New collaborative effort takes flight

Matt Betts knows all of the songbirds in the forest by ear, but at Chip Ross Park in Corvallis, he stands silently and picks out the song of an orange-crowned warbler.

“In some parts of its range, it’s declining faster than the spotted owl,” he says of the bird. “Researchers don’t know exactly why it’s declining, although it’s likely due to habitat loss.”

Betts, an associate professor of wildlife and landscape ecology, is researching the factors that cause biodiversity to decline in Oregon and around the world. He wants to learn what can be done from a management perspective.

His current priority is to establish a Forest Biodiversity Research Network (FBRN) at Oregon State. This effort is supported by his recent award, the Institute for Working Forest Landscapes (IWFL) Research Professorship. The IWFL professorships fund world-class researchers in the early part of their careers to lead research, promote effective dissemination and strengthen research leadership at the highest academic levels.

Read more in the Fall 2016 Focus.