Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Thomas Sherry

Professor - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Contact Info
tsherry@tulane.edu

Degrees

  • B.A., Dartmouth College, Biology, 1973
  • M.A., Dartmouth College, Biology, 1975
  • Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles, Ecology, 1981

Academic Experience

  • 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 and Regulation of Migratory Birds; Habitat Selection; Feeding Ecology and ecological specialization in birds; Conservation of Biological Diversity, especially tropical diversity

Related Experience

  • 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-
  • 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

  • NSF “Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Impacts on migratory shorebirds and carry-over effects to distant ecosystems.” For 2 years, with Caz Taylor. ($198,000), 2010-2012
  • NSF “Dissertation research: Do mesoherbivores drive Neotropical rainforest understory insectivorous bird declines by limiting availability of preferred foraging microhabitat?” ($14,894 to Tulane to support Nicole Michel’s dissertation), 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

Language & Proficiency: Spanish; French

Selected Publications

  • 2014. Michel, N.L., T.W. Sherry, and W.P. Carson. “The omnivorous collared peccary negates an insectivo re-generated trophic cascade in Costa Rican wet tropical forest understorey.” Journal of Tropical Ecology 30: 1-11.
  • 2014. Michel, N.L., D.R. Robinson, and T.W. Sherry. “Liana-bird relationships: a review.” In Ecology of Lianas, S.A. Schnitzner, F. Bongers, R. Burnham, and F.E. Putz, eds. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. Accepted for publication (5 June 2013).
  • 2013. Douglas, L.R., G. Winkel, and T.W. Sherry. “Does the bananaquit benefit commensally from parrot frugivory? An assessment using habitat quality.” Biotropica 45: 457-464.
  • 2012. Robinson, W. D., and T. W. Sherry. “Mechanisms of avian population decline and species loss in tropical forest fragments.” Journal of Ornithology 153 (Suppl 1): S141-S152. (DOI 10.1007/s10336-011-0806-y)
  • 2012. Woltmann, S., B. R. Kreiser, and T. W. Sherry. “Fine-scale genetic population structure of an understory rainforest bird in Costa Rica.” Conservation Genetics 13: 925-935.
  • 2012. Woltmann, S., T. W. Sherry, and B. R. Kreiser. “A genetic approach to estimating natal dispersal distances and self-recruitment in resident rainforest birds.” Journal of Avian Biology 43: 33-42.
  • 2011. Woltmann, S., and T. W. Sherry. “High apparent survival and stable territory dynamics of Chestnut-backed Antbird (Myrmeciza exsul) in a large rain forest preserve.” Wilson Journal of Ornithology 123:15-23.
  • 2011. Brown, D. R., T. W. Sherry, and J. Harris. “Hurricane Katrina impacts on the breeding bird community in bottomland hardwood forest of the Pearl River basin, Louisiana.” Forest Ecology and Management 261: 111-119.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: General Ecology; Conservation Biology; Tropical Conservation and Global Change (CIAPA Study-Abroad Semester, San José, Costa Rica)

Number of Dissertations or Theses Supervised in the Past 5 Years: 7
For more information about Thomas Sherry click here.

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Upcoming Events

Latin American Cinema Series

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In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies is collaborating with The Broad Theater to present the 1st Annual Latin America Cinema Series. The series will showcase a wide variety of shorts and features from Haiti, Cuba, Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico and Colombia. Titles include such film festival standouts such as THE APOSTATE, Martin Sheen’s latest film THE VESSEL, and IXCANUL, the first Guatemalan film shot in the Kaqchikel Maya language. The series will take place over two days, October 1st and 2nd, at The Broad Theater, 636 North Broad, New Orleans.

This film series is presented in partnership with WWNO and the Cine Institute in Jacqumel, Haiti. All proceeds from the Haitian series will go to Cine Institute.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1

  • 12:30 pm – Haitian Shorts (100 mins.) A selection of Haitian narrative shorts will be screened as part of a partnership with the Cine Institute in Jacqumel, Haiti. All proceeds from the Haitian series will go to Cine Institute.
  • 2:45 pm – Tierra y Sombra (97 mins.) Alfonso is an old farmer who has returned home to tend to his son, who is gravely ill. He rediscovers his old house, where the woman who was once his wife still lives, with his daughter-in-law and grandson. The landscape that awaits him resembles a wasteland. Vast sugar cane plantations surround the house, producing perpetual clouds of ash. 17 years after abandoning them, Alfonso tries to fit back in and save his family.
  • 5:00 pm – Ixcanul (100 mins.) On the slopes of an active volcano in Guatemala, a marriage is arranged for 17-year-old Maria by her Kaqchikel parents. “Ixcanul” provides a window into a culture that we rarely see. Film will be presented with a special introduction by Professor Judith Maxwell and Kaqchikel Maya language Scholar, Ixnal Cuma Chávez. The Latin American Resource Center- welcomes all educators to a special reception preceding the screening. Reception is free with registration. For more information about this special reception, please register here.
  • 7:10 pm – The Vessel (110 mins.) Ten years after a tidal wave destroys a small-town elementary school with all the children inside, a young man builds a mysterious structure out of the school’s remains, setting the town aflame with passions long forgotten.
  • 9:15 pm – Embrace of the Serpent (133 mins.) The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2016

  • 12:00 pm Ixcanul
  • 2:15 pm The Vessel
  • 4:30 pm Unfinished Spaces (86 mins.) Cuba’s ambitious National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists in the wake of Castro’s Revolution, is neglected, nearly forgotten, then ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece. In 1961, three young, visionary architects were commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara to create Cuba’s National Art Schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Construction of their radical designs began immediately and the school’s first classes soon followed. Dancers, musicians and artists from all over the country reveled in the beauty of the schools, but as the dream of the Revolution quickly became a reality, construction was abruptly halted and the architects and their designs were deemed irrelevant in the prevailing political climate. Forty years later the schools are in use, but remain unfinished and decaying. Castro has invited the exiled architects back to finish their unrealized dream. Unfinished Spaces features intimate footage of Fidel Castro, showing his devotion to creating a worldwide showcase for art, and it also documents the struggle and passion of three revolutionary artists.
  • 7:00 pm Tierra y Sombra
  • 9:00 pm The Apostate (80 mins.) A man at a crossroads in his life (Alvaro Ogalla) wishes to fully excommunicate himself from the Catholic Church, but is faced with baffling bureaucracy from his decision in this absurd comedy-drama from director Federico Veiroj.

More information can be found at www.thebroadtheater.com, in the Events section. Tickets for the series will go on sale Friday, September 23rd. Tickets for each screening will be $10 with a two-day pass available for $40. For more information please contact the theater at mgmt@thebroadtheater.com or 504-218-1008.