Updated April 13, 2018
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Charles B. van Rees      


Ph.D., Biology (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior), Tufts University – Defended January 2018

B.A., Biology, summa cum laude, Connecticut College – 2010
Majors: Ecology, Environmental Science; Minor: Spanish; Certificate in Conservation Biology



Software: ENVI, ArcGIS, Program MARK, R, SPSS, Microsoft Office Suite, MATLAB, Python, OpenBUGS

Language: English (Native speaker), Spanish (Professional working proficiency)

Field Skills: ATV and four-wheel drive vehicle, avian point counts, vegetation surveys, bird capture and banding, spatial data collection (GPS unit), radio telemetry, radio transmitter harness deployment (birds), data organization and management


Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Wilson Ornithological Society, American Ornithological Society, Association of Tropical Ecology and Conservation, The Wildlife Society, The Waterbird Society, Nuttall Ornithological Society



William J. Fulbright Scholar Program

  • Fulbright Early Career Scholar Award (Spain), January 2018

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

  • AAAS/Science Magazine Excellence in Science Program, September 2014

National Science Foundation

  • NSF IGERT Research Fellowship, September 2012

The Phi Beta Kappa Society

  • Inducted May 2010

State of Hawaii

State of Hawaii House of Representatives

  • Certificate of Commendation for Dedication and Service to Hawaiian Conservation, 2017

Tufts University

      Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

  • Undergraduate Mentoring and Teaching award, March 2016
  • 1st Place Presentation in Graduate Student Research Symposium, February 2016
  • Graduate Student Research Competition Prize, November 2014, October 2015

Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE)

  • TIE Interdisciplinary Research Grant, April 2016
  • TIE Graduate Research Grant, April 2015
  • TIE Graduate Research Fellowship, January 2014


The Walt Disney Company

  • Disney Conservation Fund Annual Conservation Grant, September 2016

North American Ornithological Congress

  • Honorable Mention – Best Student Presentation Competition, August 2016

Wilson Ornithological Society 

  • Paul A. Stewart Research Grant, May 2016

Sigma Xi 

  • Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research, May 2016

Nuttall Ornithological Society

  • Nutall-Blake Fund Research Grant, November 2014, September 2015

Pacific-Coast Joint Venture (PCJV)

  • PCJV Invited Speaker Travel Support, October 2013

Connecticut College

  • Dean’s High Honors 2006 – 2010
  • Winthrop Scholar, 2010
  • Hellen F. Mathieson Prize for Excellence in the Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies, April 2010
  • Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies, December 2008

Biology & Environmental Studies Departments

  • Mellen Environmental Studies Research Grant, May 2010
  • Barbara Shattuck Kohn Prize for Excellence in Environmental Studies, April 2010
  • Sibyl A. Houseman Prize for Excellence in Biology, April 2009



Department of Biology, Tufts University | Medford, MA and Honolulu, HI
Ph.D Dissertation                                                                   September 2012 – Spring 2018 Studied the effects of  wetland loss, climate change and movement behavior on extinction risk in the Hawaiian gallinule

Center for Large Landscape Conservation | Bozeman, MT
Facilitator and Aquatic Ecosystems Specialist                          January – May 2017
Investigated synergistic conservation interventions for protecting biodiversity of fresh water & terrestrial ecosystems in the Missouri Headwaters Basin.
Convened scientists and stakeholders for a multidisciplinary workshop to guide future conservation decision-making in the basin.

