• B.A. University of California, Berkeley, 1979
  • M.A. Ecology and Systematic Biology, San Francisco State University, 1982
  • Ph.D. Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island, 1987

Before COA

May 1986 to August 1987: Research Assistant, University of Rhode Island Environmental Data Center.

Scholarly and Creative Interests

The current focus of my research is on colonial nesting seabirds and island ecology. I am also interested in the application of G.I.S.and remote-sensing technology to landscape ecology and conservation.

At present,  my field research centers around Great Duck Island in eastern Maine. This island supports one of the largest colonies of Leach’s Storm Petrels in the continental United States, it may also be the largest breeding colony of Black Guillemots in the Lower 48. My students and I are looking at habitat utilization by Herring and Black-backed Gulls, Guillemots, and Petrels. In addition, we are examining territoriality and foraging behaviors by gulls and chick survival/mortality in relation to parental investment.We are also examining the impact of bald Eagles and other predators on colonial nesting seabirds.

Working in collaboration with Acadia National Park we have examined the effects of rising sea-level on nesting islands. We also investigate the impact of introduced and native herbivores on island vegetation, and the impact of vegetation change on nesting habitat.

In addition to work at Great Duck I am interested in the intersection between Natural History and Human History, in relation to long-term ecological processes. 

More Information about my Courses

I believe strongly in the mixture of “hands on” and theoretical work, and if I were to lean one way, it would be towards that magical place that we call “The Field”, as in Field Trips, Field Studies, Field Work.  many of the mistakes in modern Ecology, Conservation, Public Policy, etc. have come from relying overly much on theory without regard for facts on the ground.  To this end, Ken Cline and I teach Great West, an 8 week immersion in traveling through the Western states, listening to people Not Like Us in places Not Like Maine. Offsetting this, in Summers I take students to Great Duck to listen to species Not Like Us and immerse ourselves in this land that we come to call home.  I have a deep and abiding interest in both History and Geography, and all my classes are informed by both -sometimes to the annoyance of my students!  At the same time I think it critically important if we are to be in truth “Life Changing/World Changing” (silly motto) we need to know When and Where and Who. Then maybe we can talk about What and Why.  I also have a deep and abiding love of poetry & that works its way into most of my classes also.

More About Me

My mother was a scientist, my father was a historian. Both loved birds, wildflowers, and the out-of-doors. I was raised as a Human Ecologist long before i ever heard the term.  I am a New Zealander by nationality, British by upbringing, and have spent time in the UK, Europe, and the American West. I am fascinated by ideas of Wilderness, Wildness, Aesthetics, and our belief in the Holy. I find much of the post-1914 world in extremely bad taste, and deeply resent having missed Charles Darwin by less than a century.

Community Engagement and Advocacy

Co-Archivist for the Waterbird Society

Councillor for Waterbird Society

past President of the Society for Human Ecology

1990-1996 Commission Member, State of Maine Governor’s Commission on Oil Spill Preparedness

Honors and Awards

Linnean Society of London –elected Fellow May 2007

     W.H. Drury jr. Chair in Ecology/Natural History Oct 2002.

     U.S. Dept. of Interior Outstanding Contribution Award. 1993

     American Ornithologists Union Council Award, 1987

     American Ornithologists Union Marcia Brady Tucker Award, 1987

     University Fellowship, University of Rhode Island, 1984.

     Member at Large, Sigma XI.  Elected 1984.  


Anderson, J.G.T. K. R. Shlepr, A.L. Bond, and R.A. Ronconi. 2016. A Historical Perspective on Trends in Some Gulls in Eastern North America, with Reference to Other Regions. Waterbirds 29(sp1):1-9.

Anderson, J. 2015. The potential impact of sea level rise on seabird nesting islands in Acadia National Park. Natural Resource Report NPS/ACAD/NRR—2015/1055. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Anderson, J.G.T. 2014. Forms most beautiful and most wonderful. GNSI Journal of Natural Science Illustration - 2014 no.2:1-5.

