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Dr. Travis L. DeVault

Contact Information

Title: Supervisory Research Biologist 
Address:  Wildlife Services, NWRC Ohio Field Station, 6100 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, Ohio 44870
Telephone:  419.625.0242
Fax:  419.625.8465

Ph.D., Purdue University, Wildlife Ecology, Scavenging by vertebrates: patterns of resource acquisition and implications for multi-trophic dynamics
M.S., Indiana State University, Ecology and Systematics, Avian communities of large reclaimed mine grasslands in southwestern Indiana
B.S., Indiana State University, Life Sciences 

Current Research:   
  • Understanding the fundamental causes of animal-vehicle collisions
  • Bird and mammal escape behaviors in response to vehicles
  • Habitat management and renewable energy production at airports from a wildlife perspective
  • Ecology, management, and conservation of vertebrate scavengers     


Dr. Travis L. DeVault is the Field Station and Project Leader for the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) Ohio Field Station in Sandusky. He earned a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Purdue University where he studied foraging behaviors and movement patterns of vultures and other vertebrate scavengers at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. After a postdoctoral research and teaching appointment at Purdue, Dr. DeVault worked as a research wildlife biologist for NWRC in central New York for two years. While there, he researched issues associated with predation on sportfish by double-crested cormorants in the Great Lakes states. He has been at the NWRC Ohio Field Station since 2008.

Dr. DeVault has conducted multiple studies in basic and applied wildlife ecology, including investigations of vertebrate food habits and foraging strategies, trophic interactions in terrestrial ecosystems, endangered species management in highly altered environments, and wildlife depredation in agricultural systems. In his current work at the NWRC Ohio Field Station, he leads a research program dedicated to the development of strategies to reduce wildlife strikes with aircraft and other vehicles. In addition to his appointment with NWRC, Dr. DeVault is an adjunct associate professor at Mississippi State University.      



Conkling, T.J., J.L. Belant, T.L. DeVault, and J.A. Martin. 2018. Impacts of biomass production at civil airports on grassland bird conservation and aviation strike risk. Ecological Applications 28(5):1168-1181. doi: 10.1002/eap.1716

DeVault, T.L., B.F. Blackwell, T.W. Seamans, M.J. Begier, J.D. Kougher, J.E. Washburn, P.R. miller, and R.A. Dolbeer. 2018. Estimating interspecific econommic risk of bird strikes with aircraft. Wildlife Socierty Bulletin 42(1):94-101. doi: 10.1002/wsb.859

DeVault, T.L., T.W. Seamans, B.F. Blackwell, S.L. Lima, and E. Fernandez-Juricic. 2018. Individual variation in avian avoidance behaviours in response to repeated, simulated vehicle approach. Canadian Journal of Zoology 96:441-446. doi: 10.1139/cjz-2017-0142

Fernandez-Juricic, E., J. Brand, B.F. Blackwell, T.W. Seamans, and T.L. DeVault. 2018. Species with greater aerial maneuverability have higher frequency of collisions with aircraft: A comparative study. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6:17. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00017

Goller, B., B.F. Blackwell, T.L. DeVault, P.E. Baumhardt, and E. Fernández-Juricic. 2018. Assessing bird avoidance of high-contrast lights using a choice test approach: implications for reducing human-induced avian mortality. PeerJ 6:e5404. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5404

Hill, J.E., T.L. DeVault, J.C. Beasley, O.E. Rhodes Jr., J.L. Belant. 2018. Effects of vulture exclusion on carrion consumption by facultative scavengers. Ecology and Evolution 8:2518-2526. doi: 10.1002/ece3.3840

Iglay, R.B., K.B. Schwarz, J.L. Belant, J.A. Martin, G. Wang, and T.L. DeVault. 2018. Large mammal use of seminatural grasslands and implications for aviation strike risk. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 9(1):222-227. doi: 10.3996/022017-JFWM-019 

Pfeiffer, M.B., B.F. Blackwell, and T.L. DeVault. 2018. Quantification of avian hazards to military aircraft and implications for wildlife management. PLoS ONE 13(11): e0206599. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206599

Pfeiffer, M.B., J.D. Kougher, and T.L. DeVault. 2018. Civil airports from a landscape perspective: A multi-scale approach with implications for reducing bird strikes. Landscape and Urban Planning 179:38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.07.004


