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
Article
  • Foster, Mercedes S. and Johnson, Ned K. 2017. "The Annual Cycle and Natural History of a Subtropical Atlantic Forest Avifauna in Paraguay." Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology (648): 2–83. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.19436696.648
  • 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
  • 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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Chapter
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2012. "Appendix II. Websites of Interest." in Reptile Biodiversity Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring, edited by McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil., 345–347. Biodiversity Methods Handbooks. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2012. "Dealing with Associated Data. Overview." in Reptile Biodiversity Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring, edited by McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil., 51–52. Biodiversity Methods Handbooks. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
  • 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, edited by McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil., 341–344. Biodiversity Methods Handbooks. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. and McDiarmid, Roy W. 2012. "Preparing Reptiles as Voucher Specimens: Overview." in Reptile Biodiversity: Standard Methods for Inverntory and Monitoring, edited by McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil., 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, edited by McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J. Whitfield, and Chernoff, Neil., 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, edited by McDiarmid, Roy W., Foster, Mercedes S., Guyer, Craig, Gibbons, J., and Chernoff, Neil., 335–340. Biodiversity Methods Handbooks. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2009. "Manakins and Me." in Tale Feathers, edited by Howard, Jaqueline., 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, edited by Mueller, Greg M., Bills, Gerald F., and Foster, Mercedes S., 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, edited by Mueller, G. M., Bills, G., and Foster, Mercedes S., 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), edited by Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S., Russian translation ed. xv–xvii.
  • 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald, Donnelly, Maureen A., McDiarmid, Roy W., Hayek, Lee-Ann C., and Foster, Mercedes S., Spanish language ed. xxiii–xxv. Chubut, Argentina: Editorial Universitaria de la Patagonia.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 2001. "Estacion Biologica Cocha Cashu: Panorama general." in El Manu y Otras Experiencias de Investigacion y Manejo de Bosques Neotropicales., edited by Rodriguez, Lily O., 19–22. Cusco, Peru: Parque Ncional del Manu.
  • 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, edited by Soul‚, M. and Terborgh, John W., 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, edited by Soule, Michael E. and Terborgh, John W., 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, edited by Wilson, Don E., Cole, F. Russell, Nichols, J. D., Rudran, Rasanayagam, and Foster, Mercedes S., 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. "Conclusions and Recommendations." in Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Amphibians, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., 271–273. 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., v–viii. 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., xvii–3. 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., 143–182. 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., 325–327. 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., 351–359. Smithsonian Institution 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., 17–39. 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, edited by Heyer, W. Ronald., 329–350. 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, edited by Pliego, P. Escalance., 3–14. American Ornithologists Union, WDC.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1985. "Pre-nesting cooperation in birds: another form of helping behavior.." in Neotropical Ornithology, edited by Buckley, Paul A., Foster, Mercedes S., Morton, Eugene S., Ridgely, Robert S., and Buckley, Frances G., 817–828. Ornithological Monographs (no. 36). Washington DC: American Ornithologists Union.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1983. "Chiroxiphia linearis (Bonaparte; Long-tailed Manakin).." in Costa Rican Natural History, edited by Janzen, Daniel H., 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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Book
  • 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.
Conference
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1997. "Evolution of Lek Social Systems in Manakins: Alternative Models and Proofs." In , 7–8. Campinas, Brasil: UNICAMP.
  • Foster, Mercedes S. 1997. "The Potential of Fruiting Trees for Habitat Enhancement." In , 1–4. Campinas, Brasil: UNICAMP.
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.