Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Mercedes Foster

Emeritus Curator (USGS)
Department / Division
Education
  • Ph.D. University of South Florida, Tampa (1974). Biology
  • M.A. University of California, Berkeley (1965). Zoology, minor Botany
  • B.A. University of California, Berkeley (1963). Zoology
Research Interests

Current research interests: (1) Social behavior and ecology of Neotropical birds, with emphasis on the evolution of lek behavior, and the ecology of avian frugivory, and seed dispersal; (2) Ecology of migrating and wintering nearctic birds; (3) Biodiversity studies, particularly the development of standard methods for measuring and monitoring biodiversity of different groups of organisms; (4) Conservation biology of birds.

Publications
Journal Article
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2021. "Male Aggregation in Dwarf Tyrant-Manakins and What It Tells Us about the Origin of Leks." Integrative and Comparative Biology, 61, (4) 1310–1318. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icab011.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2014. "Can fruit pulp meet the calcium needs of tropical frugivorous passerines during reproduction?" Journal of Tropical Ecology, 30 79–88. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266467413000643.
  • Laurance, William F., Carolina Useche, D., Rendeiro, Julio, Kalka, Margareta, Bradshaw, Corey J. A., Sloan, Sean P., Laurance, Susan G., Campbell, Mason, Abernethy, Kate, Alvarez, Patricia, Arroyo-Rodriguez, Victor, Ashton, Peter, Benítez-Malvido, Julieta, Blom, Allard, Bobo, Kadiri S., Cannon, Charles H., Cao, Min, Carroll, Richard, Chapman, Colin, Coates, Rosamond, Cords, Marina, Danielsen, Finn, De Dijn, Bart, Dinerstein, Eric, Donnelly, Maureen A. et al. 2012. "Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas." Nature, 489 290–294. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11318.
  • Brooks, Daniel M., O'Neill, John P., Foster, Mercedes S., Mark, Todd, Dauphine, Nico, and Franke, Irma J. 2009. "Avifauna of the Pongos Basin, Amazonas Department, Peru." Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 121, (1) 54–74. https://doi.org/10.1676/07-160.1.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2008. "Potential effects of arboreal and terrestrial avian dispersers on seed dormancy, seed germination and seedling establishment in Ormosia (Papilionoideae) species in Peru." Journal of Tropical Ecology, 24 619–627. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266467408005439.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2008. "Freeze-Frame Fruit Selection by Birds." Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 120, (4) 901–905. https://doi.org/10.1676/07-122.1.
  • Doucet, Stephanie M., McDonald, David B., Foster, Mercedes S., and Clay, Rob P. 2007. "Plumage development and molt in Long-tailed Manakins (Chiroxiphia linearis): Variation according to sex and age." The Auk, 124, (1) 29–43. https://doi.org/10.1642/0004-8038(2007)124[29:PDAMIL]2.0.CO;2.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2007. "Winter behavior and ecology of the Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum) in Peru." Ornitologia Neotropical, 18, (2) 171–186.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2007. "The potential of fruit trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico." Bird Conservation International, 17, (1) 45–61. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270906000554.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. and Delay, L. S. 1998. "Dispersal of mimetic seeds of three species of Ormosia (Leguminosae)." Journal of Tropical Ecology, 14 389–411.

