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David C. Evers, Ph.D.
On a seabird expedition in the Bahamas, Dave holds a White-tailed Tropicbird.

David C. Evers, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Chief Scientist and Co-Director Center for Mercury Studies

207-839-7600 x221

From the moment he captured his first loon on Michigan’s Seney National Wildlife Refuge, David Evers has been a champion of wildlife, incorporating innovative approaches to traditional research methods. As the founder, executive director, and chief scientist of BRI, Dr. Evers has made great strides in bringing critical ecological issues to the forefront of our nation’s and the world’s consciousness. He regularly develops collaborations and working groups, often working at regional and international scales with scientists, federal and state governmental agencies, universities and research institutes, as well as other nonprofit organizations.

As a conservation biologist, he believes it his responsibility to provide decision makers with scientific findings from an unbiased viewpoint. Dr. Evers often testifies or presents scientific results to Congressional committees, state legislative committees, and other regulatory branches of government.

Dr. Evers specializes in research on ecotoxicology with an emphasis on the patterns of methylmercury and oil exposure and effects in wildlife, especially birds such as the Common Loon. Current projects include research and conservation efforts with various loon species across North America as well as assessments of mercury in fish and wildlife across Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Through BRI’s Center for Waterbird Studies, Dr. Evers oversees the largest conservation project on the Common Loon in partnership with the Ricketts Conservation Foundation. Through BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies, he oversees several ongoing national and international mercury monitoring networks and database summary efforts, including new projects and partnerships with the Fate and Transport Partnership Group of the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Council on Mercury as a Global Pollutant, and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

During his graduate studies, Dr. Evers worked as a field ornithologist for the Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas and as a wildlife ecologist for the Kalamazoo Nature Center. In 1991, he became executive director of the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. In 1998, he founded BRI to further progressive wildlife research and conservation. He also holds positions as adjunct professor at both the University of Southern Maine, where he teaches ornithology, and the University of Maine at Orono. He is also the adjunct senior scientist at the University of Southern Maine's Center for Integrated and Applied Environmental technology. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and presented his research in more than 200 professional venues.


  • Ph.D., Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, 2001
  • M.S., Ecology, Western Michigan University, 1992
  • B.S., Wildlife Management, Michigan State University, 1984

Certifications/Nominated Member

  • Editoial Board Member for peer-reviewed journal, Diversity
  • Elective Member of the American Ornithologists' Society
  • United Nations Environment Programme's Minamata Convention Toolkit Trainer. 2015.
  • United States Geological Survey Master permit holder for banding birds. Banded more than 50,000 individual birds representing over 250 species. Current federal permit covers 42 states. 1993-present.

Research Interests

  • Conservation of endangered species
  • Exposure and effects of methylmercury on wildlife in temperate, tropical, arctic, and marine environs
  • Ecology, natural history, and conservation of the Common Loon and other loon species

Books and Field Guides

  • Evers, D.C. and K.M. Taylor. 2015. Journey with the Owls. Willow Creek Press, Minocqua, WI. 160 pp.
  • Evers, D.C. and K. M. Taylor. 2014. Journey with the Loon. Willow Creek Press, Minocqua, WI. 144 pp.
  • Evers, D.C. and K. M. Taylor. 2008. Call of the Northwoods. Willow Creek Press, Minocqua, WI. 96 pp.
  • Evers, D. C. and K. M. Taylor. 2006. Call of the Loon. Willow Creek Press, Minocqua, WI. 112 pp.
  • Evers, D. C. 1998. A guide to the birds of the Hiawatha National Forest. Wildl. Unl., Escanaba, MI. 36pp.
  • Evers, D. C. (editor). 1994. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife of Michigan. Univ. Mich. Press, Ann Arbor, MI. 412pp.
  • Evers, D. C. 1992. A Guide to Michigan’s Endangered Wildlife. Univ. of Mich. Press, Ann Arbor, MI. 103pp.
  • Evers, D. C. 1991. Species accounts for 16 species in Brewer, R., G. McPeek, and R. Adams, Jr. The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Michigan. Mich. State Univ. Press, E. Lansing, MI. 594pp.
  • Evers, D. C., G. A. McPeek, and R. J. Adams. 1989. Michigan’s changing bird populations in J. Eastman (ed.). Enjoying Birds of Michigan. Center for Environmental Studies Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. 148pp.

Journal Articles


Peer-Reviewed Publications (2009 to present)
Total publications published (144), in press (5), submitted to journals/in prep (1)

Submitted/In Prep

  • Evers, D.C., C. Driscoll, N. Fisher, D. Burns, A. Sauer, and D. Bertok. Mercury in New York: Spatio-temporal patterns and risk to ecosystem and human health. Ecotoxicology

In Press

  • Keyel, ER, MA Etterson, GJ Niemi, DC Evers, CR DeSorbo, JC Hoffman, JW Nichols, Y Li, and F Nicoletti. Mercury accumulation in fall migrating raptors. Auk: Ornithological Advances.
  • Kneeland, MR, VA Spagnuolo, DC Evers, JD Paruk, N Schoch, MA Pokras, G Stout, A Dalton, K Silber and LJ Savoy. A novel method for captive rearing of common loons and survival rates three years post-release. Zoo Biology.
  • Kneeland, MR, DC Evers, N Schoch, MA Pokras, G Stout, and T. Grade. Plasma biochemistry and protein electrophoresis reference intervals of the Common Loon (Gavia immer). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.
  • Paruk, JD, IJ Stenhouse, BJ Sigel, EM Adams, DC Evers, WA Montevecchi, A Gilbert, M Duron, D Long, J Hemming and P Tuttle. Oiling of American White Pelicans, Common Loons, and Northern Gannets in the winter following the Deepwater Horizon (MC252) Oil Spill. Environmental Research.
  • Sauer, S, CT Driscoll, DC Evers, E Adams, and Y Yang. 2019. Mercury Exposure in Songbird Communities along an Elevational Gradient on Whiteface Mountain, Adirondack Park (New York, USA). Ecotoxicology














BRI Scientific Communications


Grants, Awards, and Fellowships

  • More than 380 separate grants, from 75+ different agencies or organizations, totaling in excess of $64.3 million have been awarded for more than 180 different projects. Most of these grants are related to research with birds (especially loons) and environmental stressors (e.g., mercury and oil pollution impacts to the wildlife). Some funding was directed toward research with neotropical migrants, growth of a nonprofit organization, and publications/research with endangered and threatened species.
  • Elected National Fellow of the Explorers Club in 2012.
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