Prospective Students

Interested in pursuing a project with KFBRP? Don't hesitate to contact us!
Some possible project topics include:

  • Bird movements outside of breeding season
  • Mosquito abundance and/or isotopes at different sites and elevations
  • Low elevation bird surveys, using song meters
  • Fruit seasonality
  • Rat distribution in time and space; and/or rat diet
  • Remote sensing of Puaiohi, 'Akikiki and 'Akeke'e habitat
  • Relationship between vegetation and bird abundance
  • Nest site selection


Current Graduate Students


Maria Costantini, Graduate Assistant,

Inspired by two field seasons spent falling in love with Kaua’i’s forest birds as a field assistant with KFBRP, Maria has shifted roles and is now a PhD student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is a member of Dr. Floyd Reed’s lab of the Zoology graduate program, whose focus has been on blocking avian malaria transmission to Hawaiian birds. For her own project, Maria plans to use molecular techniques to analyze ‘Akikiki and ‘Akeke’e (both insectivorous honeycreepers) fecal samples to determine diet as it relates to time and space. Ultimately, she hopes to better understand the role of diet and invertebrate abundance on occupancy rates. She will begin collecting data for her project in the field this spring followed immediately with lab work. Maria has already successfully acquired funding from the Hawaii Audubon Society and was awarded the 2017 Watson T. Yoshimoto fellowship for research in wildlife conservation.



Former Graduate Students

Lucas Behnke

Lucas joined the project as a seasonal Field Assistant in March 2007, became permanent staff as a Research Technician in August 2007, and was promoted to Field Supervisor in January 2011. A 2003 graduate of UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies, Lucas came to KFBRP with a wealth of previous experience on birds and other organisms from the Big Island of Hawai‘i, Florida, Arkansas, and South Africa. He defended his thesis, "Distribution, and Abundance, and Habitat Use of 'Akikiki and 'Akeke'e at Local and Landscape Scales, with respect to Vegetation Structure and Composition" in 2014, receiving his M.S. from Colorado State University under Dr. Liba Pejchar.

Ruby Hammond

Originally from Tennessee, Ruby graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Zoology. After leaving behind fried chicken and honky-tonk bars, she worked with a variety of birds on the mainland. In 2007, she came to Hawai‘i where she was quickly overtaken by a passion for studying the endangered avifauna of the islands. She started working for KFBRP in January 2011 as a field assistant. She defended her thesis, "Nest Survival of Forest Birds and Influence of Rat Predation" in 2014, which was accepted for publication in Condor and received her M.S. from Northern Arizona University under Dr. Jeff Foster.

Anouk Glad

Anouk completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Paris-Sud (France) in Ecology. Previously, she participated in Blue and Great Tit breeding season monitoring and in snake capture/recapture field work in France. She is interested in conservation of endangered species, especially birds. As part of her M.S. degree at the University of Montpellier (France) and the University of the Aegean (Greece), she conducted an internship and research project at KFBRP, "Mosquito Abundance in Time and Space", a brief summary of which was published in Elepaio. A more detailed version was accepted in Journal of Vector Biology.


Monica is a Fulbright Scholar from India pursuing her doctoral degree at the Wildlife Institute of India. She earned her master's degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Delhi. For her doctoral research she is investigating the impacts of forest biomass extraction on plant and bird communities in the Shiwalik landscape. She was awarded the Dr. Salim Ali National Wildlife Fellowship in India to study the effect of small-scale extractive disturbances on frugivorous birds. She is also examining the distribution pattern and effect of disturbances on the raptor community in Rajaji National Park, one of the most important protected areas in India. She worked as a visiting researcher in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at CSU with Dr. Liba Pejchar and KFBRP in 2014. For her Fulbright research she conducted a small study of seed dispersal by native and non-native animals. She found that Puaiohi predominately disperse native plant seeds, while non-native species such as the Japanese white-eye were dispersing invasive ginger seeds.