 Tewksbury, J.  J.G.T. Anderson, R.E. Ley and C. Martinez del Rio et al.. 2014. Natural  History’s place in science and society.  BioScience 64 (4):300-310

 Anderson, J. G. T. and K Anderson. 2005. An analysis of band returns of the American White Pelican, 1922 to. 1981. Waterbirds 28:55-60.

  Szewczyk, R. J. Polastre, A. Mainwaring, J.  Anderson, and D.  Culler.  2004.  An Analysis of a Large Scale Habitat Monitoring        Application. Pp. 214-226 Proc.  Second ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems

 Polastre, J. R. Szewczyk, A.  Mainwaring,  D. Culler, J. Anderson 2004. Analysis of wireless sensor networks for habitat monitoring   p.329-423 Ci S. Raghavendra, K M. Sivalingam, and  T. Znati  (eds.) Wireless sensor Networks. Springer Science Media. New York.

 Anderson, J.G.T. and C.M. Devlin . 1999. Restoration of a multi-species seabird colony. Biol. Conservation 90:175-181 

   Anderson, J.G.T. 1992. Management and long-term monitoring of a mixed-species tern colony.  Dev. in Landscape Management and Urban Planning 7:261-265. Elsevier, Amsterdam.


Anderson, J.G.T. 1991. Foraging Behavior of the American White Pelican in western Nevada. Col. Waterbirds 14:166-172.


Anderson, J.G.T. and J.K. Anderson. 1975. A lost city rediscovered? Calif. Publications in Classical  Antiquity  Univ. of Calif Press.


Mancinelli, I. K. Cline, and J.G.T. Anderson. 1993.  Computer assisted community  planning and decision-making.  pp 330-335 in S.D. Wright, T. Dietz, R. Borden, G. Young, and G. Guagnano eds. Human Ecology: Crossing Boundaries. Soc. Hum. Eco. Ft. Collins, Colorado.


Anderson, J.G.T. R.J. Borden, I. Mancinelli, and K. Cline. (1994).  Applied Human  Ecology: College-community  cooperation through computer-assisted regional planning and decision making. In H. Ernste (ed.)  Pathways to Human Ecology/Wege zur Humanökologie  Springer Verlag.


Borden, R. and J.G.T. Anderson (1994) Computer assisted regional planning and decision-making: GIS as a tool for collaboration. Sustainable Development: Challenges for the future Proc. IV World Academic Conference on Human Ecology. Merida, Mexico.


August, P.V., S.A. Avazian, and J.G.T. Anderson. 1989.  Evidence for  use of  magnetodetection by homing field mice. J. Mammalogy 70:1-9.


August, P.V. and J.G.T. Anderson. 1987. Mammal sounds and motivational/structural rules: a test of the hypothesis. J. Mammalogy 68:1-9.


Heppner, F. and J.G.T.Anderson. 1985. Leg thrust important in takeoff of domestic pigeon. J. Exp. Biol. 114, 285-288.


Heppner, F., J.L. Convissar, D.E. Moonan, and J.G.T. Anderson. 1985. Visual angle and    formation flight  Canada Geese (Branta canadensis). Auk 102, 195-198.


Heppner, F.H., J.G.T. Anderson, A.E. Farstrup, and N.H. Weiderman. 1985. Reading performance on a standardized test is better from print than from computer display. J. Reading. Jan. 1985, 321-325.


Books and Book Chapters

 Anderson, J.G.T. A. L. Bond, K. R. Shlepr and R. A. Ronconi (eds) 2015. Gulls in Two Worlds: the decline of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls in the Western North Atlantic. Special Edition, Waterbirds.

 Anderson, J.G.T. 2012 Deep Things Out of Darkness: A History of Natural History. (Univ. of Calif. Press)

 Anderson J.G.T. 2011 Sauntering Towards Bethlehem. Chapter 5 in The Way of Natural History. T. Fleischner (ed.) Trinity Univ. Press.

Drury, W.H. 1998. Chance and Change: Ecology for Conservationists. (J.G.T. Anderson  ed.) Univ. of California Press.