Creative Research Medal 2015
Robert Cooper, professor of wildlife ecology and biometrics, is recognized for his innovative research involving advanced quantitative and other methods to assess and advance decision making involving the conservation of bird populations. His outstanding work has influenced how this important natural resource is managed in the southeast, and has had a lasting impact on how wildlife conservation is taught. A particular theme of Cooper’s work is the study of how insectivorous bird populations interact with and control populations of their prey, which has advanced the understanding of how the insect food base drives bird survival and population dynamics. More recently, Cooper has broadened his research to understand the effects of climate change and other human impacts on a variety of bird habitats and species. He is currently co-leading a team of scientists, land managers and policy makers to develop a biodiversity monitoring program for coastal habitats along the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.