Ansel Payne, PhD
Executive Director, email
Ansel joined the Birmingham Audubon staff as a naturalist in 2016 before becoming the organization’s first Outreach Director later that year; he assumed the role of Executive Director in May 2018. A graduate of Harvard and Tufts, he earned his PhD in Comparative Biology at the American Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Graduate School in 2014. While in New York, his work on the evolutionary history of digger wasps led to field expeditions in Central America and the Middle East, as well as to extended collecting trips throughout the American West. In addition to his efforts on behalf of birds and their habitats, Ansel has also written for a wide range of publications, including The Appendix, TIME, and Nautilus. He lives in Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood, a few blocks from the Birmingham Audubon office.
Alliemarie Humphries, MPA
Office Manager, email
Born in Alabama but raised in Central Florida, Alliemarie came back to her home state to grow her roots in 2010. During her time studying at the University of Alabama, she gained experience working with a local urban farm and volunteering with other local nonprofits that aimed to better the West Alabama community. Over the last two years, Alliemarie has worked in the substance abuse field, concentrating on improving peer services and access to treatment. Recently, she earned a master’s in public administration with a certification in nonprofit management from UAB. Alliemarie is passionate about rescuing senior disabled animals, organic farming, and community growth. She currently calls Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood her home.
Coastal Programs Coordinator, email
Originally from Pittsburgh, Nicole has spent a great deal of time in Florida, the state where she received both her BS and MS degrees (University of Central Florida) and where she began her professional biology career. She has since been involved with several marine and estuarine programs operating at a variety of scales, from studying the ecological relationships of benthic invertebrates to monitoring regional watershed issues. She comes to Birmingham Audubon from The Nature Conservancy, where she worked throughout the Gulf of Mexico with local communities and other stakeholders on coastal resilience and restoration issues. Through her work, Nicole has developed such a deep appreciation for the Gulf that she and her family now live in Fairhope, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay—a great place to enjoy all that the coastal lifestyle has to offer.
Partnership & Policy Director, email
Chris came to Birmingham Audubon as the organization’s first Partnership & Policy Director in December 2016. Born and raised in South Africa, he earned a Master’s degree in Agronomy and Soils at Auburn University, and has lived in and explored Alabama for the last thirty years. Before coming to Birmingham Audubon, Chris worked for almost twenty-five years at The Nature Conservancy in Alabama—most recently as that organization’s Alabama State Director—and played a pivotal role in the 2012 renewal of Alabama’s popular Forever Wild public-land program. An avid hunter, birder, and stamp collector, he lives in Hoover with his wife Suzanne and their three children.
Outreach & Communications Director, email
A Birmingham native, Sarah joins Birmingham Audubon with a diverse background in the nonprofit and private sectors, including over eight years of experience in communications, marketing, development, public relations, and event planning. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts from UAB in Communication Management with a minor in Marketing. In addition to being an artist, she is a dedicated environmentalist who has spent much of the last decade volunteering with local nonprofits and is passionate about making Birmingham a better place. Sarah calls Birmingham’s Highland Park neighborhood home.
Coastal Assistant Biologist, email
Raised in Foley, Alabama, Emma is a recent graduate (BS Biology, with a minor in GIS) of the University of South Alabama. While much of her recent research has focused on the effects of window strikes on bird mortality, she has also spent parts of the last eight years banding neotropical migratory birds on Fort Morgan. In addition to these pursuits, she worked as a research assistant for Audubon’s Maine-based Project Puffin in 2014 and 2015, and has volunteered for both Audubon Mississippi and Birmingham Audubon as part of their Audubon Coastal Bird Surveys.