Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Thomas Sherry

Professor - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Contact Info


  • B.A., Dartmouth College, Biology, 1973
  • M.A., Dartmouth College, Biology, 1975
  • Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles, Ecology, 1981

Academic Experience

  • Acting Chair, EE Biology Dept., 2016-17
  • New Day Professor III and Siegel Professor in Social Entrepreneurship, Phyllis Taylor Center, 2016-2019
  • Professor, Tulane University, 1999-
  • Associate Professor, Tulane University, 1994-1999
  • Assistant Professor, Tulane University, 1989-1994
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Dartmouth College, 1984-1988

Research & Teaching Specializations: Natural Sciences; Tropical Ornithology; Population Limitation and Regulation of Migratory Birds; Habitat Selection; Feeding Ecology and ecological specialization in birds; Conservation of Biological Diversity, especially tropical diversity

Related Experience

  • Co-developed and organized Tulane’s inaugural CIAPA interdisciplinary (Spring) semester study-abroad program in San José, Costa Rica (2013-14); and taught Tropical Conservation and Global Change course as part of this program (2014)
  • Participated in Tulane (Provost)-initiated Tulane faculty rapprochement with discipline-relevant faculty at University of Havana, Havana, Cuba, 2012
  • Treasurer, International Ornithologists Union, 2011-2014
  • Served on MS, and Ph.D. thesis external review committee for three students, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, 2010-2011.
  • Co-organized symposium “Habitat fragmentation in tropical forest birds” for 25th International Ornithological Congress, Campos do Jordão, Brazil (with Luis Dos Anjos, Brazil), 2010.
  • National Science Foundation, Ecology Panel, Evolutionary and Population Ecology Panel, 2006, 2007; Population and Community Panel, 2011
  • Chercheur Associé, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Montpellier, France, 2004-2005
  • Chair, International Affairs Committee, American Ornithologists’ Union, 2004-2007


  • George H. Lowery Award, Louisiana Ornithological Society, 2016
  • NSF “Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Impacts on migratory shorebirds and carry-over effects to distant ecosystems,” 2010-2012
  • NSF “Dissertation research: Do mesoherbivores drive Neotropical rainforest understory insectivorous bird declines by limiting availability of preferred foraging microhabitat?” 2010-2012
  • Beetle new to science (from Cocos Island, Costa Rica) named after Sherry and wife: Hoplocopturus sherrywernerorum (Hespenheide, H. A., 2009, Coleopterists Bulletin 63: 333-339)
  • Pilot Funding for New Research (PFund), NSF EPSCoR, Louisiana Board of Regents: “Effects of forest fragmentation on genetic population structure of tropical forest birds,” 2009-2010
  • National Science Foundation Research Grants, “LTREB Collaborative Research: Density-dependent and Density-independent Effects on the Non-breeding Season Dynamics of a Migratory Bird,” 2007-2012, 2012-2017


  • Spanish
  • French

Selected Publications

  • 2015. “Combining survey methods to estimate abundance and transience of birds among tropical non-breeding habitats.” Peele, A. M., P. P. Marra, T. S. Sillett, T. W. Sherry. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 132: 926-937.
  • 2015. “Patterns and causes of understory bird declines from human-disturbed tropical forest landscapes: A case study from Central America.” Visco, D. M., N. L. Michel, A. W. Boyle, B. J. Sigel, S. Woltmann, and T. W. Sherry. Biological Conservation 191: 117-129.
  • 2015. “Do collared peccaries reduce understory insectivorous rainforest bird abundance indirectly via lianas and vines?” Michel, N. L., W. P. Carson, and T. W. Sherry. Biotropica 47(6): 745-757.
  • 2015. “Increased abundance, but reduced nest predation in the chestnut-backed antbird in costa rican rainforest fragments: surprising impacts of a pervasive snake species.” Visco, D. M., and T. W. Sherry. In Special Issue Article: Tropical Insectivores. Biological Conservation 188: 22-31.
  • 2014. “The omnivorous collared peccary negates an insectivo re-generated trophic cascade in Costa Rican wet tropical forest understorey.” Michel, N.L., T.W. Sherry, and W.P. Carson. Journal of Tropical Ecology 30: 1-11.
  • 2013. “Does the bananaquit benefit commensally from parrot frugivory? An assessment using habitat quality.” Douglas, L.R., G. Winkel, and T.W. Sherry. Biotropica 45: 457-464.
  • 2012. “Fine-scale genetic population structure of an understory rainforest bird in Costa Rica.” Woltmann, S., B.D. Kreiser, and T.W. Sherry. Conservation Genetics 13: 925-935.
  • 2012. “A genetic approach to estimating natal dispersal distances and self-recruitment in resident rainforest birds.“Woltmann, S., T. W. Sherry, and B. R. Kreiser. Journal of Avian Biology 43: 33-42.
  • 2011. “High apparent survival and stable territory dynamics of Chestnut-backed Antbird (Myrmeciza exsul) in a large rain forest preserve.” Woltmann, S., and T. W. Sherry. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123:15-23.
  • 2011. “Hurricane Katrina impacts on the breeding bird community in bottomland hardwood forest of the Pearl River basin, Louisiana.” Brown, D. R., T. W. Sherry, and J. Harris. Forest Ecology and Management 261: 111-119.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: EBIO-2040-01: Conservation Biology, EBIO-3040: General Ecology, Tropical Conservation and Global Change (CIAPA Study-Abroad Semester, San José, Costa Rica); Climate Change across the Curriculum: Science, Stakes, and Solutions

Number of Dissertations or Theses Supervised in the Past 5 Years: 5

For more information about Thomas Sherry click here.