Biology Prof is Seeking Community Participants in Bird Research

Joel Slade, M.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Ecoimmunology Department of Biology

Biology Professor Dr. Joel Slade has embarked on an innovative research project to understand human urbanization’s impact on local finch populations. 

With support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, the initiative seeks to involve the Fresno State community in the study directly.

Click here to read Slade’s letter to the community and learn more about the NSF grant. 

We are looking to recruit 10 homes in each one of these four main regions:

  • The City of Fresno
  • Suburban Fresno/Clovis
  • Foothill Communities
  • Bass and Shaver Lake | — Joel Slade, M.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Ecoimmunology. Department of Biology

A Call to Action for Finch Conservation

The health of finch species, a common sight in the Central Valley, is the focal point of this study. Changes in urban environments could affect these birds, and the research team at Fresno State is determined to find out how. To do this effectively, Slade is seeking community participants who are willing to host bird feeders in their yards.

How Residents Can Make a Difference

The project seeks to recruit participants from four regions the City of Fresno, Suburban Fresno and Clovis, Foothill Communities, Bass and Shaver Lakes areas. 

By installing bird feeders provided by the research team, residents can offer a valuable resource for the finches and a critical data point for the study.

Participants are to observe and record the finch visits, aiding in data collection that will provide insight into the birds’ feeding patterns and health status. 

The research team will also conduct periodic visits to take measurements and samples from the birds, ensuring their safety and well-being throughout the process.

Educational Opportunities and Community Engagement

In addition to contributing to crucial ecological research, participants will have the opportunity to learn about local bird species, their behaviors, and the broader implications of urbanization on wildlife. The project also promises to foster community through shared participation, workshops, and events centered on conservation and science education.

Other professors working on the research are:
Dr. Van Laar, an assistant professor of microbial genomics at CSU Stanislaus. And Dr. Mario Banuelos, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics at Fresno State.

How to Join the Research Project

Those willing to join the research can sign up by completing this form.

For more details on the project or to express interest in participating, community members are encouraged to contact Dr. Slade at or by phone at 559-278-5242.