Current Opportunities with Dr. Michael Reed:

Dr. Reed is a conservation biologist whose work focuses on threats to species due to human alteration of the landscape.  Reed’s research focuses mostly on birds, with a long-term interest in endangered waterbirds in Hawaii, although he has also worked on birds, butterflies, and amphibians in urban landscapes.  One great benefit to organismal biology is that species can act as a focus for integrated research across disciplines.  This can occur, for example, using birds as indicators of ecosystem health and ecosystem services.  Reed is particularly interested in students with strong quantitative skills, who are interested in combining biological research into a conservation problem that has aspects of water diplomacy.  Two examples of this type of work are:

  • Evaluating dispersal and population viability of the endangered Hawaiian moorhen, a coastal wetland obligate, and assessing and resolving water conflicts for protecting this species.  Wetland habitat is one of the limiting factors for Hawaiian waterbirds, and there are conflicts in water use from urban and agricultural uses.  Climate change will be an important factor in the near future because of loss of coastal wetlands (where most of the species breed).
  • Determining the factors causing population decline of migrant North American Shorebirds, and the potential impact of climate change on their vulnerability.  There are current and anticipated water conflicts in North America along migration routes – in coastal and inland regions – and an unknown role of wetlands in Central and South America.

Dr. Reed is also open to developing other biodiversity-water diplomacy research questions. For details of Reed’s research and related publications, please visit

Other Opportunities

Please visit the Faculty Information page to learn more about other faculty affiliated with the Water Diplomacy IGERT program, their interest areas, and potential student research topics.