Who We Are

The National Aviary works to save birds and protect their habitats. Our Department of Conservation and Field Research, lead by Dr. Steven Latta, is comprised of experienced researchers and ornithologists who partner with organizations around the world to advance conservation research. 

The National Aviary, recognizing the importance of education and the need for advance training of the next generation of conservation leaders, also mentors and colloborates with Research Associates and Student Researchers.  

Dr. Steven Latta, Director of Conservation and Field Research 

 Dr. Steven C. Latta is Director of Conservation and Field Research at the National Aviary in   Pittsburgh. A native of Michigan, he was educated at Kalamazoo College (BA), University of Michigan (MS), and University of Missouri-Columbia (PhD in Avian Ecology). After graduating in 2000, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he studied with Dr. Robert Ricklefs the evolution and diversification of avian malaria across Caribbean islands. He then served for 4  years as the Director of the Latin American Program at Point Reyes Bird Observatory (CA) where he developed long term monitoring programs in many countries, and trained hundreds of locally-based biologists and naturalists in standardized bird monitoring techniques. He has been at the National Aviary since 2006. Read more about Dr. Latta and his work!



Robert Mulvihill, Ornithologist 

Robert S. Mulvihill, the National Aviary’s Ornithologist credits his mother’s casual backyard bird feeding hobby for his early interest in bird watching. In particular, it was her copies of the books American Birds in Color, by Hal Harrison (1948), T. Gilbert Pearson’s 1944 classic Birds of America, and Chester Reed’s ground-breaking pocket-sized guide to Land Birds East of the Mississippi that were his entrée into the world of birds and bird watching.  The deal was sealed when his family built a cabin on Stoughton Lake in Jennerstown, Somerset County, PA—from then on birds he knew well on paper came to life before his eyes every weekend!  It also put him geographically closer to Powdermill Nature Reserve, which he and his mother visited for the first time when he was 14 years old. Read more about Bob and his work!



Research Associates


Student Researchers