Ph.D. Graduate Student
James Burnham

Education

Since 2009: Ph.D., Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2007: M.Sc., Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison

1999: B.A., Denison University, Biology, Minor in East Asian Studies/Chinese

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

I study the wintering ecology of cranes and other waterbirds in two areas of China: Poyang Lake,one of the most important wetlands in Asia, and Napahai wetland in Yunnan Province. I link field-based observation of wintering waterbirds to environmental monitoring efforts and satellite imagery analysis to quantify patterns of use by birds over time. By understanding how wintering waterbirds use these wetlands, I hope I can infer how these wetlands change over time and what those changes mean for other wildlife and human users of the system. To see a 5 minute informal talk that I gave to an audience at a local watering hole in January of 2016 about what I do and why I do it, click here.

Personal Interests

I'm interested in anything that gets me outside. In the summer this usually takes the form of running, biking, rock climbing, hiking, back country camping and ultimate frisbee. In the winter it's skiing, more running, more biking and feeble attempts to stay upright on a pair of ice skates. I also enjoy birding year round, helping out with prescribed burns to restore prairie or oak savannah habitats when I can and hunting for turkey and deer in the spring and fall. I'm big on traveling and I am particularly interested in the languages, cultures and histories of China and Mongolia. Born and raised next door to Atlanta, I'm a sucker for good southern cooking, particularly fried chicken, peach cobbler and sweet tea.

Contact Info

burnham@wisc.edu | 608-890-4712 | 220 Stock Pavilion | 1675 Linden Drive | Madison, WI 53706