Conkling, T.J., J.L. Belant, T.L. DeVault, and J.A. Martin. 2017. Effects of crop type and harvest on nest survival and productivity of dickcissels in semi-natural grasslands. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 240:224-232.  doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.01.028

DeVault, T.L., T.W. Seamans, B.F. Blackwell, S.L. Lima, M.A. Martinez, and E. Fernandez-Juricic. 2017. Can experience reduce collisions between birds and vehicles? Journal of Zoology 301:17-22.  doi: 10.1111/jzo.12385

DeVault, T.L., T.W. Seamans, K.E. Linnell, D.W. Sparks, and J.C. Beasley. 2017. Scavenger removal of bird carcasses at simulated wind turbines: Does carcass type matter? Ecosphere 8(11):e01994. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1994

Holland, A.E., M.E. Byrne, A.L. Bryan, T.L. DeVault, O.E. Thodes, and J.C. Beasley. 2017. Fine-scale assessment of home ranges and activity patterns for resident black vultures (Coragyps atratus) and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura).  PLoS One 12(7):e0179819.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179819

Iglay, R.B., B.N. Buckingham, T.W. Seamans, J.A. Martin, B.F. Blackwell, J.L. Belant, and T.L. DeVault. 2017. Bird use of grain fields and implications for habitat management at airports. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 242:34-42.  doi:  10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.022

Perez-Garcia, J.M., T.L. DeVault, F. Botella, J.A. Sanchez-Zapata. 2017. Using risk prediction models and species sensitivity maps for large-scale identification of infrastructure-related wildlife protection areas:  The case of bird electrocution. Biological Conservation 210: 334-342.  doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.04.033

Schlichting, P.E., A.E. Holland, J.C. Beasley, A.L. Bryan, R.A. Kennamer, T.L. DeVault, B.F. Blackwell, and O.E. Rhodes, Jr. 2017. Efficacy of an acoustic hailing devise as an avian dispersal tool. Wildlife Society Bulletin 41(3):453-460. doi: 10.1002/wsb.797 

Washburn, B.E., P.J. Cisar, and T.L. DeVault. 2017. Impact locations and damage to civil and military rotary-wing aircraft from wildlife strikes. Human-Wildlife Interactions 11(1):23-32.  


Abernethy, E.F., K.L. Turner, J.C. Beasley, T.L. DeVault, W.C. Pitt, and O.E. Rhodes Jr. 2016. Carcasses of invasive species are predominantly utilized by invasive scavengers in an island ecosystem. Ecosphere 7(10):e01496. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1496

Beasley, J.C., Z.H. Olson, and T.L. DeVault. Ecological role of vertebrate scavengers. 2016. In M.E. Benbow, J.K.Tomberlin, and A.M.Tarone, editors. Carrion Ecology, Evolution, and their Applications. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL. 107-127.

Blackwell, B.F., T.L. DeVault, E. Fernandez-Juricic, E.M. Gese, L. Gilbert-Norton, and S.W. Breck. 2016. No single solution: application of behavioural principles in mitigating human-wildlife conflict. Animal Behavior 120:245-254. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.07.013

Blackwell, B.F., T.W. Seamans, K. Linnell, L. Kutschbach-Brohl, and T.L. DeVault. 2016. Effects of visual obstruction, prey resources, and satiety on bird use ofsimulated airport grasslands. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 185:113-120. doi: 10.1016./j.applanim.2016.10.055

Cortes-Avizanda, A., G. Blanco, T.L. DeVault, A. Markandya, M.Z. Virani, J. Brandt, and J.A. Donazar. 2016. Supplementary feeding and endangered avian scavengers: benefits, caveats, and controversies. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 14(4):191-199. doi: 10.1002/fee.1257

DeVault, T.L., B.F. Blackwell, T.W. Seamans, S.L. Lima, and E. Fernandez-Juricic. 2016. Speed Kills: Effects of vehicle speed on avian escape behavior.2016. Proceedings of the 16th Wildlife Damage Management Conference 43-44

DeVault, T.L., B.F. Blackwell, T.W. Seamans, and J.L. Belant. 2016. Identification of off airport interspecific avian hazards to aircraft. Journal of Wildlife Management 80(4):746-752. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.1041

DeVault, T.L., J.C. Beasley, Z.H. Olson, M. Moleón, M. Carrete, A. Margalida, and J.A. Sánchez-Zapata. 2016. Ecosystem services provided by avian scavengers. In: Why Birds Matter: Avian Ecological Function and Ecosystem Services. C.H. Şekercioğlu, D.G. Wenny, and C.J. Whelan, eds. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, USA. p.235-270.