Dragonfruit Agroecology Project, Vietnam National University | Hanoi, Vietnam
Graduate Researcher                                                                 December 2012
Worked with an interdisciplinary team to quantify avian diversity in Vietnamese Dragonfruit Farms
Conducted bird counts at local farms, interviewed farmers on ecological history of their properties

Shorebird Monitoring Program, Trustees of Reservations | Ipswich, MA                           Wildlife Technician                                                                  Spring – Fall 2012
Monitored populations and nesting behavior of two threatened shorebird species
Performed active predator management and nest protection based on published research

Koenig Lab, UC Berkeley/Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology | Carmel Valley, CA
Field Technician                                                                   Fall 2011 – Spring 2012
Collected behavioral data for long-term research on cooperative breeding woodpeckers
Conducted independent field observations of a large wild population of free-ranging birds

Avian Ecology Lab, Archbold Biological Station | Venus, FL
Avian Ecology Intern                                                         Winter-Summer 2011
Conducted extensive field surveys, observations, and monitoring of a threatened bird species
Trapped, banded, and collected blood samples from birds for ongoing conservation research

Shrubland Bird Conservation Project, National Audubon Society| Southbury, CT
Field Assistant                                                                                 Summer 2010
Captured, measured, and banded, and monitored reproductive success of threatened bird species
Collected demographic, behavioral, and habitat data for research on declining birds in New England

WIDECAST Sea Turtle Conservation | Gandoca de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Research Assistant                                                                     Summer 2009
Tagged, measured, and monitored nesting female leatherback Sea Turtles on a critical nesting beach
Led nightly patrols to protect endangered nesting turtles
Translated between local staff, volunteers, and the public



van Rees, C.B., Rozek, J.C., Garcia, G.M., and Reed, J.M. in review. A Guide to Identifying and Prioritizing Ecological Stakeholder Surrogates in Water Resources Management

van Rees, C.B. and J.M. Reed. in review. The potential effects of habitat connectivity, management and sea level rise on the extinction risk of an endangered waterbird in a fragmented island landscape.

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J.G., and S.A. Sonsthagen accepted. Landscape genetics implicates stream and drainage infrastructure as corridors in the dispersal of an endangered wetland bird.

van Rees, C.B. and Kawasaki, M.T. in revision. Hawaiian Wetlands and Waterbirds: Current Knowledge and Opportunities for Further Research

van Rees, C.B., et al. 2018. Estimation of Vital Rates of the Endangered Hawaiian gallinule (Gallinula galeata sandvicensis). Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3996/102017-JFWM-084 

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.S.,  Underwood J.G., and Sonsthagen, S.A. 2018. Small-scale genetic structure in an endangered wetland specialist: possible effects of landscape change and population recovery. Conservation Genetics 19: 129-142.

Burgio, K.R., van Rees, C.B., Block, K.E., Pyle, P., Patten, M.A., Spreyer, M.F. and Bucher, E.H. 2016. Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), The Birds of North America (P.G. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

van Rees, C.B. and J.M. Reed 2015. Water Diplomacy from a Duck’s Perspective: Wildlife and Ecosystems as stakeholders in Water Management. Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education 155:28-42.

van Rees, C.B. and J.M. Reed 2014. Wetland Loss in Hawai`i since human settlement.  Wetlands 32:335-350.



van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J., Nadig, A., and S.A. Sonsthagen. 2017. Marsh birds in urban lands: Do stream corridors explain population connectivity? Student Conference on Conservation Science, American Museum of Natural History, New York City.

van Rees, C.B. 2017. Tracking the Fire Thief: A Case Study in American Connectivity Conservation. British Trust for Ornithology Seminar, The Nunnery, Thetford, UK

Creech, T. and C.B. van Rees 2017. Wilderness to Waikiki: Case Studies in American Connectivity Conservation. Cambridge Conservation Forum Lecture, David Attenborough Building, Cambridge, UK

van Rees, C.B. 2016. The Movement Ecology of the Hawaiian gallinule. Pacific Coast Joint Venture Hawaiian Wetlands and Waterbirds Workshop, Kaneohe, Hawaii.

van Rees, C.B. 2015. The Movement Mystery of the Hawaiian gallinule. Department of Biology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.

van Rees, C.B. 2015. The `alae `ula, and what it can tell us about 21st century conservation. The Livable Hawaii Kai Hui Annual Trustees Meeting. Hawaii Kai, HI.

