Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen
Assistant Professor

403 Illick Hall
1 Forestry Dr.
Syracuse, New York 13210

Phone: (315) 470-6743



Ph.D. Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, VA Tech University, May 2005
M.S. Renewable Natural Resources, University of Connecticut, May 1998
B.S. Natural Resources, Cornell University, May 1994

Current Projects and Research Interests

My lab is involved in research on the effects of human disturbance on the behavior and reproductive success of Snowy Plovers in Florida and Alabama. My past work has included population and habitat studies of birds of conservation concern, including Piping Plovers, Red Knots, and Greater Scaup. I am generally interested in habitat and population research that assists resource agencies and conservation organizations to understand factors that limit wild populations.


EFB 493: Wildlife Habitat and Populations
I will be teaching this for the first time in Fall 2011

Refereed Monographs

Cohen JB, Houghton LM, Fraser JD. 2009. Nesting density and reproductive success of piping plovers in response to storm- and human-created habitat changes. Wildlife Monographs 173:1-24.

Refereed Journal Articles

Cohen JB, Gerber BD, Karpanty SM, Fraser JD, and Truitt BR. In press. Day and night foraging of Red Knots (Calidris canutus) during spring stopover in Virginia, USA. Waterbirds.

Karpanty SM, Cohen JB, Fraser JD, Berkson J. Effect of foraging birds on horseshoe crab egg resources during spring migratory stopover in Delaware Bay (in review, Journal of Wildlife Management).

Cohen JB, Karpanty SM, Fraser JD. 2010. Habitat selection and behavior of Red Knots (Calidris canutus) on the New Jersey Atlantic Coast during spring stopover. Condor: in press

Cohen JB, Fraser JD. 2010. Piping Plover foraging distribution and prey abundance in the pre-laying period. Wilson Journal of Ornithology: in press

Catlin DH, Fraser JD, Felio JH, Cohen JB. 2010. Piping plover nest success on natural, managed, and engineered Missouri River sandbars. Journal of Wildlife Management. In press.

Roche EA, Cohen JB, Catlin DH, Amirault-Langlais DL, Cuthbert FJ, Gratto-Trevor CL, Felio JH, Fraser JD. 2010. Range-wide estimation of apparent survival for piping plovers: evidence for correlated patterns and temporal declines. Journal of Wildlife Management: in press

Fraser JD, Karpanty SM, Cohen JB. 2010. Horseshoe crab nest depressions as shorebird foraging cues. Waterbirds 33: 96-100.

Cohen JB, Karpanty SM, Fraser JD, Truitt BR. 2010. The effect of benthic prey abundance and size on red knot (Calidris canutus) distribution at an alternative migratory stopover site on the US Atlantic Coast. Journal of Ornithology 151:355-364.

Morrison JL, McMillian M, Cohen JB, Catlin DH. 2009. Environmental correlates of nesting success in Crested Caracaras. Auk 126: 755-764.

Cohen JB, Karpanty SM, Fraser JD, Watts BD, Truitt BR. 2009. Residence probability and population size of red knots during spring stopover in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Journal of Wildlife Management 73:939-945.

Cohen JB, Karpanty SM, Catlin DH, Fraser JD, Fischer RA. 2008. Winter ecology of piping plovers at Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. Waterbirds 31:472-479.

Cohen, JB., Wunker EC, Fraser JD. 2008. Substrate and vegetation selection by nesting Piping Plovers (Charadrius Melodus) in New York. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120:404-407.

Morrison JL, McMillian M, Cohen JB, Catlin DH. 2007. Environmental correlates of nesting success in Red-shouldered Hawks. Condor 109:648-657.

Cohen JB, Fraser JD, Catlin DH. 2006. Survival and site fidelity of Piping Plovers on Long Island, New York. Journal of Field Ornithology 77: 409-417.

Golden NH, Rattner BA, Cohen JB, Hoffman DJ, Russek-Cohen E, Ottinger, MA. 2003, Lead accumulation in feathers of nestling black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) experimentally treated in the field. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 22: 1517-1524.

