Emily Stewart

Why I joined the ECS M.S. Program

 To prepare for a career in wildlife conservation research.

My research

My research is broadly focused on wildlife conservation and avian physiology. My thesis research focuses on the cross-seasonal interactions between social factors and physiology. I study a local songbird, the black-capped chickadee, which is a year-round resident species in North Dakota. Chickadees form small flocks that forage together during the winter, then split into pairs and claim territories for breeding in the spring. I observe social interactions in these flocks during the winter to determine whether individuals are dominant or subordinate. I will then address whether an individual’s social rank during the winter affects its immune function and/or reproductive success in the spring.


  • Stewart, EC, Breitbach, DG., Greives, TJ. (2014). Cross-seasonal interactions of social dominance hierarchies and reproductive timing in the black-capped chickadee. Presented at International Society for Behavioral Ecology, July 31-August 5 2014, New York City, New York. (Presented by E. Stewart)