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Book
  • Foster, Mercedes S. and Johnson, Ned K. 2017. The Annual Cycle and Natural History of a Subtropical Atlantic Forest Avifauna in Paraguay. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. In Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 648. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.19436696.648.
  • McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Gueyr, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil. 2012. Reptile Biodiversity: Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
  • Mueller, Gregory M., Bills, Gerald F., and Foster, Mercedes S. 2004. Biodiversity of Fungi: Inventory and Monitoring Methods. Amsterdam;Boston: Elsevier Academic Press.
  • Wilson, Don E., Cole, F. Russell, Nichols, J. D., Rudran, Rasanayagam, and Foster, Mercedes S. 1996. Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Mammals. Washington, DC and London: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. Measuring and monitoring biological diversity: standard methods for amphibians. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.
  • Woodman, Neal, Jenkinson, Marian A., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. Latin American Research Libraries in Natural History: A Survey. 2nd ed. Chicago, Illinois: Council of Biology Editors.
  • Buckley, P., Foster, Mercedes S., Morton, Eugene S., Ridgely, R., and Buckley, F. 1985. Neotropical Ornithology. American Ornithologists Union.
Book Chapter
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2012. "Appendix II. Websites of Interest." In Reptile Biodiversity Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring. McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil, editors. 345–347. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. In Biodiversity Methods Handbooks.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2012. "Dealing with Associated Data. Overview." In Reptile Biodiversity Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring. McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil, editors. 51–52. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. In Biodiversity Methods Handbooks.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. and McDiarmid, Roy W. 2012. "Appendix 1: Selected Institutions with Significant Collections of Reptiles." In Reptile Biodiversity Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring. McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil, editors. 341–344. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. In Biodiversity Methods Handbooks.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. and McDiarmid, Roy W. 2012. "Preparing Reptiles as Voucher Specimens: Overview." In Reptile Biodiversity: Standard Methods for Inverntory and Monitoring. McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil, editors. 95–96. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
  • Foster, Mercedes S., McDiarmid, Roy W., and Chernoff, Neil. 2012. "Studying Reptile Biodiversity." In Reptile Biodiversity Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring. McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil, editors. 3–5. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
  • McDiarmid, Roy W. and Foster, Mercedes S. 2012. "Reptile Biodiversitu: Where do we go from here?" In Reptile Biodiversity Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring. McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J., and Chernoff, Neil, editors. 335–340. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. In Biodiversity Methods Handbooks.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2009. "Manakins and Me." In Tale Feathers. Howard, Jaqueline, editor. 153–160. New York: Universe.
  • Bills, Gerald F. and Foster, Mercedes S. 2004. "Formulae for selected materials used to isolate and study fungi and fungal allies." In Biodiversity of Fungi. Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring. Mueller, Greg M., Bills, Gerald F., and Foster, Mercedes S., editors. 595–618. New York: Elsevier Academic Press.
  • Wilkinson, Fiona A. and Foster, Mercedes S. 2004. "Institutions with significant collections of fungi or fungal allies and fungus-related websites." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity, Standard Methods for Fungi. Mueller, G. M., Bills, G., and Foster, Mercedes S., editors. 619–626. Elsevier Press.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2003. "Preface (to the Russian translation)." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity. Standard Methods for Amphibians (Russian translation). Russian translation ed. Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S., editors. xv–xvii. Russia.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2001. "Estacion Biologica Cocha Cashu: Panorama general." In El Manu y Otras Experiencias de Investigacion y Manejo de Bosques Neotropicales.. Rodriguez, Lily O., editor. 19–22. Cusco, Peru: Parque Ncional del Manu.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2001. "Prefacio de la editoria de la serie sobre la traduccion." In Medicion y Monitoreo de la Diversidad Biologica. Metodos Estandarizados para Anfibios. Spanish language ed. Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S., editors. xxiii–xxv. Chubut, Argentina: Editorial Universitaria de la Patagonia.
