The Gownaris Lab at Gettysburg College relies on quantitative methods to inform marine and freshwater ecology and conservation in a rapidly changing world. Our research seeks to better understand how marine foragers respond to climate shifts and extremes, with a focus on intraspecific variation in these responses. Additionally, we conduct research into DEIB in STEM and into global marine spatial planning.

As part of the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Department at Gettysburg College, our lab members have diverse research interests. Current projects in the lab range from using bibliometric data data to examine patterns in "parachute science" in the field of ecology to using tern chick provisioning data to better understand how individuals vary in their dietary responses to marine heatwaves. Check out our research page for more information on current projects and our outreach and service page for open resources on inclusive STEM education! 

Gownaris lab members Kai and Jehan return from 8 weeks of fieldwork on Petit Manan Island.
Kaiulani Sund (Gettysburg '23) and Jehan Mody (Gettysburg '24) have returned to Gettysburg after 8 weeks living among seabirds including Arctic terns, common terns, Atlantic puffins, black guillemots, and Leach's storm-petrel. This was their first field experience, and they did an incredible job! Kaili and Jehan were responsible for assisting with regular seabird monitoring duties (provisioning watches, bird counts, nest checks, chick measurements, band resighting, etc.) and with collecting data for their honor's theses. Kaili is tracking individual-specific changes in the diet of common and Arctic terns throughout the breeding season using provisioning data. Jehan will be using eggshell and chick isotope data to study how the timing of breeding impacts the diet of tern and alcid chicks. Though work kept us busy, we always managed to find time to end the day with some elaborate group meals.
Read about Kai and Jehan's experiences on the USFWS blog and the Gettysburg Cross-Disciplinary Research Institute blog and check back for updates on their research! This work represents the first year of an exciting, long-term collaboration that we are developing with the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge of the USFWS. It was generously supported by a Nisbet Award from the Waterbird Society and by the Cross-Disciplinary Research Institute at Gettysburg College. 

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