Dorr, B.S., K.C. Hanson-Dorr, S.C. Barras and T.L. DeVault. 2016. Reproductive characteristics of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in the eastern United States: Demographic information for an intensely managed species. Waterbirds 39(1): 81-85.

Gerringer, M.B., S.L. Lima, and T.L. DeVault. 2016. Evaluation of an avian radar system in a midwestern landscape. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 40(1):150-159. doi: 10.1002/wsb.614

Sánchez-Zapata, J. A., M. Clavero, M. Carrete, T. L. DeVault, V. Hermoso, M. A. Losada, M. J. Polo, S. Sánchez-Navarro, J. M. Pérez-García, F. Botella, C. Ibáñez, and J. A. Donázar. 2016. Effects of renewable energy production and infrastructure on wildlife. Pages 97-123 in: Current Trends in Wildlife Research. J. T. García, R. Mateo, and B. Arroyo, eds. Springer, Wildlife Research Monographs, Vol. 1.

Smith, J.B., K.L. Turner, J.C. Beasley, T.L. DeVault, W.C. Pitt, and O.E. Rhodes Jr. 2016. Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) population density and carcass locations following exposure to acetaminophen. Ecotoxicology 25:1556-1562. doi: 10.1007/s10646-016-1711-1


Conkling, T.J., J.A. Martin, J.L. Belant, and T.L. DeVault. 2015. Spatiotemporal dynamics in identification of aircraft-bird strikes. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. No. 2471:19-25.   doi: 10.3141/2471-03  

Sheridan, E., J. Randolet, T.L. DeVault, T.W. Seamans, B.F. Blackwell, and E. Fernández-Juricic. 2015. The effects of radar on avian behavior: Implications for wildlife management at airports. Applied Animal Behavior Science 171:241-252.  doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2015.08.001

Conkling, T.J., J.L. Belant, T.L. DeVault, G. Wang, and J.A. Martin. 2015. Assessment of variation of nest survival for grassland birds due to method of nest discovery. Bird Study 62(2):223-231.  doi: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1010140  

Blackwell, B.F., T.L. DeVault, and T.W. Seamans. 2015. Understanding and mitigating the negative effects of road lighting on ecosystems. In: R. van der Ree, D.J. Smith, and C. Grilo, editors. Handbook of Road Ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 143-150.

Anderson, A., D.S. Carpenter, M.J. Begier, B.F. Blackwell, T.L. DeVault, S.A. Shwiff. 2015. Modeling the cost of bird strikes to US civil aircraft. Transportation Research Part D (38):49-58.  doi: 10.1016/j.trd.2015.04.027

Crain, A.R., J.L. Belant, and T.L. DeVault. 2015. Carnivore incidents with U.S. civil aircraft. Transportation Research Part D 36:160-166. doi: 10.1016/j.trd.2014.12.001

Shwiff, S.A, K.A. Kirkpatrick, T.L. DeVault, and S.S. Shwiff. 2015. Modeling the economic impacts of double-crested cormorant damage to a recreational fishery. Human-Wildlife Interactions 9(1):36-47.

DeVault, T.L. 2015. Reprioritizing avian conservation efforts. Human-Wildlife Interactions. 9(1):150-151.

DeVault, T.L., B.F. Blackwell, T.W. Seamans, S.L. Lima, and E. Fernandez-Juricic. 2015. Speed kills: ineffective avian escape responses to oncoming vehicles. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282:20142188.  doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2188

Doppler, M.S., B.F. Blackwell, T.L. DeVault, and E. Fernandez-Juricic. 2015. Cowbird responses to aircraft with lights tuned to their eyes: Implications for bird-aircraft collisions. The Condor 117:165-177. doi:10.1650/CONDOR-14-157.1

Lima, S.L., B.F. Bradwell, T.L. DeVault, and E. Fernandez-Juricic. 2015. Animal reactions to oncoming vehicles : a conceptual review. Biological Reviews 90:60-76.  doi: 10.1111/brv.12093.


DeVault, T.L. 2014. Book review: Wildlife Damage Management: Prevention, Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution. Human-Wildlife Interactions 8(2):296-297.

