Dr. Kevin Ringelman


Ringelman Lab: Research

This page describes my interests and the work going on in my lab. Use the links to get more information.

Evaluating duck brood use of wetlands in agricultural landscapes using an unmanned aerial vehicle
As a result of agricultural development, most wetlands remaining in the prairie pothole region are adjacent to or are completely surrounded by cropland. Despite their ubiquity, it remains unclear what value these wetlands provide to breeding waterfowl, especially for brood rearing.

Catrina Terry is evaluating wetland quality by measuring vegetation structure and invertebrate abundance, and is using a drone equipped with a thermal camera to study brood use. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Iowa State University, and USGS.

Applications of Drones for Waterfowl study

Applications of Drones for Studying Breeding Waterfowl in Minnedosa, MB, Canada
Studying the breeding ecology overwater-nesting ducks such as Canvasbacks is notoriously difficult, but recent advances in unmanned aerial vehicles and thermal imagery promise to dramatically improve researcher efficiency and reduce investigator bias.

Jacob Bushaw is partnering with Delta Waterfowl and ongoing research on diving ducks to evaluate the use of drones in surveying breeding pairs, searching for nests, and monitoring broods.

Breeding Ecology of Mottled Ducks

Breeding ecology of mottled ducks in southwest Louisiana
Mottled ducks are a species of conservation concern and serve as a flagship species for protecting and restoring coastal marsh habitat. Southwest Louisiana is the heart of the mottled duck range, but little is known about their movements or breeding ecology in the vast stretches of unconsolidated coastal marsh.

Lizzi Bonczek is using GPS-GSM transmitters to study mottled duck movements and monitor their nesting ecology. This study, conducted in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries promises to greatly increase our understanding of mottled duck demographics.

Effects of energy development on waterfowl nest success in North Dakota
The prairie pothole region is responsible for producing more than half of the continent’s dabbling ducks. The northwestern portion of the PPR coincides with the Bakken shale formation, where the recent fracking boom potentially threatens more than 25% of all waterfowl breeding in the region.

Cassie Skaggs is studying how oil and gas development is affecting waterfowl nest density and nest success. The project is part of a larger collaboration with Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, North Dakota Game and Fish, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.