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Susan De La Cruz

Dr. Susan De La Cruz is a Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Western Ecological Research Center.

She has over 20 years of wildlife research experience in San Francisco Bay Delta and along the Pacific and Central Flyways and as the senior researcher at the San Francisco Bay Estuary Field Station, she oversees and directs research activities.  With Federal, State, University, non-profit, and local partners, she is actively involved in designing, funding, implementing and publishing research on foraging and migration ecology, winter habitat use, survival and contaminant effects in nearshore avian species. Her Ph.D. research focused on how changes in benthic prey resources in the estuary influence winter body condition, subsequent spring migration and cross-seasonal reproduction in surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata), a declining sea duck species that winters in along the Pacific coast. Other current research includes modeling effects of sea-level rise and geomorphic change on avian foraging ecology and carrying capacity, evaluating the effects of water traffic on avian habitat use and behavior, measuring post-oil spill survival and behavior, determining the value of natural and restored intertidal and subtidal habitats for waterbirds and tidal marsh endemics, assessing impacts of dredge operations on benthic communities, and assessing the effectiveness of sediment augmentation (sediment subsidies) on tidal marsh resiliency.

HIGHLIGHTED PUBLICATIONS

Harris, M.C., Pearce, J.M., Prosser, D.J., White, C.L., Miles, A.K., Sleeman, J.M., Brand, C.J., Cronin, J.P., De La Cruz, S., Densmore, C.L., Doyle, T.W., Dusek, R.J., Fleskes, J.P., Flint, P.L., Guala, G.F., Hall, J.S., Hubbard, L.E., Hunt, R.J., Ip, H.S., Katz, R.A., Laurent, K.W., Miller, M.P., Munn, M.D., Ramey, A.M., Richards, K.D., Russell, R.E., Stokdyk, J.P., Takekawa, J.Y., and Walsh, D.P. 2016.   U.S. Geological Survey science strategy for highly pathogenic avian influenza in wildlife and the environment (2016–2020): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1121, 38 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161121.

Mills, K.L., J.K. Gaydos, C.G. Fiorello, E.R. Whitmer, S.E.W. De La Cruz, D.M. Mulcahy, L.I. Vilchis, and M.H. Ziccardi.  2016.  Post-release survival and movement of Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) implanted with intracoelomic satellite transmitters.  Waterbirds 39(2):175-186. http://dx.do

Education and Certifications

  • University of California, Davis: Ph.D., Ecology, Ecotoxicology Emphasis, December 2010

    Dissertation titleHabitat, Diet, and Contaminant Relationships of Surf Scoters Wintering in San Francisco

  • Texas A&M University: M.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, December 1998

    Thesis titleScreening for Endocrine Disrupting Effects of Xenobiotics in Wildlife Using Oxbow Lakes and Settling

  • University of California, Davis: B.S., Biological Sciences, December 1992

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