Nick Rodenhouse

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences

Exploring how climate change affects forest songbirds and the environments in which they live.

My research focuses on the effects of climate change on migratory songbirds. My collaborators and I have been intensively monitoring a population of black-throated blue warblers (Setophaga caerulescens) that breed across a 600-m elevation gradient within the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest of north central New Hampshire. At high, middle and low elevations, representing different climatic conditions, we are quantifying the activities of breeding pairs and the quality of their habitat. Results of this research are contributing to basic ecological theory and have direct management applications for migratory songbirds, some of which are of conservation concern.

I see my primary goal as an educator at Wellesley College to promote and enhance the understanding of ecology and environmental issues within the Wellesley College community. This is done through the classes I teach, such as Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Global Change Biology, and also via active participation in environmental issues on campus. Our campus is a wonderful learning tool for ecology and is exceptional for its natural diversity of habitats and organisms. I take every opportunity to teach, and learn, out-of-doors.

I love to be out-of-doors exploring nature─binoculars around my neck, a camera in my backpack and field guides in my side pack─loaded for discoveries. When at home I restore old, "classic" speakers as a hobby. This involves electronics and woodworking. Of course, once the speaker is fully restored, then listening to music while reading a good book is an ideal way to while away a rainy afternoon.