BA, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2001
Biology (Honors) and Environmental Studies (Highest Honors)
Degree in Progress:
MS, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2011 (expected)
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Foraging behavior, chick diet, and reproductive success of Razorbills (Alca torda) at Matinicus Rock, Maine
Email: kauffman_katie AT yahoo.com
Mail: Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
319 Morrill Science Center South
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
611 N. Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
National Audubon Society, Seabird Restoration Program
UMass Amherst Natural History Collections, Jane H. Bemis Endowment
UMass Amherst Graduate Program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Dr. Paul R. Sievert, Department of Environmental Conservation
I am using field research techniques to learn about the foraging and reproductive ecology of the Razorbill (Alca torda), a marine bird in the alcid family (auks: i.e., puffins, razorbills, murres, auklets). Razorbills are the closest living relative of the extinct Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis), and they are a threatened species in the state of Maine due to small population size and limited distribution.
Specifically, I study the diving behavior, reproductive success, and chick diet of Razorbills breeding at the species’ southernmost colony: Matinicus Rock, part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge in the Gulf of Maine. I record dive attributes and water temperatures using miniature leg-mounted data-loggers; identify food deliveries to chicks using binoculars from observation blinds; and monitor nesting burrows to assess hatching and fledging success of breeding pairs.
My research will help wildlife managers assess and manage Razorbill populations on Matinicus Rock and elsewhere in the Gulf of Maine. It will contribute to a preliminary understanding of whether Razorbills at Matinicus Rock could be affected by changes in prey base related to commercial fisheries or climate change.
Van Fleet TE, Austin E, Kauffman KE, Lamb J, Lindemayer M, Spencer S, and Juanes F. 2010.Nicholas V.C. Polunin (ed): Review of “Aquatic ecosystems: trends and global prospects.” Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 20:137-138. DOI: 10.1007/s11160-009-9122-5
Kauffman KE, Juanes F, and McGinley M (topic editor). 2009. Alcids in marine ecosystems. In: Encyclopedia of Earth. (ed CJ Cleveland). Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science & the Environment. Washington, D.C. http://www.eoearth.org/article/ Alcids_in_marine_ecosystems
Cunha, M and KE Kauffman. 2009. Matinicus Rock Annual Report. Prepared for National Audubon
Society Seabird Restoration Program and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Kauffman, KE. 2008. Matinicus Rock Annual Report. Prepared for National Audubon Society Seabird
Restoration Program and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Kauffman, KE. 2007. Matinicus Rock Annual Report. Prepared for National Audubon Society Seabird Restoration Program and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Kauffman, KE and JN Davis. 2000. Breeding Birds at Castle Rock State Park: A summary of surveys
conducted during the 2000 breeding season. Prepared for California State Parks.
Last updated October 29, 2010 by Roxann Cormier