David Craig

Professor of Biology


  • Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1997
  • B.S., Lewis & Clark College, 1990

Teaching Philosophy

Outside the classroom there is no substitute for the direct experience that undergraduates gain by participating in research under the guidance of faculty members. I take particular joy in bringing students into various aspects of my current research program, advising independent undergraduate honor theses, and projects by undergraduates, public school teachers and summer interns from other academic institutions. The challenges from direct involvement with current biological investigations can be the catalyst for profound intellectual growth in many students. In addition, I have found that my own research benefits from my interactions with students.

Former CORAX student researchers

Shealyn Friedrich '12, and recent graduate of Masters in Education at the Willamette University School of Education

Kaeli Swift '09, currently a Doctoral student at the University of Washington's College of Forest Resources

Jacquelyn Grace '07 currently a Doctoral student in the Biology Department at Wake Forest University

Advised Student Research

  • Craig, D.P. and K.N. Swift*. 2008. Peer to peer photo sharing and field readable tags: a simple powerful tool for citizen science and following marked birds. American Ornithologists Union, Cooper Ornithological Society and Society of Canadian Ornithologists 2008 Meeting.
  • Craig, D.P., J. Shinn*, P. Swenson*, and J. Grace*. 2008. Fall migration, timing, and wintering sites of Columbia River estuary Caspian Terns as determined by satellite telemetry. 35th Annual Meeting – Pacific Seabird Group
  • Larson, K.W., D. P. Craig, Y. Suzuki, and D. Roby. 2008. A geographical analysis of Caspian tern band encounters in the Americas, 1022-2007. 35th Annual Meeting – Pacific Seabird Group
  • Allen, J., D.P. Craig, and J. Grace*. 2008. Ternin’ing to video to study diet, lateralization, and chick development among bill load holding birds. 35th Annual Meeting – Pacific Seabird Group
  • Phillips*, J. and D.P. Craig. 2008. A comparative study of color variation in the juvenal plumage of terns (Sternini). Annual Meeting for the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Research Interests

My current field-oriented research focuses on response of avian predators to human modified ecosystems and their subsequent impact on community structure. The work combines life-history, physiological, and ecological information to address questions related to predation upon endangered fishes by a variety of colonial waterbirds including Caspain terns (Sterna caspia) , double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), and gulls (Larus spp.). The theoretical framework for this research has grown in part from my previous research, which focused on several questions related to the behavioral and population ecology of corvids (i.e. jays, crows, ravens), and to the impacts that corvids' nest predation have on the organization of bird communities in coniferous forests.


  • Craig, D. P., K. Larson, J. Shinn*, P. Swenson*, J. Grace*, Y. Suzuki. Using Multiple Extrinsic Markers to Identify Connectivity in a Migratory Animal. In review August 2008.
  • K. C. Molina, K. L. Garrett, K. Larson, and D. P., Craig. Accepted Aug. 2008. Winter Distribution of the Western Gull-Billed Tern,
  • Grace*, J. and D. P. Craig. 2008. The development and lateralization of prey delivery in a bill load holding bird.
  • Craig, D. P. and K. Larson. Bill Load Identification Guide for Seabirds of the Northeastern Pacific. In prep for the Pacific Seabird Group: www.willamette.edu/cla/biology/ternproject/index.html.
  • Larson, K. and D. P. Craig. 2006. Digiscoping vouchers for diet studies in bill load holding birds. Waterbirds 11:110-112.
  • Suryan, R., D.P. Craig, D. Roby, N. Chelgren, K. Collis, W. D. Shuford, and D. Lyons. 2004. Redistribution and growth of the Caspian Tern population in the Pacific Coast region of North America, 1981-2000. The Condor 106:777-790.
  • Roby, D., D. Lyons, D. P.Craig, K. Collis, and G.H. Visser. 2003. Quantifying the effect of predators on endangered species using a bioenergetics approach: Caspian terns and juvenile salmonids in the Columbia River estuary. Canadian Journal of Zoology 81:250-265.
  • Roby, D., K. Collis, D. Lyons, M. Antolos, and D. P. Craig . 2003. Caspian Tern Species Account. Birds of Oregon. Oregon State University Press.
  • Matthews. S. M., D. P. Craig, K. Collis, and D. Roby. 2003. Double-crested Cormorant Species Account. Birds of Oregon. Oregon State University Press.
  • Shuford, D. W. and D. P. Craig. 2002. Status Assessment and Conservation Recommendations for the Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) in North America, U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, OR. 162 pp.
  • Collis, K., D.D. Roby, D.P. Craig, S. Adamany, J. Adkins, and D.E. Lyons. 2002. Colony size and diet composition of piscivorous waterbirds on the lower Columbia River: Implications for losses of juvenile salmonids to avian predation. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 131:537-550.
  • Roby, D.D., K. Collis, D.E. Lyons, D.P. Craig, J. Adkins, A.M. Myers, and R.M. Suryan. 2002. Effects of colony relocation on diet and productivity of Caspian terns. Journal of Wildlife Management 66:662-673.
  • Collis, K., D.D. Roby, D.P. Craig, B.A. Ryan, and R.D. Ledgerwood. 2001. Colonial waterbird predation on juvenile salmonids tagged with Passive Integrated Transponders in the Columbia River Estuary: Vulnerability of different species, stocks, and rearing types. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 130:385-396.
  • Craig, D. P ., C. Bock. B. C. Bennett, and J. H. Bock. 1999. Habitat relationships among grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) at the western limit of the Great Plains in Colorado. American Midland Naturalist 142:314-327.
  • Craig, D. P. 1999. Caspian Terns on the Columbia River Estuary. Journal of Oregon Field Ornithology 25:72-81.
  • Roby, D., D. P. Craig, K. Collis, and S. Adamany. 1999. Avian predation on juvenile salmonids in the lower Columbia River, 1998. Annual Report: Bonneville Power Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1-150.
  • Collis, K., S. Adamany, D. Roby, D. P. Craig, and D. Lyons. 1998. Avian predation on salmonid smolts in the lower Columbia River, 1997. Annual Report: Bonneville Power Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1-71.
  • Craig, D. P. 1998. Chipmunks use leverage to eat oversized eggs: Support for the use of quail eggs. The Auk 115(2):486-489, 1998.
  • Breese, D, B. Tershy, and D. P. Craig. 1993. Craveri's Murrelet: Confirmed Nesting and Fledging Age San Pedro Martir Island, Gulf of California. Colonial Waterbirds 16:92-94.
  • Craig, D. P .; M. A. Stern, K. A. Mingo, D. M. Craig, and G. A. Rosenberg. 1992. Reproductive Ecology of the Western Snowy Plover on the Coast of Oregon. Technical Report: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.