Abernethy, E.F., K.L. Turner, J.C. Beasley, T.L. DeVault, W.C. Pitt, and O.E. Rhodes. 2014. Impacts of invasive species on ecosystem energy flow on the big island of Hawaii: Excuse me, but are you going to eat that cane toad? Proceedings of the 26th Vertebrate Pest Conference 26:40-42.

Dorr, B.S., K.C. Hanson-Dorr, T.L. DeVault, A.Guillaumet, and S.C. Barras. 2014. Geographic segregation and evidence of density-dependent changes in sex ratios in an abundant colonial waterbird. Integrative Zoology 9:570-583.  doi: 10.1111/1749-4877.12091.

Washburn, B.E., P.J. Cisar, and T.L. DeVault. 2014. Wildlife strikes with U.S. military rotary-wing aircraft deployed in foreign countries. Human-Wildlife Interactions 8(2):251-260.

Blackwell, B.F., T.W. Seamans, T.L. DeVault. 2014. White-tailed deer response to vehicle approach: Evidence of unclear and present danger. PLoS ONE 9(10):e109988.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109988.

Schwarz, K.B., J.L. Belant, J.A. Martin, T.L. DeVault, and G.Wang. 2014. Behavioral traits and airport type affect mammal incidents with U.S. civil aircraft. Environmental Management 54:908-918. doi: 10.1007/s00267-014-0345-4.

Biondi, K., J.L. Belant, J.A. Martin, T.L. DeVault, and G. Wang. 2014. Integrating mammalian hazards with management at U.S. civil airports: a case study. Human-Wildlife Interactions 8(1):31-38.

Washburn, B.E., P.J. Cisar, and T.L. DeVault. 2014. Wildlife strikes with military rotary-wing aircraft during flight operations within the United States. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38(2):311-320. doi: 10.1002/wsb.409 .

DeVault, T.L., P.M. Schmidt, F.E. Pogmore, J. Gobeille, J.L. Belant, and T.W. Seamans. 2014.Influence of egg oiling on colony presence of ring-billed gulls. Human-Wildlife Interactions 8(1):22-30.

Drey, K.M., J.A. Martin, J.L. Belant, T.L. DeVault, B.F. Blackwell. 2014. Interactions between wildlife and civil aircraft in Mississippi. Southeastern Naturalist 13(1): 156-165.

DeVault, T.L., B.F. Blackwell, T.W. Seamans, S.L. Lima, E. Fernandez-Juricic. 2014. Effects of vehicle speed on flight initiation by turkey vultures: Implications for bird-vehicle collisions. PLoS ONE 9(2): e87944. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087944.

DeVault, T. L., T. W. Seamans, J. A. Schmidt, J. L. Belant, B. F. Blackwell, N. Mooers, L. A. Tyson, and L. Van Pelt. 2014. "Bird use of Solar Photovoltaic Installations at US Airports: Implications for Aviation Safety." Landscape and Urban Planning 122: 122-128. .


DeVault, T.L., and B.E. Washburn. Identification and management of wildlife food resources at airports. In: T.L. Devault, B.F. Blackwell, and J.L. Belant, editors. Wildlife in Airport Environments: Preventing Animal-Aircraft Collisions through Science-Based Management. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore Maryland, in association with The Wildlife Society. 79-90.

Seamans, T.W., B.F. Blackwell, and T.L. Devault. 2013. Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) response to pyrotechnics and lethal removal in a controlled setting. Proceedings of the Wildlife Damage Management Conference 15: 56-62.

Biondi, K. M., J. L. Belant, T. L. Devault, J. A. Martin, and G. Wang. 2013. "Bat Incidents with U.S. Civil Aircraft." Acta Chiropterologica 15 (1): 185-192. .

Blackwell, B. F., T. W. Seamans, P. M. Schmidt, T. L. De Vault, J. L. Belant, M. J. Whittingham, J. A. Martin, and E. Fernández-Juricic. 2013. "A Framework for Managing Airport Grasslands and Birds Amidst Conflicting Priorities." Ibis 155 (1): 189-193. .

DeVault, T. L., M. J. Begier, J. L. Belant, B. F. Blackwell, R. A. Dolbeer, J. A. Martin, T. W. Seamans, and B. E. Washburn. 2013. "Rethinking Airport Land-Cover Paradigms: Agriculture, Grass, and Wildlife Hazards." Human-Wildlife Interactions 7 (1): 10-15. .

