and Diversity Change Agent currently serving as biologist in the US Geological Survey's Bird Banding Lab (BBL) at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) in Laurel, Maryland. She fell in love with the outdoors, flipping rocks in the backyard of her home in suburban Chicago and down the end of a dirt road at a summer camp in eastern Ohio. She earned a BA from Colby College in Maine and collaborated on various US and international wildlife projects before returning to Ohio State University for her Ph.D. Most of her work has focused on birds, urbanization, and citizen science. In her current role at the BBL, she helps manage over 80 million records of banded and encountered birds, leads novel collaborations with external organizations (non-governmental organizations, academia, agencies), and connects people to wildlife using nature’s greatest ambassadors. She recently became a Diversity Change Agent, a cohort of federal employees who work to educate the Department of Interior workforce about diversity issues, and to promote diversity and inclusion as mission critical imperatives.

Previous positions:

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, Monomoy NWR, Chatham, MA, 2016

        Research technician for piping plover nanotag tracking

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Birds, Hadley, MA, 2015

         Directorate fellows program, Conservation action plan for American common eider                                

  • School of Environment and Natural Resources, Columbus, OH, 2010- 2015

        OSU Yard Birds Project coordinator, Teaching assistant for wetland ecology lecture and laboratory (2013 & 2014)

  • Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Washington, DC, 2010

        Neighborhood Nestwatch technician

  • US Forest Service/Rusty Blackbird Technical Group, Greenville, MS, 2009-2010

        Winter demography research assistant

  • University of Southern Mississippi, Fort Morgan, AL, 2009

        Avian migration banding assistant

  • Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Oak Harbor, OH, 2009

        Avian migration banding assistant                                                                                                                                   

  • Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary, Chiayaphum province, Thailand, 2008- 2009

        Research technician for behavioral ecology of Phayre’s langur

  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland, OH, 2007

        Veterinary department intern

  • Colby College Biology Department, Waterville, ME, 2005-2008

        Amphibian monitoring, Teaching assistant for comparative vertebrate anatomy laboratory (2007)

  • Falcon Camp, Carrollton, OH, 2003-2007, 2009

        Nature program director, Unit leader (2005-2007), Weekend events coordinator (2009)


  • The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2010-2015

        PhD in Environment and Natural Resources, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences specialization

        Dissertation: “Effects of food and vegetation on breeding birds and nest predators in the suburban matrix”

  • Colby College, Waterville, ME, 2004-2008

        BA in Biology with Honors and Classics Language and Literature (dual major)

        Honors: summa cum laude

  • Organization of Tropical Studies/Duke University, South Africa, 2006

        Field-based study abroad program focusing on wildlife ecology, conservation, and management