Renee Weems

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  • Avian Sciences Graduate Group Alumni

Major Professor: Daniel W. Andersen
Home Department: Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology


  • M.S. Avian Sciences UC Davis in 2012
  • B.S. Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology UC Davis, 2008.

Thesis Title
Lake Elevation and Three Indices of Reproductive Success in Grebes at Two Northern California Lakes

Current Position
Data manager/Field technician

Research interests
My general interests include the conservation of wild birds and their habitat. My research focuses on quantifying the degree to which drought conditions affect productivity of western and Clark’s grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis and Aechmophorus clarkii, respectively) on their California breeding grounds. These two water-bird species are thought to be declining throughout their range. Currently, oil spills and oil pollution are identified as the main cause of mortality for these birds on their Pacific coast wintering grounds. While on their inland-lake breeding grounds, high levels of human disturbance have been identified as the main factor limiting productivity. Recently, observed drops in productivity at several important California breeding lakes have raised concerns over the effects of drought conditions on these two species. I am interested in examining the degree to which drought effects these colonial water-bird species, their productivity levels, and the nesting habitat on which they depend.


Weems, R. E. and K. M. Robison. 2008. Western and Clark’s Grebes: Under Pressure. Outdoor California, a California Department of Fish and Game publication. September/October Issue. 69(5): 20-25.