Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

Thomas Sherry

Professor - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Contact Info

Department Affiliation
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
Curriculum Vitae





All Events

Upcoming Events

Graduate Student Writing Group

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Weekly structured writing sessions for Latin Americanist graduate students in all departments. Students, who arrive with a project and a goal, work in communal silence during two 45 minute blocks separated by a 10-minute coffee break. All meetings will be held in the Latin American Library Seminar Room. Co-sponsored by the Stone Center and the Latin American Library.

Teaching Cuban Culture & Society: A K-12 Summer Educator Institute in Cuba

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Cost: $3580

Now, in its fifth year, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute at Tulane University are proud to announce the return of our annual two-week summer educator institute exploring the geography, culture and history of Cuba. For an educator, Cuba is rich with lessons to bring into the classroom. This program highlights the important historical and cultural connections between the United States and Cuba. Participants will explore key sites and meet local experts and artists who will provide unique insight for educators who teach such subjects as U.S./Latin American Relations, World Geography, World History, and Spanish among others. Come and visit the site of the historic Bay of Pigs, explore Milton Hershey’s sugar plantation and the Cuban national literacy campaign.

Fill out the online APPLICATION here, due March 15, 2020.

Additional materials needed:
  • Two letters of recommendation (please make sure to have at least one recommendation letter from a colleague at your school) Please email your recommenders the PDF above. They submit via email the complete recommendation letter.
  • Copy of Passport
  • $200 program deposit


  • Lodging at Casa Vera (double occupancy)
  • At least 1 meal a day (at Casa Vera and on excursions)
  • Transportation to/from airport to residence (if you arrive on time)
  • Medical insurance: Each participant will be covered for the entire program length by a travel health insurance policy.
  • Group tours and excursions, with associated transportation


  • Airfare to/from the U.S.: approx. $300-$600
  • Visa: $50-$100 depending on airline
  • Checked luggage ($25) + Overweight baggage: This constitutes anything in excess of maximum allowed luggage weight (50lbs), both going and returning from Cuba.
  • Communication: Internet and long distance/international calls
  • Additional meals (1 a day, snacks)
  • Taxi/ground transportation: Participants are responsible for expenses incurred getting around town during free time.
  • Admission to museums, events, etc.: Participants will be responsible for these expenses unless they are part of itinerary.
  • All materials and personal expenditures
  • Loss/Theft Travel Insurance: Please note only travel medical insurance is included in program. If you would like additional coverage (including insurance for loss of baggage, emergency cash transfers, etc.), it is recommended that you purchase additional insurance.


Please email or call 504.865.5164 for additional details.