Updated November 13th, 2019
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Charles B. van Rees      


Ph.D., Biology (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior), Tufts University – Awarded May 2018
Certificate in Water Resources Systems, Science and Society
Interdisciplinary Traineeship in Water Diplomacy

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


2018               Best Student Paper, The Waterbird Society
2017               Certificate of Commendation for Dedication and Service to Hawaiian Conservation (House of Representatives, State of Hawaii)
2016               Tufts University Undergraduate Mentoring and Teaching Award
2016               1st Place in Research Talks, Tufts Graduate Student Research Symposium
2016               Honorable Mention – North American Ornithological Congress Best Student Presentation
2015               Tufts Institute for the Environment Graduate Research Fellowship
2012               NSF IGERT Water Diplomacy Fellowship at Tufts University
2010               Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Chapter; Connecticut College Winthrop Scholar
2010               Helen F. Mathieson Prize for Excellence in the Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology & Environmental Studies
2010               Barbara Shattuck Kohn Prize for Excellence in Environmental Studies at Connecticut College
2009               Sibyl A. Houseman Prize for Excellence in Biology at Connecticut College
2008-2010       Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies


2019               ($35,000) USFWS Partners Grant (as ecologist for Livable Hawaii Kai Hui)
2018                 ($22,956) Fulbright Early Career Scholar Award
2017                 ($300) Hawaii Conservation Alliance Student Scholarship Program
2016                 ($5,280) Tufts Institute for the Environment Interdisciplinary Research Grant
2016                 ($25,000) Disney Conservation Fund Annual Conservation Grant
2016                 ($1,000) Wilson Ornithological Society Paul A. Stewart Research Grant
2016                 ($1,000) Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research
2015                 ($3,000) Tufts Institute for the Environment Graduate Research Grant
2014, 2015        ($4,300, $4,650) Nutall-Blake Fund Research Grant
2014, 2015        ($687, $825) Tufts Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Research Competition
2013                 ($5,900) Tufts Institute for the Environment Graduate Research Fellowship
2013                 ($1,200) Tufts Institute for the Environment Student Travel Grant
2013                 ($1,000) Pacific Coast Joint Venture Invited Speaker Travel Support
2010                 ($3000) Mellen Environmental Studies Research Grant


Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana | Polson, MT
Postdoctoral Research Scientist | Fall 2019 – Present
Designing predictive spatial models of invasion and impact risk for aquatic invasive species
Coordinating an inter-agency collaborative research team at the state and national scales.

Department of Wetland Ecology, Estación Biológica de Doñana | Seville, Spain
Fulbright Early Career Scholar | Fall 2018 – Fall 2019
Investigated the space use of migratory waterbirds in anthropogenic wetland habitats
Analyzed a long-term breeding bird survey database to understand wetland nest site selection.

Department of Biology, Tufts University | Medford, MA
Postdoctoral Researcher | Summer 2018
Used Bayesian analyses to test for density dependent dynamics in population time series
Performed a quantitative assessment of extinction risk for two endangered Hawaiian waterbirds

Department of Biology, Tufts University | Medford, MA and Honolulu, HI
Ph.D Candidate | 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
Visiting Conservation Scientist | 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., Surya, G., and Reed, J.M. in press. Multiple Sources of Evidence for density dependence in the endangered Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudsenii). Population Ecology.

van Rees, C.B., Rozek, J.C., and Garcia, G. in press. Confronting the Natural Domain: Strategies for Addressing Ecology and Conservation in Complex Water Management Challenges. In: Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Water Diplomacy: Problem-Driven Research and Practice. (Islam, S. and Smith, K., Eds.). Routledge Press.

van Rees, C.B., Rozek, J.C., Garcia, G., and J.M. Reed 2019. Ecological Stakeholder Analogs as intermediaries between freshwater biodiversity conservation and sustainable water management. Environmental Policy and Governance 29.4: 303-312.

