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Robert Niese


Born in California, 1988

2007-2011, Biology, B.S. at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

2011-2013, Education and Outreach at the Slater Museum of Natural History

2013-2019, Organismal Biology and Ecology, Ph.D. at the University of Montana
2019-2020, Senior Instructor, CIEE Global Campus, Monteverde, Costa Rica

2021-2022, Visiting Assistant Professor, Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR

Natural historian, birder, nerd. Robert decided he wanted to be an ornithologist at the age of 10. Twenty years later, at the University of Montana, he finally achieved that goal and became "Dr. Bird Nerd," earning his doctoral degree in the Flight Laboratory with Dr. Bret Tobalske. Robert's research identified novel forms of animal communication and novel lift-producing devices in the wings of over 60 species of pigeons and doves. His work strives to answer broad evolutionary questions about morphology, performance, and behavior, but is also motivated by basic questions about form and function and a passion for discovery.


Robert is dedicated to science education and strives to utilize natural history collections as learning tools, connecting students to nature in new and exciting ways. He also uses his photography and graphic design to bring scientific imagery to the public realm. Robert loves being in the classroom and his engaging and enthusiastic teaching style has earned him several awards.


Click here to download his CV

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