  • Dobson, A., Ralls, Katherine, Foster, Mercedes S., Soul‚, M. E., Simberloff, D., Doak, D., Estes, J. A., Mills, L. S., Mattson, D., Dirzo, Rodolfo, Arita, Hector T., Ryan, S., Norse, E. A., Noss, R. F., and Johns, D. 1999. "Connectivity: maintaining flows in fragmented landscapes." In Continental Conservation: Design and Management Principles for Long-Term, Regional Conservation Networks. Soul‚, M. and Terborgh, John W., editors. 129–170. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
  • Scott, J. M., Norse, E. A., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1999. "The Issue of Scale in Selecting and Designing Biological Reserves." In Continental Conservation: Scientific Foundations of Regional Reserve Networks. Soule, Michael E. and Terborgh, John W., editors. 19–37. Washington, DC: Island Press.
  • Gannon, William L. and Foster, Mercedes S. 1996. "Recording Mammal Calls." In Measuring and Monitoring Biodiversity. 71–79. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Rudran, Rasanayagam and Foster, Mercedes S. 1996. "Conducting a survey to assess mammalian diversity." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Mammals. Wilson, Don E., Cole, F. Russell, Nichols, J. D., Rudran, Rasanayagam, and Foster, Mercedes S., editors. 71–79. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Samways, M. J., Stork, Nigel E., Cracraft, Joel, Eeley, H. A., Foster, Mercedes S., Lund, G., and Hilton-Taylor, C. 1995. "Scales, planning, and approaches to inventory and monitoring." In Global Biodiversity Assessment. 475–518. Cambridge, UK;New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Essentials of Standardization and Quantification." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. 17–39. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Index." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. 351–359. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Literature Cited." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. 329–350. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Preface and Introduction." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. xvii–3. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Contents." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. v–viii. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Keys to a Successful Project." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. 41–73. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Glossary." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. 325–327. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Conclusions and Recommendations." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. 271–273. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S. 1994. "Supplemental Approaches to Studying Amphibian Biodiversity." In Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians. Heyer, W. Ronald, editor. 143–182. Smithsonian Institution Press.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1993. "Preservación de ejemplates con máximo contenido de información y resumen de investigaciones basadas en tales materiales." In Curación Moderna de Colecciones Ornitolóicas. Pliego, P. Escalance, editor. 3–14. American Ornithologists Union, WDC.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1985. "Pre-nesting cooperation in birds: another form of helping behavior." In Neotropical Ornithology. Buckley, Paul A., Foster, Mercedes S., Morton, Eugene S., Ridgely, Robert S., and Buckley, Frances G., editors. 817–828. Washington DC: American Ornithologists Union. In Ornithological Monographs, no. 36.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1983. "Chiroxiphia linearis (Bonaparte; Long-tailed Manakin)." In Costa Rican Natural History. Janzen, Daniel H., editor. 563–564. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. and McDiarmid, Roy W. 1983. "Stemmadenia donnell-smithii (Huevos de Caballo, Cojones de Chancho)." In Costa Rican Natural History. 328–329. Univ. Chicago Press.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. and McDiarmid, Roy W. 1983. "Rhinophrynus dorsalis (Alma de Vaca, Sapo Borracho, Mexican Burrowing Toad)." In Costa Rican Natural History. 419–421. Univ. Chicago Press.

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Conference Proceedings
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1997. "Evolution of Lek Social Systems in Manakins: Alternative Models and Proofs." from Anais V Congresso Brasileiro de Ornitologia. 7–8. (UNICAMP, Campinas, Brasil) 1996-08-06. Campinas, Brasil: UNICAMP.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1997. "The Potential of Fruiting Trees for Habitat Enhancement." from Anais V Congresso Brasileiro de Ornitologia. 1–4. (UNICAMP, Campinas, Brasil) 1996-08-06. Campinas, Brasil: UNICAMP.
Book Review
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1983. [Book review] "A Bird Family. The Cotingas. David Snow." Science, 219, 281–282.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1977. [Book review] "The Web of adaptation, bird studies in the American Tropics by David W. Snow." The Auk, 94, 618–DO.
Abstract
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1981. "The displays and social behavior of the Blue-backed Manakin, Chiroxiphia pareola." Yearbook of the American Philosophical Society, 1980: 22.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1978. "The displays and social behavior of the Swallow-tailed Manakin, Chiroxiphia caudata." Yearbook of the American Philosophical Society, 1997: 195 OP.