Bracklinn Williams ’25

Major

Mathematics

Project Title

Predicting Energy Expenditure of Migratory Land Birds at Stopover Sites

I studied how changes in North American bird populations correlate with different species’ physiological responses to climate. This correlation can be used to estimate what proportion of population decline in these species can be directly attributed to heat stress from climate change, how much is due to indirect effects of climate change, and how much is attributable to non-climate factors. The main focus of my work was in model validation, which involved gathering data, running model code, and plotting the results for our habitat microclimate model and our species metabolism model so that we can be confident they are both reasonably accurate. In addition, I ran regressions and visualized data to better understand and communicate our intermediate results. As well as gaining experience in modeling and in using the program R, I learned a lot from the more creative side of the research. I also enjoyed combining my interests in conservation and the environment with my skills in data science. It was an enjoyable introduction to academic research, and I would love to do similar work in the future.



Internship Year

2022

Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation

Organization(s)

Wilcove Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey

Mentor(s)

David Wilcove, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Liang Ma, Associate Research Scholar, School of Public and International Affairs