Biodiversity Research Institute
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Wildlife Research and Field Biologist
Chris Sayers, B.S.
Chris enjoying the Costa Rican sunshine on the top of Volcan Irazu

Chris Sayers, B.S.

Tropical Bird Specialist

207-839-7600 x206
chris.sayers@briloon.org
 

Chris graduated from Cornell University in 2020 with a BS degree in environmental and sustainability sciences with minors in biology and climate change. Joining BRI in early 2021 as an associate research biologist, he is broadly interested in how environmental pollutants affect biodiversity, especially populations of declining species. Chris has made tropical birds his priority over the last 3 years while studying avian soundscapes in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, social weaver nesting behavior in the scrub-savannas of Kenya, and now, avian mercury exposure in the neotropics with BRI.

Chris contributes to BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies in an international collaboration to understand the prevalence and distribution of mercury pollution in neotropical birds throughout Latin America. His work helps highlight how prevalent ecotoxins have become in the environment as a direct result of human activities such as industrial practices and artisanal small-scale gold mining.

Education

 
  • B.S., Environmental & Sustainability Sciences, Cornell University, 2020. 

Research Interests

 
  • How environmental pollutants affect biodiversity, especially in populations of declining species
  • Bird conservation
  • Tropical ecology

Publications

 
  • Sayers II, C.J., M.R. Roeder, L. Forrette, D. Roche, G.L.B. Dupont, S. Apgar, A.R. Kocek, A.M. Cook,  W.G. Shriver, C.S. Elphick, B. Olsen, and D.N. Bonter. In preparation. Geographic variation of mercury in breeding tidal marsh sparrows of the northeastern United States. To be submitted to Ecotoxicology.
  • Sayers II CJ (2020) Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (Phegornis mitchellii), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (Billerman SM, Keeney BK, Rodewald PG, and Schulenberg TS, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.diaplo1.01
  • Sayers II CJ, Moreland C, Morgan H, Arévalo JE (2019) Short-term effects of traffic noise on avian dawn chorus in a neotropical cloud forest. El Boletín Zeledonia 23(2):8–28. https://www.zeledonia.com/zeledonia-23-2019.html
  • Sayers II CJ (2019) Fieldwork In East Africa: Cooperative Breeding In Superb Starlings [Video]. All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/fieldwork-east-africa-cooperative-superb-starlings/

Presentations

 

Oral Presentations

  • Sayers II, C.J., M.R. Roeder, L. Forrette, D. Roche, G.L.B. Dupont, S. Apgar, A.R. Kocek, A.M. Cook,  W.G. Shriver, C.S. Elphick, B. Olsen, and D.N. Bonter. 2020. Geographic variation of mercury in breeding tidal marsh sparrows of the northeastern United States. Virtual Meeting of the North American Ornithological Conference. *AOS Council Student Presentation Award
  • Sayers II, C.J., M.R. Roeder, L. Forrette, D. Roche, G.L.B. Dupont, S. Apgar, A.R. Kocek, A.M. Cook,  W.G. Shriver, C.S. Elphick, B. Olsen, and D.N. Bonter. 2020. Geographic variation of mercury in breeding tidal marsh sparrows of the northeastern United States. Environmental & Sustainability Research Honors Virtual Symposium, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
  • Sayers II, C.J., C. Moreland, H. Morgan, and J.E. Arévalo. 2019. Short-term effects of traffic noise on avian dawn chorus in a neotropical cloud forest. The School for Field Studies Directed Research Symposium, Atenas, Costa Rica.

 

Poster Presentations

  • Sayers II, C.J., M.R. Roeder, L. Forrette, D. Roche, G.L.B. Dupont, S. Apgar, A.R. Kocek, A.M. Cook,  W.G. Shriver, C.S. Elphick, B. Olsen, and D.N. Bonter. 2020. Geographic variation of mercury in breeding tidal marsh sparrows of the northeastern United States. Office of Undergraduate Biology May Research Symposium, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l2HsWhdq5s
  • Sayers II, C.J., M.R. Roeder, L. Forrette, D. Roche, G.L.B. Dupont, S. Apgar, A.R. Kocek, A.M. Cook,  W.G. Shriver, C.S. Elphick, B. Olsen, and D.N. Bonter. 2019. Geographic variation of mercury in breeding tidal marsh sparrows of the northeastern United States. 2019 Joint Meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists & the Wilson Ornithological Society, Cape May, NJ.
  • Sayers II, C.J., M.R. Roeder, L. Forrette, D. Roche, G.L.B. Dupont, S. Apgar, A.R. Kocek, A.M. Cook,  W.G. Shriver, C.S. Elphick, B. Olsen, and D.N. Bonter. 2019. Geographic variation of mercury in breeding tidal marsh sparrows of the northeastern United States. 14th International Conference for Mercury as a Global Pollutant, Krakow, Poland. *2nd Best Poster Award

 

Outreach Presentations

  • Sayers II, C.J. 2020. Virtual Admissions Session. Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science, Manahawkin, NJ.
  • Sayers II, C.J., J.F. Deitsch, D. Mora-Vargas. 2019. Manejo y Mejores Prácticas de eBird y Merlin. La Palma & Puerto Jiménez High School, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
  • Sayers II, C.J., J.F. Deitsch, D. Mora-Vargas. 2019. Manejo y Mejores Prácticas de eBird y Merlin. San Vito Birding Club, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
  • Sayers II, C.J., J.F. Deitsch, D. Mora-Vargas. 2019. Manejo y Mejores Prácticas de eBird y Merlin. INA Naturalist Guide School of Puerto Jiménez, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
  • Sayers II, C.J., J.F. Deitsch, D. Mora-Vargas. 2019. Manejo y Mejores Prácticas de eBird y Merlin. Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.
  • Sayers II, C.J. 2019. An Introduction to Online Ornithology Resources for Ecotourism. Little St. Simons Island, St. Simons, GA.
  • Sayers II, C.J. 2019. Una Introducción a Recursos de Ornitología en Línea para los Neotrópicos. La Tirimbina Ecolodge, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica.
  • Sayers II, C.J. 2018. A Cornell Undergrad’s Journey Through Field Research & Beyond. Atlantic Audubon Society, Galloway, NJ.

 

Grants, Awards and Fellowships

 

Since 2017, 10 grants awarded totalling more than $26,000

  • Experiential Learning Grant, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2020)
  • Student Conference Travel Award, Association of Field Ornithologists & Wilson Ornithological Society (2019)
  • Redheads Undergraduate Research Grant, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2019)
  • Philip H. Bartels ‘71 Scholarship, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2019)
  • M. Savoca & L. Orrok Undergraduate Research Endowment, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2018)
  • Ann S. & Robert R. Morley Student Research Grant, Cornell University (2018)
  • Kristen Rupert & John Foote Undergraduate Research Grant, Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2017 – 2020)
 
Photo Credits: ©Al Hinde
Biodiversity Research Institute