Les Murray, Ph.D.

(He, Him, His)
Les Murray
Program Chair, Biology
Program Chair, Integrative Science
Associate Professor, Biology
Woodland, 228
Phone: On-campus Microsoft Teams Calling

I am an avian ecologist with interests in habitat use by birds and nesting ecology.

My research investigates the relationship between bird populations and their environment. I am particularly interested in human activities and changes in habitats impact bird populations and nesting. My past projects have included the impacts of harvesting switchgrass as a biofuel on grassland birds, grassland bird habitat use in agricultural landscapes, bird use of grasslands in southeastern Pennsylvania, and nest predators of grassland birds.

Goguen, C. B., and L.D. Murray. 2021. Nest survival, predator assemblage, and patterns of predation at Veery (Catharus fuscescens) nests in a mature forest landscape. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 132:284-294.

Murray, L. D. 2015. Success and predation of grassland bird nests in Valley Forge National Historical Park. Northeastern Naturalist 22:10-19.

Murray, L. D. 2014. Bird habitat relationships in restored meadows in southeastern Pennsylvania. Ecological Restoration 32:197-203.

Murray, L. D. 2014. Video evidence of infanticide by a female Red-winged Blackbird. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 126:147-151.

Murray, L. D., and L. B. Best. 2014. Nest-site selection and reproductive success by Common Yellowthroats in Managed Iowa grasslands. Condor 116:74-83.

Murray, L. D., R. J. Gates, and R. M. Spinola. 2011. Evaluation of three methods to estimate density and detectability from roadside point counts. Journal of Wildlife Management 75:1072-1081. 

Murray, L. D., C. A. Ribic, W. E. Thogmartin, and M. G. Knutson. 2008. Accuracy assessment of predictive models of grassland bird abundances in the Prairie Hardwood Transition Bird Conservation Region. Condor 110:747-755.

Murray, L. D., C. A. Ribic, and W. E. Thogmartin. 2008. Relationship of obligate grassland birds to landscape structure in Wisconsin. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:463-467.

Murray, L. D. and L. B. Best. 2006. Winter bird use of Conservation Reserve Program fields harvested for biomass. Journal of Iowa Academy of Science 113:45-48.

Murray, L. D. and L. B. Best. 2003. Short-term bird response to harvesting switchgrass for biomass in Iowa. Journal of Wildlife Management 67:611-621.

Murray, L. D., L. B. Best, T. J. Jacobsen, and M. L. Braster. 2003. Potential effects on grassland birds of converting marginal cropland to switchgrass biomass production. Biomass and Bioenergy 25:167-175.

Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin
M.S. in Animal Ecology, Iowa State University
B.A. in Biology, Ithaca College

Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity (BIOL 110)
Biological Impacts of Climate Change (BIOL 144)
Biology: Populations and Communities (BIOL 220W)
Evolution (BIOL 427)
Animal Behavior (BIOL 429)