Lab News & Announcements



Winter 2021

Ryan and Autumn presented their research at the UC Davis Ecology Symposium. Congratulations Ryan for being awarded Best Talk and Autumn for Best Poster!

Ryan and Breanna co-authored a paper in collaboration with Belize Bird Conservancy titled Foraging and nesting ecology of the Stygian Owls (Asio stygius robustus) in the Mountain Pine Ridge region of Belize published in Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

Autumn presented a poster titled "Proposed habitat linkages do not predict wildlife occurrence" at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.


Autumn gave a talk to the Central Sierra Audubon Society on Golden-crowned Sparrow migration and her current work with the species titled Tracking the migration of Golden-crowned Sparrows with miniaturized GPS.


Breanna and Ryan gave a guest lecture to a Sacramento State ornithology class on field methods.

Ryan and Breanna worked in the field this quarter testing Red-tailed Hawks foraging in the agricultural landscape of Yolo County for rodenticide exposure.

Autumn completed her final field season and retrieved another 8 GPS transmitters from Golden-crowned Sparrows that are returning from breeding in Alaska to winter in California.

Emily Phillips, Ryan, and Breanna discovered the earliest nesting Barn Owls in the county since we began our Barn Owl project in 2018 with pairs that laid eggs in November and December!

Ann Ranlett
Fall 2020

The Hull Lab and Graduate Group in Ecology welcomes Andreanna to the lab!

Congratulations to Breanna for passing her qualifying exam!

Ryan and Breanna co-authored a raptor guide for food producers focused on identification, management, and natural pest control services in eOrganic: Promoting Beneficial Raptors: Identification, Pest Control Services, and Management.

Summer 2020

Congratulations to Emmy for completing her Master's degree in Avian Sciences!

The Barn Owl team finished a 3rd successful field season, including expanding sampling in Napa and Sonoma County vineyards.

Congrats to Emily P., Autumn, and Breanna for receiving a Jastro Research Award!

Congrats to Breanna for receiving a GGE fellowship!

Diana published "Free-roaming horses disrupt greater sage-grouse lekking activity in the Great Basin" in the Journal of Arid Environments.

Emily P., Breanna, and Ryan presented a recorded talk at the 2020 North American Congress for Conservation Biology conference: Raptors, Rodenticides, and Rain in California’s Agroecosystems 

Breanna presented an invited talk in the 2020 North American Ornithological Conference's Lightening Symposium: Protecting and restoring bird habitat in the agricultural matrix: net benefits for birds and farmers – Raptors, Rodenticides, and Rain in California’s Agroecosystems. 

Autumn created two online presentations to be posted on social media pages of two Mexico institutions: Centro de Innovacion y Educacion (Center for Innovation and Education) and Trapiche Museo Interactivo (Trapiche Interactive Museum), as a resource for children and adults learning at-home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The two presentations are: 
"Songbird migration: Why and how small birds move around the world” for 7-12-year-old children. 
“Methods for tracking bird migration” for adults. 

Ryan presented a short video about studying Barn Owl movement ecology on industrial farms for the 2020 World Migratory Bird Day ( Video:

Spring 2020

Congratulations to Shannon and family on the birth of her baby girl!

Congratulations to Ryan for passing his qualifying exam!

Ryan and Breanna published a paper on ecosystem services of birds in agriculture titled Net effects of field and landscape scale habitat on insect and bird damage to sunflowers in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems in collaboration with Dr. Sara Kross. For a summary of the results click here: Sunflower blog post

Autumn published a paper on loggerhead turtle migration titled Migration Corridors and Threats in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Straits for Loggerhead Sea Turtles in Frontiers in Marine Science. 

Autumn's recent publication titled The United States requires effective federal policy to reduce marine plastic pollution was in the top 10% of downloaded papers for 2018-2019 in Conservation Science and Practice.

Winter 2020

Congratulations to Jessica for completing her Master's degree and to Amy for passing her qualifying exam!​

Field work updates:

  • Shannon completed a final season of winter trapping Northern Harriers and deployed 9 more units on adult females and 2 on adults males.

  • Emily Phillips, Ryan, and Breanna's field season working with breeding Barn Owls began in February when Barn Owls began laying eggs.

  • Autumn deployed 15 GPS tags on Golden-crowned Sparrows to track their migration and collected feather samples from >80 individuals for stable isotope analysis.

