M.S., 2011, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri
B.S., 1996, Zoology, University of Florida

Current Work

Journal of Wildlife Management Content Editor

Thesis Research

I studied the influence of landscape configuration and composition on animal movement.  My masters thesis focused on natal dispersal and post-fledging survival of red-bellied woodpeckers.  We intensively radio-tracked birds from fledging to dispersal to identify how young birds search for their own territories, test for landscape effects on individual movement, and investigate factors with the potential to affect juvenile survival.  We found evidence of juvenile birds making repeated exploratory movements to inform decisions about dispersal prior to permanent departure from the natal area. We also demonstrated the value of landscape habitat connectivity to a dispersing resident forest bird as birds chose paths with greater forest cover during prospecting movements. Our research showed juvenile mortality declined with age and no birds died during prospecting or dispersal stages, which suggested that dispersal is not costly in this species.

Previous Research Experience

While working at the Jacksonville Zoological Gardens, I learned the important role of zoos in conservation.  I am grateful to Donna Bear-Hull and Dr. Andrew Teare for providing me with the opportunity to work with several research projects while at the zoo including captive breeding of the white-bellied bustard, the relationship between captive diets and iron-storage disease in black-necked aracaris, and monitoring nesting wild wood storks on zoo grounds.


obj18geo20pg1p5I have had the opportunity to participate in Dr. Tom Martin’s long-term research study that examines the evolution of life-history traits in birds at his field sites in Arizona and Venezuela.  Working in both of these locations allowed me to observe the differences in nesting strategies between temperate and tropical birds.


As an intern for USGS, I participated in a long-term effort to obj79geo10pg1p5expand the range of the Palila, an endangered finch-billed honeycreeper on the island of Hawaii.  While working on the Palila project, I learned the many challenges and techniques associated with reintroducing captive-bred and translocated wild birds to an unoccupied habitat.



obj98geo47pg1p5Cox, W. A., F. R. Thompson III, A. S. Cox, and J. Faaborg. 2014. Post-fledging survival in passerine birds and the value of post-fledging studies to conservation. Journal of Wildlife Management 78:183–193.

Cox, A. S., and D. C. Kesler. 2012. Prospecting behavior and the influence of forest cover during natal dispersal in a resident bird. Behavioral Ecology 23:1068–1077.

Cox, A. S., and D. C. Kesler. 2012. Reevaluating the cost of natal dispersal: post-fledging survival of red-bellied woodpeckers. Condor 114:341–357.

Kesler, D. C., A. S. Cox, G. Albar, A. Gouni, J. Mejeur, and C. Plassé. 2012. Translocation of Tuamotu kingfishers, postrelease exploratory behavior, and harvest effects on the donor population. Pacific Science 66:467–480.

Kesler, D. C., R. J. Laws, A. S. Cox, A. Gouni, and J. D. Stafford. 2012. Survival and population persistence in the critically endangered Tuamotu kingfisher. Journal of Wildlife Management 76:1001–1010.

Cox, A. S. 2003. Captive breeding of white-bellied bustards (Eupodotis senegalensis) at the Jacksonville Zoological Gardens.  Avicultural Magazine 109:107–115.

Contact Information

Email: ack9f AT mail.missouri.edu


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