Sabbatical Leave, Spring 2020
B.S. - Wildlife Biology - Colorado State University
M.S. - Wildlife Biology - Arkansas Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit
Ph.D. - Biology - University of Arkansas
I teach courses in General Ecology (BIO 230), Biodiversity (BIO/ESS 335), Field Ornithology (BIO/ESS 310), and Tropical Biology (BIO 421). Each of these courses includes a heavy field component wherein students are responsible for completing an entire novel research project from start to finish during the course of the semester. Field Ornithology involves travel to the Lower Rio Grande River Valley of Southern Texas, and Tropical Biology involves travel to Costa Rica.
My primary research interests are to evaluate effects from anthropogenic factors (e.g., urbanization, land use, global climate change, etc.) on wildlife and to provide recommendations for conservation strategies for affected ecosystems. Specifically I am interested in the responses of bird and mammal populations and communities to urbanization. With current and pending anthropogenic global climate change, it is imperative for conservationists to understand population dynamics, reproductive requirements, and habitat use patterns of wildlife for adequate management programs. Described below are a few projects in development. Please contact me if you’re interested in participating in any of these studies.
CatTracker – A Smartphone App for Gathering Citizen Science Data Regarding Free-roaming House Cats
Free-roaming domestic house cats are the number one source of mortality of songbirds in urban areas. Cat population densities and distributions could be detrimental to songbird populations. This research is aimed at gaining a better understanding of the effects of house cat distributions and movement patterns on wildlife distributions here in Syracuse, NY.
See http://cattracker.research.lemoyne.edu, http://research.lemoyne.edu/cattracker, and http://urbanwildlifegroup.org/projects/ for more details.
Urban Bird Population and Community Dynamics – Cork, Ireland and Syracuse, NY
Comparative research is necessary for improving our understanding of biodiversity loss in urban habitats. Many studies have been done regarding variations in wildlife populations and biodiversity along gradients of urbanization within a single city (e.g., from a city’s core to the suburban/rural periphery), but very few studies have been done comparing among different cities and even fewer comparing among cities in different countries. The objective of this project is to conduct a comparative study of bird diversity along an urban habitat gradient here in Syracuse, NY and in the city of Cork, Ireland. Data collection occurred during May and June 2016 and will occur again May and June 2017.
Variable Distributions in Black versus Gray Squirrels
The main objective here is to understand variable distributions of black versus gray eastern gray squirrels about the city of Syracuse. Literature suggests that black squirrels hold on to heat better then gray squirrels and thus are distributed about the landscape differently (due to thermal profiles) than gray squirrels. Little evidence truly supports this claim so students in my lab are seeking to understand this pattern.
Effects of Light and Noise Pollution on Amphibian Distributions Throughout Syracuse, NY
Light and noise pollution are two factors affecting wildlife distributions throughout cities. This research is aimed at developing an understanding on how these two factors affect amphibians in the city of Syracuse, NY - specifically gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor), green frogs (Lithobates clamitans), and American toads (Anaxyrus americanus).
- Luscier, J.D. 2018. Effects of urbanization on Great-tailed Grackle habitat use and nest success in Sherman, Texas. Urban Naturalist 15:1-14.
- Gearin, C.J. (undergrad coauthor) and J.D. Luscier. 2017. Short-term responses of migratory bird communities to suburban riparian management in northeastern Missouri. Urban Naturalist 14:1-20.
- Ryan, S., J.D. Luscier, N.E. Coughlan, and T.C. Kelly. 2016. First record of non-reciprocal allopreening in the Hooded Crow Corvus cornix. Irish Birds 10:487-490.
- Krementz, D.G., S.E. Lehnen, and J.D. Luscier. 2012. Habitat use of woodpeckers in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 3(1): 89-97.
- Greenberg, R., D. W. Demarest, S. M. Matsuoka, C. Mettke-Hofmann, D. Evers, P.B. Hamel, J.D. Luscier, L.L. Powell, D. Shaw, M.L. Avery, K.A. Hobson, P.J. Blancher, and D.K. Niven. 2011. Understanding declines in Rusty Blackbirds. Pages 107-126 in J.V. Wells (editor). Boreal birds of North America: a hemispheric view of their conservation links and significance. Studies in Avian Biology (41), University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, USA.
- Krementz, D.G., and J.D. Luscier. 2010. Woodpecker Densities and Habitat Use in the Big Woods of Arkansas. Recovery Plan for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
- Luscier, J.D., S.E. Lehnen, and K.G. Smith. 2010. Habitat occupancy by Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus) wintering in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The Condor 112(4): 841-848.
- Krementz, D.G., and J.D. Luscier. 2010. Woodpecker densities in the Big Woods of Arkansas. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. 1(2): 102-110.
- Luscier, J.D., and W.L. Thompson. 2009. Short-term responses of breeding birds of grassland and early successional habitat to timing of haying in Northwest Arkansas. The Condor 111(3): 538–544.
- Luscier, J.D., W.L. Thompson, J.M. Wilson, B.E. Gorham, and L.D. Dragut. 2007. Response to Richter: “Techniques for determining percent ground cover.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5(6): 239–240.
- Luscier, J.D., W.L. Thompson, J.M. Wilson, B.E. Gorham, and L.D. Dragut. 2006. Using digital photographs and object-based image analysis to estimate percent ground cover in vegetation plots. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4(8): 408–413.
Return to Biology
Return to Environmental Science Systems