Lab members presented at several conferences on their current research:

  • Pacific Seabird Group in Portland, Oregon

    • Chris - ​"Examining the fitness correlates of coordinated provisioning in a long-lived pelagic seabird"

  • The Wildlife Society Western Section Annual Conference in Redding, California

    • Emmy - "Wildfire Impacts on Demographics Rates of Greater Sage-grouse"​

Fall 2019

Congratulations Autumn for passing her qualifying exam!

Field work updates:

  • Autumn retrieved 13 GPS tags with data from Golden-crowned Sparrows that returned to wintering grounds.

  • Shannon's third and final field season working with nesting Northern Harriers and marsh rodent populations in Suisun ended early this fall.  

  • Breanna began a second season of field work for a project investigating rodenticide exposure rates in wintering Red-tailed Hawks and Barn Owls on farms. 

  • Lab members who volunteer at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory ended their fall migration monitoring season.

Lab members attended several conferences and gave a variety of presentations on their current research:

  • Raptor Research Foundation in Fort Collins, Colorado

    • Shannon - "​Migration, Home Range Size, and Habitat Selection of Breeding and Wintering Female Northern Harriers (Circus hudsonius) in Suisun Marsh, California"

    • Emily Abernathy - "Conservation genetics and genomics of the Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni): A next-generation sequencing approach" 

    • Jessica - "Prevalence of a Non-Target Species in an American Kestrel Nest Box Program and Effectiveness of European Starling Abatement Methods" (Poster) & "Development of a Motion-Activated Camera" 

    • Emily Phillips - "Detection of anticoagulant rodenticide prevalence in the California Spotted Owl using a non-invasive technique" (Poster)

  • The Wildlife Society and American Fisheries Society Joint National Conference in Reno, Nevada

    • Emmy - ​"Wildfire Impacts on Demographics of Greater Sage-grouse"

  • Wilson's Ornithological Society in Cape May, New Jersey

    • Chris - ​"Provisioning coordination increases with mate familiarity in a long-lived pelagic seabird, the Manx shearwater" 

  • The Wildlife Society Sac-Shasta Wildlife Disease and Toxicology Workshop in Sacramento, California

    • Ryan and Breanna - ​"Sublethal anticoagulant rodenticide exposure in Red-tailed Hawks" (Poster)



Summer 2019

Autumn published her research paper titled, Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) diving changes with productivity, behavioral mode, and sea surface temperature, in PLoS one.

Breanna was awarded the Western SARE Graduate Student Grant in Sustainable Agriculture to continue winter work with hawks and owls on farms!

Ryan, Breanna, and Autumn were awarded a JASTRO research grant from the Ecology Graduate Group.

Lab members attended the American Ornithological Society Conference in Anchorage, Alaska and presented talks on their current research:

  • Chris - "Provisioning Coordination Increases with Mate Familiarity in a Long-Lived Pelagic Seabird, the Manx Shearwater", (Received honorable mention)

  • Ryan - "Messy Eaters: DNA on Dirty Talons and Beaks Reveal What a Migrating Raptor Eats"

  • Breanna - "Vertebrate Control from Raptors Motivates Farmers to Install Nest Boxes, but is Secondary Poisoning a Concern?" & "Population Genetics and Phylogeography of Merlin (Falco Columbarius) in North America"

  • Shannon - "Migration, Home Range, and Dispersal of Adult and Juvenile Northern Harriers (Circus Hudsonius) in Suisun Marsh, California" (Poster, Received honorable mention)

  • Autumn - co-led a workshop "Crafting an Effective CV/Resume for Careers Inside and Outside Academia"

Emily Abernathy and Breanna attended a 2 week Next-Gen Sequencing Analysis workshop run by the Data Intensive Biology Summer Institute at UC Davis. 

Spring 2019

Autumn published a perspectives piece in the journal Conservation Science and Practice titled The United States requires effective federal policy to reduce marine plastic pollution.

Congratulations to Ryan for receiving a quarter-long fellowship from the Ecology Graduate Group!

Congratulations to Breanna for submitting her Master's thesis on Merlin population genetics and phylogeography!

Jessica was awarded an Academic Research Scholarship from the Sac-Shasta Chapter of The Wildlife Society for research on American Kestrels.

Autumn received the Animal Behavior Society George W. Barlow Award for her Golden Crowned Sparrow research.

