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Anna Valdez Drake

Name: Anna Valdez Drake (Post-Doctoral Fellow)

DSC_0222As a researcher, I’m interested in improving our understanding of how wildlife populations are impacted by climate and habitat change. I have a special interest in migratory species and the ecological factors that contribute to population change in this group.

Population size and demographic rates observed in one period of the year can be product of events that occur in an earlier period. For migrants, this means that conditions encountered in one geographic region (e.g. by songbirds wintering in Mexico) can have an impact on population size and individual performance in another region entirely (e.g. at breeding sites in Canada). My Ph.D. work examined the impact of cross-seasonal effects on a neotropical migrant – the yellow warbler, Setophaga petechia – and found strong evidence that climate conditions on migration impact this species’ breeding success in western Canada (see Publications). Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to conduct fieldwork across a broad latitudinal range: from northern Canada (Inuvik, Northwest Territories) to southern Mexico (Sontecomapan, Veracruz). I continue to be involved in research being done in Jalisco, Mexico that is examining the relationship between winter habitat use and yellow warbler condition and survival.

With TerreWEB and Dr. Kathy Martin in the department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, I am using a multi-species approach to untangle local and non-local climate effects on the breeding phenology (timing) of cavity-nesting bird species in the interior of British Columbia. These communities are composed of birds with differing movement strategies – some are migratory, others remain near their breeding locations over winter. Despite a common breeding location, migrant and resident species may show different responses to climate variation or change. While the timing of breeding (and ultimately breeding success) for both residents and migrants is expected to be influenced by local conditions, migrant phenology may also be influenced by conditions these species encounter elsewhere. The interior of British Columbia has experienced rapid warming over the past 100 years and this work will help us understand how forest wildlife communities in British Columbia have changed and will change under projected climate regimes. Contact info: drake.ae at gmail.com

Research Topic: “A community approach to assessing the impacts of climate variability and climate change on avian breeding phenology and consequent productivity”

Supervisor: Dr. Kathy Martin


Drake, Anna, Christine A. Rock, Sam P. Quinlan, Michaela Martin and David J. Green. 2014. Wind speed during migration influences the survival, timing of breeding, and productivity of a neotropical migrant, Setophaga petechia. PLoS ONE 9 (5): e97152

Jones, Teri B., Anna Drake, and David J. Green. 2014. Individual quality explains association between plumage colouration, arrival dates and mate acquisition in yellow warblers (Setophaga petechia). BMC Ecology 14 (1): 13.

Drake, Anna, Michaela Martin, and David J. Green. 2014. Winter habitat use does not influence spring arrival dates or the reproductive success of yellow warblers breeding in the arctic. Journal of Polar Biology 37 (2): 181-191.

Drake, Anna, Christine A. Rock, Sam P. Quinlan and David J. Green. 2013. Age-sex specific carry-over effects in a warbler (Setophaga petechia) on the Western flyway. Journal of Avian Biology 44 (4): 321-330.


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