van Rees, C.B. 2014. Wetlands in the Environment and Society. Department of Political Science, Tufts University, Medford, MA.

van Rees, C.B. 2014. Tracking the Trickster: Quantifying Dispersal of the Endangered Hawaiian Gallinule. Department of Biology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.

van Rees, C.B. 2014. The `Alae `ula, it’s disappearing home, and how you can kokua. Hawaii Kai, HI.

van Rees, C.B. 2014. Hawaii’s Disappearing Wetlands: Consequences for Wildlife and Society. Tufts Environmental Studies Seminar Series, Medford, MA.

Ellmore, G. and C.B. van Rees. 2012. Vietnam on the Biodiversity stage: Biodiversity Hotspots and Conservation Biology. Hanoi University of Science, Hanoi, Vietnam.



van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J., Nadig, A., and S.A. Sonsthagen. 2018. Landscape genetics of endangered Hawaiian waterbirds. Student Conference on Conservation Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J., Nadig, A., and S.A. Sonsthagen. 2017. Marsh birds in urban lands: Do stream corridors explain population connectivity? Student Conference on Conservation Science, American Museum of Natural History, New York City.

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J., Nadig, A., and Sonsthagen, S.A. 2016. Tracking the Fire Thief: The movement ecology of  the Hawaiian gallinule. Student Conference on Conservation Science, New York, NY.

van Rees, C.B. 2016. Tracking the Fire Thief. 1st Place in 15-min talks. 2016 Graduate Student Research Symposium, Tufts University, Medford, MA.

van Rees, C.B., Kawasaki, M.T., Underwood, J., Sonsthagen, S.A., Paxton, E.H., and J.M. Reed 2016. Ke lele manu o ka wai: Movement Ecology and Conservation of Hawaiian Waterbirds. IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016, Honolulu, Hawaii.  

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J., Nadig, A., and S.A. Sonsthagen 2016.The movement ecology of an endangered rallid: The Hawaiian gallinule. North American Ornithological Congress VI, Washington, D.C.

van Rees, C.B. 2015. Testing Movement Hypotheses of the Hawaiian gallinule (Gallinula galeata sandvicensis). Boston Bird Meeting, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

van Rees, C.B. and J.M. Reed. 2013. Inferring Site Selection Behavior from Historical Occupancy Data. Tufts university Graduate Student Seminar, Medford, MA

van Rees, C.B. and J.M. Reed. 2013. Hawaiian Wetlands—A Historical Perspective. Hawaiian Wetlands and Waterbird Workshop, Kailua, HI.

van Rees, C.B.  2011. Causes and Consequences of Yearling Dispersal in the Florida Scrub Jay. American Ornithologists’ Union. Jacksonville, FL



van Rees, C.B. 2017. World Wetlands Day Hawaii: Waterbird conservation and the way forward. World Wetlands Day Opening Ceremonies, Hawaii Kai, HI.

van Rees, C.B. 2016. Wetlands, Waterbirds, and Conservation in Hawaii. League of Women Voters Monson Memorial Lecture, Honolulu, Hawaii

van Rees, C.B. and Kawasaki, M.T. 2016. Tracking Hawaiian Waterbirds – The role of Birdwatcher Citizen Scientists. Hawaii Audubon Society, Kailua, Hawaii.

van Rees, C.B. 2015. The `alae `ula, and what it can tell us about 21st century conservation.  The Livable Hawaii Kai Hui Annual Trustees Meeting. Hawaii Kai, HI.

van Rees, C.B. 2014. The `Alae `ula bird, it’s disappearing home, and how you can kokua. The Livable Hawaii Kai Hui Summer Lecture Series, Hawaii Kai, HI.



