Ross Brittain ABU

Dr. Ross Brittain

Dean, College of Science, Technology and Mathematics
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science
(304) 457-6246

Ross Brittain has a PhD in Environmental Science from Indiana University and is the Dean of the College of Science, Technology and Mathematics at Alderson Broaddus University. His dissertation characterized avian trophic webs (what birds eat) using stable isotopes of C and N, and predicted habitat loss in wetlands of coastal Georgia due to the co-factors of sea level rise and land use development. Prior to coming to Alderson Broaddus in 2012, Dr. Brittain worked as the Indiana Director of Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society and as a Senior Environmental Manager for the state of Indiana, where he investigated hazardous waste sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (aka Superfund). Dr. Brittain is a Master Bird Bander and spent much of his free time researching the natural history of migrating Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) in the state of Indiana. His research in the Appalachian area includes further studies of migrating and breeding Northern Saw-whet Owl populations in West Virginia, as well as trophic links of Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) to their associated riparian habitats. Dr. Brittain believes in training students through experiential learning by taking them out into the field to “get their hands and boots dirty” as much as possible.


Brittain, R.A. 2008. Characterizing Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) Winter Habitats in South-central Indiana. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science  117:71-80.

Brittain, R.A., V. Meretsky and J. Gwinn. 2009. Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) autumn migration magnitude and demographics in Southern Indiana. Journal of Raptor Research 43:199-209.

Brittain, R.A., V. Meretsky, and C. Craft. 2010. Avian communities of the Altamaha River estuary in Georgia, USA. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 122:532-544.

Brittain, R.A., and C.B. Craft. 2012. Effects of sea-level rise and anthropogenic development on priority bird species habitats in coastal Georgia, USA. Environmental Management. 49:473-482.

Brittain, R.A., A. Schimmelman, D.F. Parkhurst, and C.B. Craft. 2012. Food webs of coastal birds inferred from stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes. Estuaries and Coasts 35:633-645.

Brittain, R.A., and B. C Jones. Age-related differential migration strategies in Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus). Journal of Raptor Research 48:219-227.