Professor, Biology and Director, Environmental Policy and Decision Making
Peter Hodum’s research is in the areas of avian ecology and conservation biology. He is particularly interested in conservation-based research, including the impacts of anthropogenic threats such as marine plastic debris, habitat alteration and loss, introduced species, and fisheries interactions on bird populations and island ecosystems. In the Pacific Northwest, he is studying the ecology, population dynamics, and conservation status of burrowing seabirds, principally Rhinoceros Auklets and Tufted Puffins. He collaborates with the Slater Museum of Natural History to study the effects of marine plastic debris on marine food webs by using seabirds, forage and bottom-dwelling fish, and filter-feeding species, such as mussels, as biological indicators. Hodum co-founded and leads a long-term community-based conservation program in Chile, with a particular focus on the Juan Fernández Islands and Isla Mocha. The work aims to conserve threatened land- and seabird communities using applied research, active community engagement and participation, and ecological restoration to improve the conservation status of priority species, mitigate the impacts of introduced species, restore critical habitat, and increase community support for and capacity to participate in conservation. Hodum is director of Chile Programs for Oikonos, a nonprofit that leads conservation projects in Chile, California, the north Pacific, New Zealand, Mexico, and Antarctica. Hodum has co-authored the book chapter, “The social dimension—public involvement in seabird island restoration,” in Seabird Islands: Ecology, Invasion, and Restoration (2011), multiple endangered species conservation strategies in both Chile and Canada, research papers on a variety of topics related to avian conservation and marine plastics, and government technical reports for Chilean agencies . On a 2011 Fulbright grant to Chile, he taught at Universidad de Concepción and continued his research on Determining the States of and Threats to Endangered Seabird Communities. Hodum teaches a variety of courses in both the Biology and Environmental Policy and Decision Making programs, including Conservation Biology, Ornithology, Introduction to Biological Research, Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies, and Biodiversity.