`Alae `Ula Conservation Project, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui | Oahu, Hawaii
Project Leader and Advisory Ecologist                                        Fall 2016 – Present
Created network of grassroots NGO’s, state and federal government agencies, and academic researchers with interest in preserving a species and its habitat
Led and coordinated the writing of a $25,000 grant proposal to the Disney Foundation which was funded Fall 2016

Land Bird Migration Study, Manomet Center for Conservation|Plymouth, MA
Volunteer Bander                                                                         Fall 2014 – Present
Banded and collected physiological data on migrating passerine birds as part of a long-term dataset
Received training in bird handling and identification in the field

State Environmental Council Annual Report, Department of Health| Honolulu, HI
Wetland Ecologist                                                                                    Fall 2014
Provided expertise on Hawaiian wetlands and their ecology for a broad-ranging environmental report
Wrote report on major invasive species for wetland ecosystems in the state

`Alae`ula Tracking Study, Ike Na Manu | Oahu, HI
Coordinator/Co-Founder                                                          Summer 2014-Present
Spearheaded the creation of a volunteer network of citizen-scientists for collecting information on the movements of endangered birds in Hawai`i

Native Forest Rehabilitation, Waimea Valley Park | Hale`iwa, HI
Restoration Technician                                                         Summer 2014
Carried out invasive plant removal and native outplantings for forest restoration               Set traps for control of invasive wild pigs

Outreach Program, Trustees of Reservations, Ipswich, MA
Volunteer Naturalist                                                               Fall 2012 and 2013                       Guided small groups on ecological tours of sand dune ecosystem
Educated public about importance of migratory stopover sites for shorebirds


Guest Scientist, SciComm Mondays Science Livestream with Nicole Wood
Explained research on gallinule movement ecology and answered audience questions on ornithology and conservation

Guest Biologist, Eating Wisely Podcast with Leland Stillman
Discussed synergies and conflicts between biodiversity conservation and agriculture for an educational podcast for a general audience. Podcast November 2017

Featured Guest, Maunalua: East Oahu Communities Working Together
Discussed wetland conservation and answered questions for 30-minute episode of popular community access television program. Episodes aired September 2014, August and September 2015, June 2016

Featured in “Students in Focus” Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Newsletter,
November 2014 edition by Ariana Hajmiragha

Featured in “Campbell’s Coup”, Hawaii Magazine, September/October 2014 edition by Mary Vorsino

Science Storyteller, The Story Collider
Authored and performed science story about field work in ecology & conservation. Recorded live at the Oberon theatre in Cambridge, MA and podcast in March 2014


Visiting Scientist, The Center for Large Landscape Conservation | Bozeman, MT
Spring 2017
Joined team of ecologists designing conservation research proposals
Contributed expertise in ornithology and wetland ecology to ongoing research
Strengthened collaborations with other wildlife non-profits through international visits

Advisory Ecologist, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui | Honolulu, HI
Summer 2015 – Present
Drafted conservation plan for native biodiversity on managed properties
Spearheaded and organized applications for wildlife conservation grants
Directed research programs for on-property conservation

Spatial Analyst, The Trustees of Reservations | Ipswich, MA
Spring 2014
Helped resident biologists manage spatial datasets and ArcMAP
Collated and organized long-term survey data for a state listed species


Using Conservation Evidence to answer conservation questions | Cambridge, UK         April 2018                                                             
Training in evidence-based approaches to applied conservation research.

Hawaii Bird Banding Workshop | Honolulu, HI
February 2018
Ethics and research methods of bird capture, banding, and resighting.

Spatial Analysis in R | New York, NY
October 2017
Handling and analyzing spatial datasets using statistical analysis software.

Making Conservation Politically Effective | New York, NY
October 2017
Training in representing conservation interests to lawmakers

Occupancy modeling for Ecology in R | New York, NY
October 2016
Statistical theory and programming for occupancy-based ecological models.

Moist-soil Management for Managers and Biologists | Puxico, MO
August 2013
Training in hydrology and ecology of lentic wetland systems.