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Impacts of Invasive Plants on Wetland Birds: Case Study in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary

July 23, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

| Free

Birdy Hour Speaker Series

This talk will give a general overview of the ecological impacts of plant invasion in wetland habitats with emphasis on the consequences to birds using these wetlands for foraging and mating. The main focus of the talk will be a case study of the impacts of the invasive weed, white top (Lepidium latifolium), on the diets of Suisun Song Sparrows (CA Species of Special Concern) in the tidal wetlands of Rush Ranch Open Space Preserve, Solano County.

Dr. Rachel D. Wigginton is the Senior Environmental Scientist at the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy. She holds a PhD in Ecology from University of California Davis and a MS in Biology from California State University Long Beach. Prior to graduate school, Rachel earned a BS in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Conservation, and Biodiversity from Western Kentucky University. Ten years ago, Rachel moved from Kentucky to California to study the ecology of the marshes of the San Francisco Bay-San Joaquin Delta Estuary, particularly how plant invasion and climate change can complicate land management decisions. Over the course of her graduate research, Rachel has examined how invasive plants alter food webs for marsh song birds, the relative effectiveness of different restoration techniques in recovering ecosystem services in wetlands, and the impact of climate change on invasive plant populations in tidal marshes. Since completing her dissertation, Rachel has moved into work with the California Natural Resources Agency. After serving as a California Sea Grant State Fellow, Rachel was hired as an Environmental Scientist with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, leading the agency’s effort to review and update its Suisun Marsh Protection Plan and Local Protection Program. As the Senior Scientist at the Delta Conservancy, Rachel will be applying her scientific expertise to the Conservancy’s various projects and representing the Conservancy within the Delta science community. Outside of her work, Rachel is an avid reader of all types of books and enjoys almost any outdoor activity, especially if she can be accompanied by her Australian Shepard, Juniper.


July 23, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
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Danya Winterman


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