David Dorini ’25


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Title

Understanding Biodiversity Loss in Large Tropical Forest Fragments

I worked on a project studying the effects of forest fragmentation on bird communities in the Brazilian Amazon. Forest fragmentation is an issue for birds and biodiversity in general. It is a particularly important issue in the face of the widespread deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, an area known for its enormous biodiversity. We conducted fieldwork in Mato Grosso, Brazil to examine forest fragments of diverse sizes. In each fragment, I assisted with a series of point counts to document every individual bird that was heard or seen from each point. I also assisted with surveys of mixed species flocks, which provided a different method of sampling bird communities in each fragment, and environmental surveys to document leaf litter depth and the number of groundcover plants in different transects throughout each fragment. I gained a focused understanding of habitat fragmentation and mechanisms of species loss and a greater understanding of concepts in ecology and biology more generally. It was particularly rewarding to see concepts that I had studied in class applied in the field, and I hope to further study some of these concepts in my own research at Princeton.

Internship Year


Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation


Wilcove Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Mato Grosso, Brazil


David Wilcove, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Alex Wiebe, Ph.D. candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology