Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Thomas Sherry

Professor - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Contact Info
tsherry@tulane.edu

Department Affiliation
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Degrees
  • 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 of Migratory Birds, Habitat Selection, Feeding Ecology and ecological specialization in birds, Conservation of Biological Diversity, Climate Change, Preemption and The Spatial Scale of Population Regulation

Related Experience
  • New course, “Climate Change across the Curriculum: Science, Stakes, and Solutions”, senior elective, Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship minor, Phyllis Taylor Cntr. for Social Innovation & Design Thinking, 2017-2018
  • 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
Distinctions
  • President-elect, American Ornithological Society, 2018-2020
  • Bullard Fellowship, “Integrating ecological and evolutionary ideas in species-rich environments to understand community structure,” Harvard University, Sept. 2018-Feb. 2019
  • 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
Languages:
  • Spanish
  • French
Overseas Experience
  • Costa Rica
  • Jamaica
  • France
  • Cuba
  • Panama
Selected Publications
  • 2016. “Chapter 8. Avian Food and Foraging.” The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Handbook of Bird Biology, 264-310 3rd Edition (I. J. Lovette and J. W. Fitzpatrick, Eds). John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, UK.
  • 2016. “Dietary opportunism, resource partitioning, and consumption of coffee-berry borers by five migratory wood warblers (Parulidae) wintering in Jamaican shade coffee plantations.” Sherry, T.W., M.D. Johnson, K. Williams, J. Kaban, C. McAvoy, A. Medori, S. Rainey, and S. Xu. Journal of Field Ornithology 87: 273-292.
  • 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

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

Full CV or Website
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Upcoming Events

"The Past is a Foreign Country" and "Landscape Fever" Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS) and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute (CCSI) at Tulane University will again sponsor several films in this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. We are excited to support a diverse mix of films, including several narrative features, documentaries, and experimental shorts. In addition, CCSI director Dr. Ana López will lead a series of Q&A’s with select directors.

“The Past is a Foreign Country” and “Landscape Fever” are Spanish-language short films directed by Gabrielle Garcia Steib, sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

Via New Orleans Film Festival website:

The Past is a Foreign Country addresses the past as an idea of which we have control, particularly to discuss the intersection of communities in New Orleans with those in Latin America”.

Landscape Fever is a short film that addresses the narrative of a Honduran immigrant corroded by violence upon her path migrating to New Orleans. Using archival footage filmed along the U.S. / Mexican border, and sound designed by Udit Duseja merged with field recordings- the viewer may step into the world of a traumatic yet common experience that occurs among the borderlands.”

Individual passes are not available for short films. However, the NOFF offers a “Virtual Shorts Pass” for $55.00 that allows access to all short films. This pass can be purchased here

"Landfall" Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS) and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute (CCSI) at Tulane University will again sponsor several films in this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. We are excited to support a diverse mix of films, including several narrative features, documentaries, and experimental shorts. In addition, CCSI director Dr. Ana López will lead a series of Q&A’s with select directors.

Landfall, is an English-language Puerto Rican documentary film, directed by Cecilia Aldarondo.

Via New Orleans Film Festival website:
“A kaleidoscopic portrait of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane María, Landfall investigates a storm of much greater magnitude: the economic crisis crippling the island long before María arrived.”

Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute is sponsoring this film. More information and tickets are available here

Cuban Slavery and the Atlantic World

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The Gilder Lehrman Center‘€™s 22nd Annual International Conference provides a forum for discussion of the study of Cuban slavery and emancipation today, placing the island‘€™s history within the wider Atlantic world. Over the past few decades, the study of Cuban history has been an increasingly international effort. Cuban historians have interacted more and more with colleagues from abroad, with discussions grounded in the unique primary sources found in the rich Cuban archives. These scholars have demonstrated the importance of understanding Cuban slavery within the context of the Atlantic world and broad colonial networks of domination and resistance. This conference brings together scholars from Cuba and abroad working on the transatlantic slave trade, resistance, systems of control, abolition and emancipation, and the memory and legacies of slavery in Cuba. Join us for in-depth conversations about the present and future of understanding slavery and its long aftermath in this crucial part of the world.

"Verde" Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

View Full Event Description

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS) and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute (CCSI) at Tulane University will again sponsor several films in this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. We are excited to support a diverse mix of films, including several narrative features, documentaries, and experimental shorts. In addition, CCSI director Dr. Ana López will lead a series of Q&A’s with select directors.

Verde, is a Spanish-language, Dominican feature film, directed by Alfonso Morgan-Terreno.

Via New Orleans Film Festival website:
“When a bystander is killed during the robbery of a goldmine, the spilled blood stains more than the three men responsible, saturating the tight-knit fabric of their tiny Dominican village, seeping into the landscape itself. In a feature debut that pairs clear-eyed observation with ghostly intelligence, Alfonso Morgan-Terrero takes a familiar story, a dark passage of revenge and bloodshed, and sinks its noirish elements deep into the texture of its surroundings: rough-hewn structures, alleys of broken rock bathed in grimy orange streetlight, and the enveloping green of the forest. Under the film’s hypnotized gaze, kinship, brotherhood, and enmity are blurred and masquerade as one another”.
-Jonathan Kieran.

Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute is sponsoring this film. More information and tickets are available here

"Right Near the Beach" Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival

View Full Event Description

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies (SCLAS) and The Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute (CCSI) at Tulane University will again sponsor several films in this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. We are excited to support a diverse mix of films, including several narrative features, documentaries, and experimental shorts. In addition, CCSI director Dr. Ana López will lead a series of Q&A’s with select directors.

Right Near the Beach, is an English-language, Jamaican feature film, directed by Gibrey Allen.

Via New Orleans Film Festival website:
“After the death of famous runner Jeffrey Jacobs, the Jamacian public becomes enamored with the details of his life and speculates as to the motivation behind his murder. Jeffrey’s father, a reserved and kind farmer, struggles to grieve while inundated by the inescapable coverage. Through moments of blinding rage and quiet contemplation, the camera is a window into a life burdened by the death of a child that will never know justice. Against a backdrop of beautiful vistas, Right Near the Beach takes a lyrical approach to the exploration of homophobia in Jamaica. Rather than treat the murder as a voyeristic mystery, the film challenges us to contemplate the anguish of loss while everyone else debates the value of one person’s life”.
-Greta Hagen-Richardson

Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute is sponsoring this film. More information and tickets are available here

Summer in Cuba Information Session

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Learn more about the Cuban and Caribbean Institute‘€™s flagship study abroad program. Summer in Cuba is open to Tulane and non-Tulane undergraduate students from all years and majors. Plus, public Health majors have a unique opportunity to earn credits abroad with the Public Health in Cuba track.