The Walter F. Coxe Research Grant program pays tribute to one of Birmingham Audubon’s early leaders, the influential conservationist Walter Coxe, by providing financial support for research projects focused on conservation in Alabama and the Southeast. Since the awards began, over thirty peer-reviewed scientific papers have resulted from projects supported by the program—a substantial addition to our knowledge of the region’s flora and fauna.
This year, applicants from both in- and out-of-state universities submitted proposals, six of which were chosen for awards:
Auburn University’s Lydia Moore will use Walter F. Coxe funding to study habitat use by bats in longleaf pine forest.
The University of Alabama’s Neil Gilbert will survey the Alabama Black Belt region to study the relationships between birds and grassland habitats.
Zachary Nickerson, also of the University of Alabama, will look at the role of freshwater mussels in nutrient cycling in stream environments.
Jacksonville State’s Daniel Wicker will examine the population demographics of a threatened snail species in the Cahaba River.
The University of Mississippi’s Stephanie Burgess will investigate the influence of land use on the population genetics of slimy salamanders in the Bankhead National Forest.
Grover Brown, a 2016 Walter F. Coxe recipient and graduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi, will focus on the population ecology and genetics of the razorback musk turtle in southwestern Alabama.
Congratulations to all our winners—we look forward to reading the results of their exciting research soon!