black tern researchers in the field

Funded as a graduate fellow through Michigan Sea Grant, Jennifer Fuller worked with the Audubon Society to understand the effects of climate change and invasive species on the rapidly declining black tern.

Jennifer collaborated closely with Detroit Audubon and Audubon Great Lakes by analyzing long-term datasets beginning in 2013 and helping collect nest survival data in the field between 2019 and 2020. Her research found that climate change-driven lake-level rise, invasive species, and coastal developments are eliminating safe nesting habitat for the black terns in Lake St. Clair.

Her work was presented through Detroit Audubon’s webinar series in December 2020 and is being incorporated into the Black Tern Conservation Initiative’s ongoing planning and priorities. Jennifer will graduate from the University of Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability in April 2021 with an master’s degree in conservation ecology.

Michigan Sea Grant is currently accepting graduate research fellowship applications for the 2022-2024 research cycle. Graduate students (M.S. or Ph.D.) are eligible for up to $50,000 in funding per fellowship, spread over one or two years. Find more information on our RFP page.