Cohen JB, Rattner, BA, Golden, NH. 2003. Use of retrospective data to assess ecotoxicological monitoring needs for terrestrial vertebrates residing in Atlantic Coast estuaries. Ecotoxicology 12:365-375

Cohen JB, Barclay JS, Major AR, Fisher JP. 2000. Greater scaup as biomonitors of metal contamination in federal wildlife refuges in the Long Island region. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 38:83-92.

Rattner BA, Pearson JL, Golden NH, Cohen JB, Erwin RM, Ottinger MA. 2000. Contaminant exposure and effects--terrestrial vertebrates database: trends and data gaps for Atlantic Coast estuaries. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 63:131-142.

Book Chapters

Sheffield SR, Sawicka-Kapusta K, Cohen JB, Rattner BA. 2001. Rodentia and Lagomorpha. Pp. 215-314 In Shore RF and Rattner BA (eds.), Ecotoxicology of Wild Mammals. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Rattner BA, Cohen JB, Golden NH. 2000. Contaminant effect endpoints in terrestrial vertebrates at and above the level of the "individual." In: Environmental Contaminants and Terrestrial Vertebrates: Effects on Populations, Communities and Ecosystems. Albers PH, ed. SETAC Special Publication, SETAC Press, Pensacola, Florida. 61 pp

Newsletters/Popular Articles

Cohen JB, Karpanty SM, Fraser JD, Truitt BR. 2007. Initial deployment tests of tiny PTTs on the red knot (Calidris canutus rufa). Tracker News 8:2.

Cohen JB. 1996. Tricky trackers (a children's guide to making a squirrel-tracking kit). Ranger Rick. Nov 1996.

Professional Organizations

  • The Wildlife Society (Associate Certification 1999)
  • The Waterbird Society (Conservation Committee Chair)
  • American Ornithologists Union
  • Wilson Ornithological Society
  • Association of Field Ornithologists
  • American Associationfor the Advancement of Science
  • Sigma Xi


Reviewer for: Animal Ecology, The Auk, Avian Conservation and Ecology, Environmental Management, Estuaries and Coasts, Journal of Animal Ecology, Journal of Field Ornithology, Journal of Raptor Research, Journal of Wildlife Management, Waterbirds

Current Graduate Advisees

Current Graduate Advisees

Melissa AlthouseMelissa Althouse

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Cohen
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management
  • Undergraduate Institute: Green Mountain College (Biology)

Personal Statement
I never heard of the fields of wildlife biology or conservation management until my sophomore year at Green Mountain College, while a class of mine was ‘testing out’ a prospective new professor. I was instantly hooked. I have since acquired a varied background working with academic institutions, federal agencies, and non profit organizations. Most projects focused on endangered species management and human-wildlife conflict. Some research species are white suckers (Catostomus commersonii) and blacknose daces (Rhinichthys atratulus), Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis), dunes sagebrush lizards (Sceloporus arenicolus), lesser prairie chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), and now roseate terns (Sterna dougallii).

Graduate Research Topic
Behavioral and demographic effects of disturbance on the federally endangered Roseate tern (Sterna dougallii) as it stages on the Cape Cod National Seashore

Home Page
Web Link

Adam BleauAdam Bleau

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Cohen
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Amanda CheesemanAmanda Cheeseman

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Cohen
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Web Link

Graduate Research Topic
Demographics and habitat associations of New England cottontails

Justin DrokeJustin Droke

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Cohen
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management

Maureen DurkinMaureen Durkin

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Cohen
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management
  • Undergraduate Institute: Connecticut College (Biology)

Graduate Research Topic
Effects of human-caused disturbance on Snowy Plover behavior, habitat selection, and reproductive success in the Florida Panhandle.

Alison KocekAlison Kocek

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Cohen
  • Area of Study: Fish & Wildlife Biology & Management
  • Undergraduate Institute: University of Arizona (Ecology)

Web Link

Graduate Research Topic
Avian demographic response to salt marsh restoration, with emphasis on salt marsh breeding sparrows in coastal New York state.

Michelle Peach LangMichelle Peach Lang

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Frair and Cohen
  • Area of Study: Ecology
  • Previous Graduate Study: University of Wisc Madison* (Land Resources )

Graduate Research Topic
Dissertation title: “Role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity”


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