Growing up as a birder and naturalist in Upstate New York, Noah McNeill developed an early passion for avian conservation and scientific research. He earned B.S. degrees in Biology and Environmental Science from Allegheny College. He studied interspecific aggression in Costa Rican Nightingale-thrushes, response to predators in Hooded Warblers, and grassland bird conservation in hayfield agriculture. He conducted bird surveys in eight states, and his seasonal field work involved avian surveys at a solar facility and proposed wind energy sites.
As a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech, Noah is working with Dr. Jeff Walters to determine best conservation practices for bird populations. In addition to helping with the lab’s Red-cockaded Woodpecker monitoring project at Camp Lejeune, NC, Noah is studying the foraging behavior of the Brown-headed Nuthatch in multi-species flocks. He hopes to determine the drivers of these behaviors, as well as document how habitat variation affects nuthatch foraging decisions.