About Me


Me shooting shorebird pictures at Fort Fisher, NC. December 2011. Photo courtesy Karen Priest Photography.


My name is John Brunjes and I am a wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.  I work in the migratory bird program of the Wildlife Division. I work with game and nongame migratory birds including mourning doves, American woodcock, shorebirds, interior least terns, herons and egrets, and a variety of waterfowl.  I serve on the technical committee for the Mississippi Flyway Council as Kentucky’s Tech Rep for the Nongame Bird Technical Section.  I also participate in the Game Tech Section where I Chair the Research Committee and serve on the Banding, Webless, Environmental Issues and Southern James Bay Population Canada Goose committees.  I also serve as technical representative on the Eastern Management Unit Dove Technical Committee where I will serve as Chair from Feb 2012-Feb 2014.

I am fortunate to serve as adjunct faculty at Eastern Kentucky University.  I have 2 recently completed research projects teaming with Eastern Kentucky University.  In the first, a graduate student is studying the nesting ecology of Endangered interior least terns on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in western Kentucky.  In the second project, a student is investigating nest site selection and survival of American woodcock nesting in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky.  I have the privilege of serving on both student’s committees and also enjoy teaching Conservation of Wildlife Resources for the biology Department at Eastern Kentucky University.

I completed my Doctorate of Wildlife Science in the Department of Range, Wildlife and Fisheries Management at Texas Tech University.  My major professors were Dr. Mark Wallace and Dr Warren Ballard.  I also stayed for a brief time for post Doctoral research looking at Rio Grande turkey hatchling sex-ratios by DNA analysis of egg shell membranes.

My dissertation research was on the Rio Grande subspecies of the Wild Turkey.  I created a population model for the turkeys and look at landscape scale habitat selection.  I will link the population model to the landscape data to provide better information on how landscape features affect population performance.  This project is one of the largest scale studies ever undertaken on Rio Grande Wild Turkeys.  Eight other graduate students here at Texas Tech University will also be working on this project.  They will be looking at many aspects of the natural history and ecology of Rio Grande Wild Turkeys.  Information on each student can be found on the Rio Grande Turkey Home Page.

A day spent chasing waterfowl. March 2012.

I grew up in coastal North Carolina and  went to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for my undergraduate degree where I received a B.S. in Biological Sciences.  While at UNCW, I worked for Dr. James Parnell for 4 summers.  I was involved in state wide censuses of colonial waterbirds and I worked on several research projects involving colonial waterbirds.  I looked at food habits and nesting ecology of Brown Pelicans in the Cape Fear River and on a small island in Core Sound, North Carolina.  I also worked with Forester’s Terns studying the effects of Rice Rat predation on nests.  After graduating, I attended the University of Georgia for my masters degree.  I worked with Drs. Brian Chapman and Donald White.  I studied the effects of prescribed burning on songbird communities in mature pine habitats.  I returned to North Carolina after receiving my M.S. in wildlife ecology and management.  While in North Carolina I worked for theNational Audubon Society’s Coastal Island Sanctuary System and then for CZR Incorporated, a biological consulting firm.

Banding woodcock on a rainy night in Central Kentucky. March 2012.

One Response to About Me

  1. Joseph Brunjes says:

    Hey, Like the new site. My iphone hates it but otherwise pretty cool.
    Like the link to my page! I really need to fix mine as well but time is not on my side.
    The sunset shot is really awesome.

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