At the University of California Los Angeles’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Eleanor Diamant’s doctoral research explored how bird populations in her native LA respond to rapid human-caused (anthropogenic) change. Her work showed the importance of studying populations in situ to fully understand their responses to the combination of changes they face.
Dr. Diamant’s postdoctoral research at Ben-Gurion University’s Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology continues to investigate anthropogenic threats to bird populations, focusing on the relative impact of habitat change and competition on three species in the Negev desert: invasive myna birds, native starlings, and locally expanding hooded crows. Mynas are thought to threaten native biodiversity, mostly through competition for nesting resources and predation. Ben-Gurion University researchers have set up a novel animal-tracking system in the Tzin plateau around Sde Boker, which Dr. Diamant uses to track individual birds in real time, allowing her to test interactions between the species as well as the effects of human disturbance on them and their competitive outcomes.
Dr. Diamant hopes her results will help guide conservation policy in Israel and beyond, as mynas are increasingly present in ecosystems worldwide.
Dr. Diamant has appeared in popular media and is a main author of People Staying Home, Wildlife Occupying the Streets: Lessons from COVID-19 Lockdowns. She has helped to create video art installations and living sculptures grounded in scientific knowledge in Laguna Beach and Los Angeles, California to inspire viewers to face environmental wrongdoing and take restorative action. She highly values her teaching people of many ages, is a frequent participant in seminars and courses on pedagogy, and has co-developed and taught an afterschool class on urban birds to children in Los Angeles with Heart of Los Angeles, an education equity organization.