Schmidt, J. A., B. E. Washburn, T. L. Devault, T. W. Seamans, and P. M. Schmidt. 2013. "Do Native Warm-Season Grasslands Near Airports Increase Bird Strike Hazards?" American Midland Naturalist 170 (1): 144-157. .

Washburn, B. E., P. J. Cisar, and T. L. DeVault. 2013. "Wildlife Strikes to Civil Helicopters in the US, 1990-2011." Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 24: 83-88. .


Olson Z.H., Beasley J.C., Devault T.L., Rhodes O.E. (2012) Scavenger community response to the removal of a dominant scavenger. Oikos 121:77-84.

Moore B.A., Baumhardt P., Doppler M., Randolet J., Blackwell B.F., DeVault T.L., Loew E.R., Fernández-Juricic E. (2012) Oblique color vision in an open-habitat bird: spectral sensitivity, photoreceptor distribution and behavioral implications. The Journal of Experimental Biology 215:3442-3452. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.073957.

DeVault T.L., Belant J.L., Blackwell B.F., Martin J.A., Schmidt J.A., Wes Burger L., Jr., Patterson J.W., Jr. (2012) Airports offer unrealized potential for alternative energy production. Environ Manage 49:517-22. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-011-9803-4.

DeBruyne R.L., DeVault T.L., Duerr A.E., Capen D.E., Pogmore F.E., Jackson J.R., Rudstam L.G. (2012) Spatial and temporal comparisons of double-crested cormorant diets following the establishment of alewife in Lake Champlain, USA. Journal of Great Lakes Research 38:123-130.

Blackwell B.F., DeVault T.L., Seamans T.W., Lima S.L., Baumhardt P., Fernández-Juricic E. (2012) Exploiting avian vision with aircraft lighting to reduce bird strikes. Journal of Applied Ecology 49:758-766. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02165.x.

Beasley J.C., Olson Z.H., Devault T.L. (2012) Carrion cycling in food webs: Comparisons among terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Oikos 121:1021-1026.

Biondi K.M., Belant J.L., Martin J.A., Devault T.L., Wang G. (2011) White-tailed deer incidents with U.S. civil aircraft. Wildlife Society Bulletin 35:303-309.


DeVault T.L., Olson Z.H., Beasley J.C., Rhodes O.E. (2011) Mesopredators dominate competition for carrion in an agricultural landscape. Basic and Applied Ecology 12:268-274.

Fernández-Juricic E., Moore B.A., Doppler M., Freeman J., Blackwell B.F., Lima S.L., Devault T.L. (2011) Testing the terrain hypothesis: Canada geese see their world laterally and obliquely. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 77:147-158.

Greiner E.C., Fedynich A.M., Webb S.L., Devault T.L., Rhodes Jr O.E. (2011) Hematozoa and a new haemoproteid species from cathartidae (New World Vulture) in South Carolina. Journal of Parasitology 97:1137-1139.

Martin J.A., Belant J.L., DeVault T.L., Blackwell B.F., Burger L.W., Riffell S.K., Wang G. (2011) Wildlife risk to aviation: a multi-scale issue requires a multi-scale solution. Human-wildlife interactions 5:198-203.

Wenny D.G., DeVault T.L., Johnson M.D., Kelly D., Sekercioglu C.H., Tomback D.F., Whelan C.J. (2011) The need to quantify ecosystem services provided by birds. Auk 128:1-14. DOI: 10.1525/auk.2011.10248.

Wenny D.G., DeVault T.L., Johnson M.D., Kelly D., Sekercioglu C.H., Tomback D.F., Whelan C.J. (2011) Perspectives in ornithology the need to quantify ecosystem services provided by birds. Auk 128:1-14.


Keirn G., Cepek J., Blackwell B., DeVault T. (2010) On a quest for safer skies. The Wildlife Professional Summer 2010:52-55.

Bernhardt G.E., Blackwell B.F., Devault T.L., Kutschbach-Brohl L. (2010) Fatal injuries to birds from collisions with aircraft reveal anti-predator behaviours. Ibis 152:830-834.

Blackwell B.F., DeVault T.L., Fernández-Juricic E., Dolbeer R.A. (2009) Wildlife collisions with aircraft: A missing component of land-use planning for airports. Landscape and Urban Planning 93:1-9.


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