Cooke, S.C., Haskell, L.E., van Rees, C.B., and Fessl, B. 2019. A Review of the Introduced Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani) in Galápagos. Biological Conservation 229:38-49.

van Rees, C.B. 2018. Wetland conservation in Hawaii and the need for flagship species. `Elepaio 78: 37-41.

van Rees, C.B. and J.M. Reed. 2018. The potential effects of habitat connectivity, management and sea level rise on the extinction risk of an endangered waterbird in a fragmented island landscape. PeerJ 6: e4990.

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J.G., and S.A. Sonsthagen 2018. Landscape genetics implicates stream and drainage infrastructure as corridors in the dispersal of an endangered wetland bird. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.42

van Rees, C.B., et al. 2018. Estimation of vital rates for the Hawaiian gallinule, a cryptic, endangered waterbird. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 9:117-131.

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.S., Underwood J.G., and S.A. Sonsthagen. 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 E.H. Bucher 2016. Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), In: 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., Muñoz, M.A., Cooke, S.C., and Reed, J.M. in prep. Morphometric differences in an isolated, island-endemic subspecies of the Common gallinule (Gallinula galeata).

van Rees, C.B., Aragonés, D., Bouten, W., Bustamente, J., and Green, A.J. in prep. Temporally dynamic resource use of overwintering waterbirds during an agricultural cycle in Southern Spain.

van Rees, C.B., Jähnig, S.C., et al., in prep. Safeguarding Freshwater Life Beyond 2020: Recommendations for the new Global Biodiversity Framework from the European Experience.


Reilly, E. and van Rees, C.B. 2018. Urban wetlands play key role in sustaining communities. Honolulu Star Advertiser, January 2018.

Creech, T., McClure, M., and van Rees, C.B. 2018. A Conservation Prioritization Tool for the Missouri Headwaters Basin. Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Bozeman, MT.

van Rees, C.B. 2017. Disney Conservation Fund Grant to Protect Endangered ‘Alae ‘Ula. Kolea 67: 9. Conservation Council for Hawaii.

van Rees, C.B. 2015. Kokua needed to track the elusive `Alae `Ula. Kolea 65:5. Conservation Council for Hawaii.



van Rees, C.B. 2019. Conserving Nature on a hot, crowded planet: Lessons learned from the Belgian gulls of Andalucia. Fulbright Spain 2019 Mid-Year Seminar. Valencia, Spain.

van Rees, C.B. 2018. Saving Hawaii’s Swamp Chickens: The Impacts of Landscape and Climate Change on the Hawaiian gallinule. The Wildlife Society & Montana State University Department of Ecology Summer Lecture Series, Bozeman, MT.

van Rees, C.B. 2018. Marsh Birds in Paradise: The Ecology and Conservation of the Hawaiian Gallinule. Nuttall Ornithological Club Lecture Series, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

van Rees, C.B. 2018. The Effects of Landscape Structure and Climate Change on the Population Viability of an Endangered Hawaiian Bird. Life Sciences Seminar Series, Connecticut College, New London, CT.

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., Surya, G., and Reed, J.M. 2018. Using multiple sources of evidence to investigate density-dependent population dynamics in endangered Hawaiian stilts. British Ornithological Union Twitter Conference 2018.

van Rees, C.B. and Reed, J.M. The impacts of climate change and dispersal behavior on population viability of an endangered Hawaiian waterbird. 27th Annual International Ornithological Congress, Vancouver, BC.

van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J., Nadig, A., and S.A. Sonsthagen. 2018. Navigating a Paved Paradise: Landscape Genetics of an Endangered Hawaiian Waterbird. Winner of Best Student Paper. 42nd Annual Meeting of the Waterbird Society. Vancouver, BC.

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.


Software: ENVI, ArcGIS, QGIS, Program MARK,  SPSS, Microsoft Office Suite

Programming: R, Python, JAGS/OpenBUGS, MATLAB

Language: English (Native speaker), Spanish (Near-fluent)

Field Skills: Avian point counts, mistnetting and banding, spatial data collection (GPS and digitization), radio telemetry, radio transmitter harness deployment (birds), data organization and management


Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, Wilson Ornithological Society, American Ornithological Society, The Wildlife Society (Northeast Section), The Waterbird Society, Nuttall Ornithological Society, IUCN Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Maunalua Watershed Association