Merkord, Christopher

Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Ph.D. in Biology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. 2010.
  • B.Sc. in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. 2002.
Research Interests: 
Landscape ecology, spatial epidemiology, avian ecology, ecological modeling, data science

Dr. Chris Merkord is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University. Before coming to SDSU, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of South Dakota and a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota.

Dr. Merkord's research addresses the interactions between climate, land use, ecosystem function, and human health. His current research involves the development of early warning systems for outbreaks of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases using predictive models based on environmental remote sensing data along with vector and disease surveillance data. Two projects he is working on include:


Merkord CL, Liu Y, Mihretie A, Gebrehiwot T, Awoke W, Bayabil E, Henebry GM, Kassa GT, Lake M and Wimberly MC. In press. Integrating malaria surveillance with climate data for outbreak detection and forecasting: the EPIDEMIA system. Malaria Journal.

Ahlering MA, Merkord CL. 2016. Cattle grazing and grassland birds in the northern tallgrass prairie. Journal of Wildlife Management 80: 643-654. doi:10.1002/jwmg.1049

Dixon MD, Boever CJ, Danzeisen VL, Merkord CL, Munes EC, Scott ML, Johnson WC, Cowman TC. 2015. Effects of a 'natural' flood event on the riparian ecosystem of a regulated large-river system: the 2011 flood on the Missouri River, USA. Ecohydrology 8:812-824. doi:10.1002/eco.1613

Swanson D, Zhang Y, Liu J-S, Merkord CL, King MO. 2014. Relative roles of temperature and photoperiod as drivers of metabolic flexibility in dark-eyed juncos. Journal of Experimental Biology 217 (6): 866-875. doi:10.1242/jeb.096677

Siler CD, Deccechi AA, Merkord CL, Davis DR, Christiani TJ, Brown RM. 2014. Cryptic diversity and population genetic structure in the rare, endemic, forest-obligate, slender geckos of the Philippines. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 70: 204-209. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.09.014

Swanson D, Merkord C. 2013. Seasonal phenotypic flexibility of flight muscle size in small birds: a comparison of ultrasonography and tissue mass measurements. Journal of Ornithology 154 (1): 119-127. doi:10.1007/s10336-012-0877-4

Jankowski JE, Merkord CL, Farfan Rios W, García Cabrera K, Salinas Revilla N, Silman MR. 2013. The relationship of tropical bird communities to tree species composition and vegetation structure along an Andean elevational gradient. Journal of Biogeography 40 (5): 950-962. doi:10.1111/jbi.12041

Laurance WF, Useche DC, Shoo LP, Herzog SK, Kessler M, Escobar F, Brehm G, Axmacher JC, Chen IC, Gámez LA, Hietz P, Fiedler K, Pyrcz T, Wolf J, Merkord CL, Cardelus C, Marshall AR, Ah-Peng C, Aplet GH, Arizmendi MdC, Baker WJ, Barone J, Brühl CA, Bussmann RW, Cicuzza D, Eilu G, Favila ME, Hemp A, Hemp C, Homeier J, Hurtado J, Jankowski J, Kattán G, Kluge J, Krömer T, Lees D, Lehnert M, Longino JT, Lovett J, Martin PH, Patterson BD, Pearson RG, Peh KS-H, Richardson B, Richardson M, Samways M, Senbeta F, Smith TB, Utteridge T, Watkins JE, Wilson R, Williams SE, Thomas CD. 2011. Global warming, elevational ranges and the vulnerability of tropical biota. Biological Conservation 144 (1): 548-557. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.10.010

Merkord CL. 2010. Seasonality and elevational migration in an Andean bird community. University of Missouri. Columbia, Missouri, USA.

Faaborg J, Holmes RT, Anders AD, Bildstein KL, Dugger KM, Gauthreaux SA, Jr., Heglund P, Hobson KA, Jahn AE, Johnson DH, Latta SC, Levey DJ, Marra PP, Merkord CL, Nol E, Rothstein SI, Sherry TW, Sillett S, Thompson FR, III, Warnock N. 2010. Recent advances in understanding migration systems of New World landbirds. Ecological Monographs 80 (1): 3-48. doi:10.1890/09-0395.1

Faaborg J, Holmes RT, Anders AD, Bildstein KL, Dugger KM, Gauthreaux SA, Jr., Heglund P, Hobson KA, Jahn AE, Johnson DH, Latta SC, Levey DJ, Marra PP, Merkord CL, Nol E, Rothstein SI, Sherry TW, Sillett S, Thompson FR, III, Warnock N. 2010. Conserving migratory landbirds in the New World: do we know enough? Ecological Applications 20 (2): 398-418. doi:10.1890/09-0397.1

Merkord CL, Mark T, Susanibar D, Johnson A, Witt CC. 2009. Avifaunal survey of the Río Chipaota valley in the Cordillera Azul region, San Martín, Peru. Ornitologia Neotropical 20: 535-552.

Merkord CL, Rodríguez R, Faaborg J. 2006. Second and third records of Western Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) for the Western Hemisphere in Puerto Rico. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 19: 42-44.

Last modified: 
Sep 07, 2017