William DeLucaWilliam DeLuca

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Research Associate
Northeast Climate Science Center
Department of Environmental Conservation
160 Holdsworth Way, UMass Amherst

Phone: 443-223-0991


Website: https://wdeluca5.wixsite.com/mysite

Curriculum Vitae

Primary Interests

My research aims to understand the consequences of anthropogenically altered landscapes and climate on bird species distributions and population dynamics, with the specific goal of applying these findings to conservation decision-making and design. I work extensively with state, federal and nongovernmental organizations to accomplish these goals. All of my professional efforts have been motivated by a desire to apply rigorous science to inform policy and effect decision making to conserve biodiversity. My research often uses montane ecosystems to understand the interplay between habitat and climate as drivers of bird distributions. As a conservation biologist and ornithologist, I strive to include full life cycle ecology in every research question I consider.

Current Projects

  • Designing Sustainable Landscapes Project – species distribution models inform a landscape conservation design network for the 13 northeastern states (North Atlantic LCC)
  • Mechanisms for species responses to climate change: Are there biological thresholds? (Northeast Climate Science Center)
  • Examining the role of climate and habitat for determining species distributions along an elevational gradient in the White Mountains (Northeast Climate Science Center)
  • Migratory ecology and conservation of blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata)


McGarigal, K., B.W. Compton, E.B. Plunkett, W.V. DeLuca, J. Grand, E. Ene, S.D. Jackson. In press. A landscape index of ecological integrity to inform landscape conservation. Landscape Ecology.

McGarigal, K., E.B. Plunkett, L.L. Wiley, B.W. Compton, W.V. DeLuca, J. Grand. In Press. Modelling urban growth in the northeastern United States: the SPRAWL model and the ecological impacts of urban growth. Landscape and Urban Planning.

Loman, Z.G., W.V. DeLuca, D. Harrison, C.S. Loftin, P.B. Wood. 2018. Landscape capability models as a tool to predict fine-scale forest bird occupancy and abundance. Landscape Ecology. 33:77-91. DOI: /10.1007/s10980-017-0582-z

Loman, Z.G., E.J. Blomberg, W.V. DeLuca, D.J. Harrison, C.S. Loftin, P.B. Wood. 2017. Validating landscape capability as a predictor of upland game bird abundance and occurrence. Journal of Wildlife Management. 81:1110-1116. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21265

DeLuca, W.V. and D.I. King. 2017. Montane birds shift downslope despite recent warming in the northern Appalachian Mountains. Journal of Ornithology. 158:493-505. DOI: 10.1007/s10336-016-1414-7

Ralston, J., W.V. DeLuca, R. Feldman, D.I. King. 2017. Population trends influence a species ability to track climate change. Global Change Biology. 23:1390-1399. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13478

Ralston, J., W.V. DeLuca, R. Feldman, D.I. King. 2016. Realized climate niche breadth varies with population trend and distribution in North American birds. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 25:1173-1180. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12490

DeLuca, W.V., B.K. Woodworth, C. Rimmer, P.P. Marra, P.D. Taylor, K. McFarland, S.A. Mackenzie, D.R. Norris. 2015. Transoceanic migration of a 12 g songbird. Biology Letters. 11: 20141045. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.1045

Ralston, J., D.I. King, W.V. DeLuca, G.J. Niemi, M.J. Glennon, J.C. Scarl, J.D. Lambert. 2015. Analysis of combined data sets yields trend estimates for vulnerable spruce-fir birds in northern United States. Biological Conservation. 187:270-278. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.04.029

DeLuca, W.V. and D. King. 2014. Influence of hiking trails on montane birds. Journal of Wildlife Management. 78:494-502. DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.675

DeLuca, W.V.. Holberton, R., P. Hunt and B.C. Eliason. 2013. Blackpoll Warbler (Setophaga striata), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Studds, C.E., W.V. DeLuca, R.S. King, M.E. Baker, P.P. Marra. 2012. Land cover and rainfall interact to shape waterbird community composition. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35969.

DeLuca, W.V., C.E. Studds, R.S. King, P.P. Marra. 2008. Coastal urbanization and waterbird community integrity: threshold responses and the importance of scale. Biological Conservation 141:2669-2678.

King, R.S., W.V. DeLuca, D.F. Whigham, P.P. Marra. 2007. Threshold effects of coastal urbanization on Phragmites australis (common reed) abundance and foliar Nitrogen in Chesapeake Bay. Estuaries and Coasts 30:469-481.

DeLuca, W.V., C.E. Studds, L.L. Rockwood, P.P. Marra. 2004. Influence of land use on the integrity of marsh bird communities of Chesapeake Bay, USA. Wetlands 24:837-847.

Lopez-Ortiz, R., E.A. Ventosa-Febles, L.R. Reitsma, D. Hengstenberg, and W.V. DeLuca. 2002. Increasing nest success in the Yellow-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus) in southwest Puerto Rico. Biological Conservation 108:259-263.