2019 Red Slough Birding
Convention Guest Speakers  
Keynote Speaker
Dr. John Abbott
John Abbott grew up in Texas, falling in love at an early age with insects and
natural history in general. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the
University of North Texas in 1999 with a study of the dragonflies and
damselflies of the south-central U.S.  He took a faculty position at the
University of Texas at Austin where he also served as the Curator of
Entomology until 2013.  At UT, John taught General Entomology and Aquatic
Entomology and he has lead student groups to such exotic locals as Costa
Rica, Honduras, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii and Mexico. His research
focuses on aquatic insects, particularly the systematics and biogeography of
dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata).  John has authored many papers on
aquatic insects and has written several books on odonates including the
Dragonflies of Texas and Damselflies of Texas available from the University
of Texas Press. Since 2016, John has been the Chief Curator and Director of
Research and Collections for The University of Alabama. John is creator of
several different Citizen Science based web sites including, OdonataCentral
(OdonataCentral.org), the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership
(migratorydragonflypartnership.org), and Pond Watch (PondWatch.org).  John
is also the Editor and Chief of the International Journal of Odonatology and
sits on the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) Odonata Specialists Group.
Beyond these interests, John and his wife Kendra are avid nature
photographers who own and operate Abbott Nature Photography
(AbbottNature.com).  Their photographs have appeared in numerous
calendars, magazines and books. John and Kendra are also currently working
on the Peterson Field Guide to North American Insects and a just completed
book on the Common Insects of Texas.
"Working on the Rail Road: Yellow and Black Rail Ecology"
Chris Butler became interested in birds at age 5, when he
saw his first American Goldfinch, and has remained
fascinated by them ever since.  He received a Bachelor’s
from Cornell in 2000 and a PhD from Oxford University in
2004.  Since 2005, he has been a professor of biology at
the University of Central Oklahoma, where he teaches a
number of classes including Ornithology, Ecology, and
GIS.  During the 2016-17 academic year, he was a
Fulbright scholar at the University of Botswana, where he
taught classes on ecology and rangeland management
and conducted research on the effects of climate change
on avian communities.  His student-centered research
focuses on the population and community ecology of birds,
although he has also published papers on reptiles,
mammals, parasites and palms.  Since 2008 he has been
studying the ecology of secretive marsh birds such as
Yellow Rails and Black Rails.
Dr. Chris Butler