Breanna, Emily Phillips, Ryan, and Sarah Johnson ran a booth at the California Raptor Center Open House where they talked to the public about natural pest control provided by Barn Owls.

Emily Phillips and Breanna led a 6th grade class on a field trip to learn about Barn Owls and the ongoing research project.

Emily Phillips, Shannon, and Jessica headed up their field seasons working with Barn Owls, Northern Harriers, and American Kestrels. Ryan deployed the first transmitters on two Barn Owls nesting in his vineyard study site.

Winter 2019

Autumn deployed all 17 of her GPS tags at the coastal site on golden-crowned sparrows and will be starting tagging at the inland site in late February.

Autumn gave a talk at the International Sea Turtle Symposium entitled "Migration of Gulf of Mexico Nesting Loggerheads" in the special session Navigation, Migration and Natal Homing. 

Diana and Ryan were featured in the California Raptor Center's 2019 winter issue of a quarterly newsletter.

Diana won best art piece at the 2019 Graduate Group in Ecology Symposium, which was titled "Avian Predators of the Suisun Marsh", and presented a poster titled "Feral horses disrupt Greater Sage-grouse lekking activity in the Great Basin".

Diana presented a poster AND won best poster at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society, which was titled "Feral horses disrupt Greater Sage-grouse lekking activity in the Great Basin".


Ryan was awarded an Academic Research Scholarship from the Sac-Shasta Chapter of The Wildlife Society for research on rodenticide exposure of raptors on Yolo County farms.

Shannon deployed another 10 GPS units on adult female Northern Harriers wintering in Suisun Marsh, CA.

Fall 2018

The Hull Lab welcomes Master's students Diana Muñoz (GGE), Emmy Tyrrell (AVS), and Eric Lynch (Sonoma State) into the lab!

Ryan and Emily P. were invited to speak at the UCCE Santa Clara County gopher and ground squirrel management workshop in San Jose, CA about using raptors as natural pest control. View presentation here.


Breanna, Emily P., and Ryan's Barn Owl research were featured as a story for Western IPM Center: article & video.

Breanna, Emily P., and Ryan's Barn Owl research were also featured on UC Davis Outlook Fall 2019: Farmers’ Feathered Friends: article & video.

Ryan completed his Master's in Avian Sciences. Congratulations!

Shannon, Emily A., Jessica, Breanna, Ryan, Eric, and Josh are banding migrating raptors for Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.

Breanna, Emily P., and Ryan are conducting fall fieldwork and sampling non-breeding Barn Owls and Red-tailed Hawks for rodenticide screening.

Autumn received two awards including the Diana Mossip Memorial Scholarship from the Mensa Education and Research Foundation and the Ted and Silvia Hillyer Fellowship. She also co-authored two publications (see Publications page). 


Autumn successfully raised money for 10 additional GPS tags for her Golden-crowned Sparrow work by fundraising through

Shannon for received a quarter-long fellowship from the Ecology Graduate Group.

Spring 2018

Field work in full swing for raptor and seabird research!


Autumn received 2018 National Geographic Early Career Grant for her graduate research.


Olivia presented a poster at the UC Davis Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Emily P., Ryan, and Josh in partnership with Sara Kross and Roger Baldwin received a 2018 USDA Western SARE grant to study Barn Owl ecology and rodenticide exposure in industrial agriculture.

Winter 2018

Brian gave his exit seminar and obtained his Ph.D.!!

Megan gave her exit seminar and obtained her Ph.D.!!


Amy, Brian, Sarah, & Chris attended the 45th annual Pacific Seabird Group meeting in La Paz, Mexico where they presented their research and encountered frigatebirds, boobies, whale sharks as well as other exotic creatures.

Shannon began her 2018 field season studying the movement ecology of Northern Harriers in Suisun Marsh.

Ryan and Breanna are conducting winter raptor surveys in Yolo and Solano County.

Jessica began installing nest boxes in Yolo County for her research on American Kestrels.

Emily Phillips began nest box monitoring for the Barn Owls and Rodenticide Project.

Emily A., Breanna, and Ryan gave research talks at the annual Golden Gate Raptor

Observatory Volunteer Banquet.

Fall 2017

Welcome to the Hull Lab Autumn Iverson (GGE), Jessica Schlarbaum (AVS), and Emily Phillips (AVS)!

Ryan and Breanna began the PhD program in GGE.


