Ruffling Feathers: A New Approach to Pesticide Risk Assessment for Birds, with Matthew Etterson

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Northern flicker (Colaptes auratus). Credit: Mark Moschell, CC BY-NC 2.0.

We talk turkey with Matthew Etterson about pesticides and bird reproduction. Etterson and colleague Rick Bennett are co-authors of two companion articles in the October 2013 issue of IEAM that present an innovative model for predicting effects of pesticides on bird reproduction. The model, MCnest can identify species-specific risks by incorporating key life history traits and timing of pesticide application. This approach goes beyond the confines of the traditional avian reproduction test by quantifying the magnitude of a pesticide’s effect on bird reproduction throughout a breeding season.

Podcast available on iTunes or YouTube

About the Guest
M_Etterson_100Dr. Matthew Etterson is a Research Ecologist with USEPAs Office of Research and Development in the National Health and Environmental Effects Laboratory, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, Duluth, Minnesota. He also holds adjunct positions in the Integrated Biological Sciences Program and at the Natural Resources Research Institute, both at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has authored 40 peer-reviewed publications. Etterson’s research has focused on avian reproductive ecology and has ranged from empirical studies of avian nesting success to the development of statistical methods for estimating competing risks in avian reproduction. Etterson’s research interests include population level ecological risk assessment, statistical methods in avian field research, avian reproductive ecology, and ecological risk assessment for chemicals.

Articles Referenced in this Podcast
Etterson M and Bennett R. 2013. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds. IEAM 9#4:590–599.

Bennett R and Etterson M. 2013. Selecting surrogate endpoints for estimating pesticide effects on avian reproductive success. IEAM 9#4:600–609.

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