delware environmental institute

UD Fulbright Foreign Student studies effects of streetlights on migratory birds

Fulbright Foreign Student Sergio Cabrera-Cruz discovered the University of Delaware through the published works of Jeff Buler, UD associate professor of wildlife ecology. Cabrera-Cruz had first taken up an interest in migration during his undergraduate career and later spent significant time monitoring bird migration related to wind farm development during his master’s program at the Instituto de Ecología A.C. in his home country of Mexico. “I wanted to keep delving deeper into the methods of understanding bird migration,” he said. “Dr. Buler was not applying the same exact method or using the same tools that I had previously used.”

It was the use of these tools that would eventually bring Cabrera-Cruz to UD. With Buler as his adviser and research collaborator, the pair are working on a project using the only tracking radar of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Standing 12 feet tall, the World War II-era instrument will allow Cabrera-Cruz to better understand how the anthropogenic input of light impacts birds during migration, a key stage in their life cycle.