Ryan, Shannon, Josh, and Emily A. volunteer for the 2017 migration banding season with Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.


Shannon received a GGE fellowship.

Chris passed his Qualifying Exam and is now a Ph.D. Candidate

Shannon passed her Qualifying Exam and is now a Ph.D. Candidate.

Ryan presented two talks and Breanna presented a poster at the

2017 Raptor Research Foundation conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ryan assisted with Belize Bird Conservancy's annual Belize Hawk Watch

in southern Belize counting migrating Hook-billed Kites.

Summer 2017

Chris completed field season on the Farallon Islands on seabird project.

Shannon completed field season in Suisun Marsh on harrier project.


Brian conducted bird surveys on a Pelagic research boat off the coast of Alaska.


Spring 2017

Shannon and Emily received GGE Student Endowment Awards.

Congratulations to Josh Hull who was promoted to Associate Adjunct Professor!


Ryan received a 2017 Wilson's Ornithological Society's Louis Agassiz Fuertes Grant and American Ornithological Society's Hesse Award for the raptor migration diet study.

Emily received Honorable Mention from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.


Shannon began this year's fieldwork for the Suisun Marsh project, and Chris headed out to the Farallon Islands to begin fieldwork on the seabird project.


Chris Tyson and Brian Hoover joined the lab.


Fall 2016

Ryan Bourbour, in partnership with Belize Raptor Research Institute, entered the Ornithology Challenge Grant on the crowd source funding platform Experiment, titled Unraveling the Mystery of a Newly Discovered Migratory Species, Hook-billed Kite, in Belize, Central America.

Emily Abernathy presented her work on rodenticide exposure in migrating Red-tailed Hawks at the Raptor Research Foundation meeting in Cape May, N.J.

Bill Clark presented results from a collaborative project with Megan Mayo and Josh Hull on genetic and morphological data addressing the potential hybrid origin of a Red-shouldered Hawk at the Raptor Research Foundation meeting in Cape May, N.J.


Josh Hull gave the keynote presentation at the Western Bird Banding Association Annual Meeting in Point Reyes. Josh provided an overview of 30 years of raptor research at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory and discussed directions for future research.


Ryan Bourbour and Breanna Martinico presented at the Western Field Ornithologists 2016 annual conference in Fortuna, CA. Ryan's topic was on using DNA meta-barcoding to study the migration ecology of raptors. Breanna's topic was on censusing winter raptor populations and land-use change in the Central Valley, CA.

Megan Mayo's SNP discovery research for Buteo species was accepted for publication in Conservation Genetics Resources.


Summer 2016

Breanna Martinico and Ryan Bourbour received Henry A. Jastro Research Awards for their graduate research.

Brian Prochazka's thesis research was accepted for publication in Rangeland Ecology Management.


Spring 2016

Shannon received Honorable Mention from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program AND a JASTRO fellowship. 


Megan presented a poster on the Rough-legged hawk project at the 2016 ConGenomics Conference in Portugal, titled Population structure of a Holarctic raptor in North America.


Megan and Emily each received a UC Davis endowment award. 


Winter 2016

Breanna and Ryan conducted annual winter raptor surveys in Yolo County and

Solano County. 


Fall 2015

Congratulations to Brian, Angie, and Megan who received their Master's degrees!  


Congratulations to Megan for advancing to candidacy.


Emily Abernathy, Ryan Bourbour, Breanna Martinico, and Shannon Skalos joined the lab.

Breanna and Ryan presented a poster at the Raptor Research Conference in Sacramento titled Breeding biology of the hook-billed kite in Belize: A successful triple brooding, a project in conjunction with the Belize Raptor Research Institute. 

Spring 2015

Megan traveled to Europe to collect samples for the Rough-legged hawk project.

Winter 2015

Brian received an additional JASTRO fellowship for his research.

Spring 2014

Angie, Brian, and Megan received JASTRO fellowships for their research. 

Winter 2014

Brian headed off to the field to work with sage-grouse.

Megan was awarded the NSF GROW fellowship to collaborate on a project in Sweden on rough-legged hawks

Fall 2013

Angie Merritt and Brian Prochazka joined the lab.

Winter 2013

Megan was awarded an NSF GRFP for her work on raptor color variation and an NSF CAMEOS fellowship to work with students at Piner High in Santa Rosa.   

Fall 2012

Megan Mayo joined the lab.

Fall 2011

Joe Medley joined the lab.