Adrian Naveda Selected as 2022 James A. Kushlan Award Recipient

Posted on November 03, 2022 in Science

Adrian Naveda holding a vulture chick

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary recently selected former Conservation Science Trainee Adrian Naveda as its 2022 James A. Kushlan Graduate Student Award recipient. Adrian is a doctoral candidate at Mississippi State University, and the award supports his project “The Migration Ecology of North American Turkey Vultures: Spatial and Population Dynamics.”

“Over the years, Adrian has more than proved his dedication to raptor research,” says Director of Graduate Studies and Senior Scientist Dr. JF Therrien, who will co-advise his work. “He is an outstanding representative to receive this competitive award.”

After completing a conservation traineeship at Hawk Mountain in 2007, Adrian continued to collaborate with Hawk Mountain scientists on a range of topics including the study of vultures overwintering in Venezuela. His current Ph.D. project will shed light on how survival of individual vultures is affected by migration strategies and habitat use throughout their annual cycle.

“Given the immense ecological importance of vultures, Hawk Mountain has been studying their populations across the globe for more than a decade, and Adrian’s project will significantly advance our ecological understanding of one of the most abundant raptors in the world. This will ultimately help orient conservation efforts,” explains Therrien.

The James A. Kushlan Award was established in 2005 to support graduate students in their work for or with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary through a generous gift established by the Kushlan Endowment Fund. The award is competitive and based on the merit of research project proposed and awarded to a qualified graduate student working in raptor conservation and without geographic restriction.

The Hawk Mountain Graduate Student Program is a strategy to support the most talented up-and-coming raptor biologists and assist them with completing independent research that not only adds to our understanding of raptor conservation, but also helps to establish young professionals globally as leaders in the conservation community.