Richard Holmes

Research Professor

Research Professor of Biology
Ronald and Deborah Harris Professor of Environmental Biology Emeritus

[Please note: As I am now retired, I am no longer accepting new graduate students]

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My research focuses on the ecology and behavior of migratory passerine birds in their north temperate breeding areas in New England and their neotropical wintering quarters in the Caribbean and Central America. Our current research examines climate effect on bird distribution, abundance, and demography and will contribute to our understanding of the factors affecting neotropical migrant bird populations, some of which are currently declining.

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Biological Sciences
B.S. Humboldt State University
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Selected Publications

Holmes, R.T., and G. E. Likens. 2016. Hubbard Brook: The Story of a Forest Ecosystem. Yale University Press, New Haven. pp 1-270.

Townsend, A. K., E. G. Cooch, T. S. Sillett, N. L. Rodenhouse, R. T. Holmes, and M. S. Webster. 2016. Contrasting effects of warm springs and global climate cycles on population dynamics of a migratory songbird. Global Change Biology 22: 544-555 (doi: 10.1111/gcb.13053).

Marra, P. P., C. E. Studds, S. Wilson, T. S. Sillett, T. W. Sherry, and R. T. Holmes. 2015. Non-breeding season habitat quality mediates the strength of density-dependence for a migratory bird. 2015. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B 282,

Sherry, T.W., S. Wilson, S. Hunter, and R.T. Holmes. 2015. Impacts of nest predators and weather on reproductive success and population limitation in a long-distance migratory songbird. Journal of Avian Biology 46: 559- 569.

Lany, N.K., M. P. Ayres, E.E. Stange, T.S. Sillett, N.L. Rodenhouse, and R.T. Holmes. 2015. Breeding timed to maximize reproductive success for a migratory songbird: the importance of phenological asynchrony. Oikos, doi: 10.1111/oik.02412.

Townsend, A. K., T. S. Sillett, N. K. Lany, S. A. Kaiser, N. L. Rodenhouse, M.S. Webster, and R. T. Holmes. 2013.  Warm springs, early lay dates, and double-brooding in a North American migratory songbird, the Black-throated Blue Warbler.  PLoS One 8(4): e59467. doi:10.1371/ 

Swatantran, A., R. Dubayah, S. Goetz, M. Hofton, M. G. Betts, M. Sun, M. Simard, and R. T. Holmes.  2012. Mapping migratory bird prevalence using     remote sensing data fusion.  PLoS One 7(1): doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028922

Holmes, R. T.  2011. Birds in forest ecosystems: long-term research on populations and community processes in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.  Forest Ecology and Management 262: 20-32

Goetz, S. J., S. Steinberg, M. Betts, R. T. Holmes, P. Doran, R. Dubayah, and M. Hofton. 2010. Lidar remote sensing variables predict breeding habitat of a Neotropical migrant bird. Ecology 91: 1569-1576

Faaborg, J., R.T. Holmes, et al. 2010. Recent advances in understanding migration systems of New World landbirds. Ecological Monographs, 80:3-48

Rodenhouse N.L., S.N. Matthews, K.P. McFarland, J.D. Lambert, L.R. Iverson, A. Prasad, T.S. Sillett, and R.T. Holmes. 2008. Potential effects of climate change on birds of the Northeast. Mitig. Adapt. Strat. Global Change 13: 517-540

Betts, M.G., N.L. Rodenhouse, T.S. Sillett, P.J. Doran, and R.T. Holmes. 2008. Dynamic occiupancy models reveal within-breeding season movement up a habitat quality gradient by a migrant songbird. Ecography 31: 592-600

Holmes, R.T. 2007. Understanding population change in migratory songbirds: long-term and experimental studies of Neotropical migrants in breeding and wintering areas. Ibis 149 (S2): 2-13

Johnson, M.D., T.W. Sherry, R.T. Holmes, and P.P. Marra. 2006. Assessing habitat quality for a migratory songbird wintering in natural and agricultural habitats. Conservation Biology 20: 1433-1444

Nagy, L.R., and R.T. Holmes. 2005. Food limits annual fecundity of a migratory songbird: an experimental study. Ecology 86: 675-681

Sillett, T.S., N.L. Rodenhouse, and R.T. Holmes. 2004. Experimentally reducing neighbor density affects reproduction and behavior of a migratory songbird. Ecology 85: 2467-2477

Rodenhouse, N.L., T.S. Sillett, P.J. Doran, and R.T. Holmes. 2003. Multiple density-dependent mechanisms regulate a migratory bird population during the breeding season. Proc. Royal Society London B 270:2105-2110

Jones, J., P. J. Doran and R.T. Holmes. 2003. Climate and food synchronize regional forest bird abundances. Ecology 84: 3024-3032

Rubenstein, D.R., C. P. Chamberlain, R.T. Holmes, et al. 2002. Linking breeding and wintering ranges of a Neotropical migrant songbird using stable isotopes. Science 295:591-593

Sillett, T.S., and R.T. Holmes. 2002. Variation in survivorship of a migratory songbird throughout its annual cycle. Journal of Animal Ecology 71:296-308

McPeek, M.A., N.L. Rodenhouse, T.W. Sherry, and R.T. Holmes. 2001. Site dependent population regulation: population-level regulation without individual-level interactions. Oikos 94:417-424

Holmes, R.T., and T.W. Sherry. 2001. Thirty-year bird population trends in an unfragmented temperate deciduous forest: importance of habitat change. Auk 118:589-610

Sillett, T.S., R.T. Holmes, and T.W. Sherry. 2000. Impacts of a global climate cycle on population dynamics of a migratory songbird. Science 288: 2040-2042

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