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Biology Professor and Student Present Research at Ornithological Conference in Florida

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Posted on Monday, April 3, 2017

Dr. Kerri Cornell Duerr and Rebecca Zdilla '17 recently attended the Wilson Ornithological Society conference at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL. Duerr and Zdilla coauthored and presented a poster presentation entitled “Habitat use by American Kestrels and European Starlings in west-central Pennsylvania”.

Duerr, assistant professor of biology at Westminster College, serves as the chair of the Jed Burtt Undergraduate Mentoring Award Committee for the Wilson Ornithological Society and she is Zdilla’s capstone research adviser.

Zdilla, a senior biology and biochemistry major, is a daughter of James and Kathryn Zdilla and a graduate of Butler Area Senior High School.

 “Attending the conference was a completely new experience for me,” says Zdilla. “It was interesting to listen to [other participants’] research projects that they are doing through a university or through various jobs.”

Zdilla was inspired to think of different job opportunities thanks to a museum curator and a researcher for Florida's game and wildlife commission. “Those are two types of jobs that I had never considered before, but have sparked my interest into exploring them more,” she added.

Duerr and Zdilla also spent time birding at Corkscrew Swamp Wildlife Sanctuary and participated in a bird banding session hosted by the North American Bird Banding Council.

For more information, contact Dr. Kerri Duerr at or 724-946-7210.