Dr. James (Barry) Grand, [contact] Unit Leader, Professor of Wildlife Science.  Dr. Grand has been the Leader of the Alabama Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit since 1998. His research interests lie mainly in the area of avian ecology and population dynamics. Barry received degrees from Louisiana State, Auburn, and Texas A&M universities before moving to Alaska, where, for 10 years, he studied waterfowl as a research biologist at the Alaska Science Center. His research in Alaska took him from the Arctic Ocean to the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Along the way he conducted extensive research on Northern Pintail, Long-tailed Duck, Dusky Canada Goose, and Spectacled Eider. After returning to Auburn, he led graduate students to the Arctic to study molting Long-tailed Duck in the coastal lagoons of the Beaufort Sea and Dusky Canada Geese on the Copper River Delta. He is an active member of the Eider Recovery Team, which makes recommendations on Spectacled and Steller’s Eider conservation.

In recent years, his research interests have been focused nearer to his home in Alabama. He was the principal investigator for the Alabama Gap Analysis Project, and a co-Investigator in the Southeast Regional Gap Analysis Project. He conducted research on Northern Bobwhite in south Alabama, and is developing a statewide survey to estimate Eastern Wild Turkey populations. His current research includes developing inventory and monitoring programs, and management recommendations for species of greatest conservation need on state-owned lands in Alabama. He works closely with the East Gulf Coastal Plain and Atlantic Coast Joint Ventures to develop plans for strategic conservation of bird populations and is a Co-PI for the USGS Southeast Regional Assessment Project examining the possible effects of climate change on wildlife conservation.

Dr. Elise R. Irwin, [contact] Assistant Leader, Associate Professor of Fisheries Science.

Dr. Conor P. McGowan, [contact] Assistant Leader, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Science.  Dr. McGowan completed his Ph.D. in 2008 at the University of Missouri working with Dr. Mark Ryan on Piping Plover population modeling in the Great Plains. Previously he completed a MS degree in zoology at North Carolina State University, studying American Oystercatcher ecology and conservation with Dr. Ted Simons, and, before that, a B.S. in biology at Wake Forest University. Following graduate school he worked as a post-doc at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center with Drs. Jim Nichols and Dave Smith developing an adaptive management strategy for Horseshoe Crab harvests in the Delaware Bay constrained by Red Knot conservation needs.