Do you love birds? Summer Scholar Lauren Strong (’14) explains how bird diversity differs from forests to residential areas in the Roanoke Valley

by roanokecollege on October 3, 2013

Lauren Strong (’14) is a Biology major and her research project looked at

“how human development affects bird populations along the Roanoke River.”

She decided to study three varying habitat uses of riparian forests (habitats along rivers), and looked at different levels of development and how it impacts the birds that live there:

“My high impact sites are within residential areas, and my low impact sites consist of intact forest along the Blue Ridge Parkway. So far, I have found that even though there were similar numbers of species between the high and low impact sites, they both had totally different communities.”

Lauren Strong

Lauren Strong

Lauren mentions that

“being able to get experience in a field that I am interested in was really incredible. Secondly, it’s really nice to do research during the summer, when you more time on your hands to really focus on the research.”

She advises other student researchers to

“begin your data collection and scientific paper, as soon as the summer begins. Also, keep in touch with your faculty mentor multiple times a week! Most importantly have fun!”

Lauren’s faculty mentor for this project was Dr. Rachel Collins.

Lauren plans on continuing research this year on

“migratory birds that use habitats along the Roanoke River. I will be collecting data during the fall and winter. Then my last semester, I plan on conducting an Honors Project! Essentially, I will gain as much experience as possible before I graduate.”


Mark your calendars for our next on-campus presentation opportunities:

Showcase on Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 6-8pm in Fintel Library focused on service-learning, internships, and study abroad. Apply to present by November 8.

Showcase on Friday, November 22, 2013 from 6-8pm in Fintel Library focused on research and artistic/creative work. Apply to present by November 8.

For updated information on student-faculty research:

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