Dr. Lisa “Cali” Crampton, Project Leader

crampton AT hawaii.edu

Dr. Crampton ("Cali”) has been KFBRP’s Project Leader since April 2010.  She obtained her Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada at Reno in December 2004.

Cali has extensive experience coordinating the design, conduct, and delivery of large research and monitoring projects with teams of diverse stakeholders.   For her doctoral research, she examined the landscape ecology and conservation of Phainopeplas, threatened passerines in southern Nevada, for the regional Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).  As part of her post-doctoral work, she led a team of other scientists, NGOs, and government managers in designing the HCP’s adaptive management plan for conserving and restoring threatened desert woodlands on which Phainopeplas and other sensitive species in Nevada depend.  In addition to her familiarity with avian field research techniques, Cali is experienced in the use of multivariate statistical and spatial analysis tools to evaluate the effects of environmental variables on animal distribution, abundance, and fecundity. For example, while working at the USGS Kilauea Field Station on Hawai'i Island, she analyzed field data on the population and behavioral ecology of the endangered Laysan teal to improve monitoring and management strategies implemented by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  Subsequently, for the US Forest Service, she analyzed impacts of recreation on abundance of Sierra Nevada forest birds, small mammals and carnivores.

All of Cali’s projects have involved substantial interaction and communication with scientific and non-scientific groups, including interpretative programs for the general public.   Consequently, her record includes numerous journal publications, technical reports, and conference presentations as well as popular articles and TV shows.

Justin Hite, Field Crew Leader


Justin joined KFBRP in February 2015. Justin fell in love with birds as a child and was delighted to discover that you could make a career of studying any aspect of any bird on the planet.  He graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2005, having already spent six summers studying California Gulls at Mono Lake and two winters studying Jacamars in Venezuela.  Since then he has studied numerous species in 12 countries, and taught field skills to Cornell undergraduates in Borneo, Honduras and Panama.   Besides nest searching and recording bird songs, his favorite pastime is entertaining his friends with imitations of bird displays.

Maria Costantini, Graduate Assistant

Maria@KauaiForestBirds.org, mariacos@hawaii.edu

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 to purchase reagents for her molecular work.

Mandy Peterson, Kupu Americorps Intern


Mandy comes to KFBRP with her Bachelors and Masters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  She became interested in birds during her undergraduate course in Field Ornithology, and when she learned of the uniqueness of the Hawaiian Honeycreepers through her various courses on evolution.  She completed her Master’s Degree at Tulane University in 2014. She focused her research on mockingbird distribution and habitat usage in an urban setting.  She also worked some with mockingbird repertoire size and breeding habits.  After graduating, she drifted away from the biology and conservation scene for a brief period, but eventually realized she missed the field.  Returning to the scene, she is now working with KFBRP, excited and enthusiastic about helping to save the endangered birds of Kaua’i.