David C.  Evers, PhD

David C. Evers, PhD

Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI)

Executive Director, Chief Scientist and Co-Director Center for Mercury Studies

Expertise: WildlifeEcologyenvironmenntal scienceConservation of endangered speciesExposure and effects of methylmercury

From the moment he captured his first loon on Michigan’s Seney National Wildlife Refuge, David Evers has been a champion of wildlife, incorporating innovative approaches to traditional research methods. As the founder, executive director, and chief scientist of BRI, Dr. Evers has made great strides in bringing critical ecological issues to the forefront of our nation’s and the world’s consciousness. He regularly develops collaborations and working groups, often working at regional and international scales with scientists, federal and state governmental agencies, universities and research institutes, as well as other nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Evers specializes in research on ecotoxicology with an emphasis on the patterns of methylmercury and oil exposure and effects in wildlife, especially birds such as the Common Loon. Current projects include research and conservation efforts with various loon species across North America as well as assessments of mercury in fish and wildlife across Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Through BRI’s Center for Waterbird Studies, Dr. Evers oversees the largest conservation project on the Common Loon in partnership with the Ricketts Conservation Foundation. Through BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies, he oversees several ongoing national and international mercury monitoring networks and database summary efforts, including new projects and partnerships with the Fate and Transport Partnership Group of the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the International Council on Mercury as a Global Pollutant, and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

During his graduate studies, Dr. Evers worked as a field ornithologist for the Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas and as a wildlife ecologist for the Kalamazoo Nature Center. In 1991, he became executive director of the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. In 1998, he founded BRI to further progressive wildlife research and conservation. He also holds positions as adjunct professor at both the University of Southern Maine, where he teaches ornithology, and the University of Maine at Orono. He is also the adjunct senior scientist at the University of Southern Maine's Center for Integrated and Applied Environmental technology. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and presented his research in more than 200 professional venues.

Ph.D., Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, 2001
M.S., Ecology, Western Michigan University, 1992
B.S., Wildlife Management, Michigan State University, 1984


Cited By


Mercury contamination in forest and freshwater ecosystems in the northeastern United States



Adverse effects from environmental mercury loads on breeding common loons



Biological mercury hotspots in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada



Patterns and interpretation of mercury exposure in freshwater avian communities in northeastern North America



Geographic trend in mercury measured in common loon feathers and blood



Mercury concentrations in Bicknell’s thrush and other insectivorous passerines in montane forests of northeastern North America



Mercury Exposure Affects the Reproductive Success of a Free-Living Terrestrial Songbird, the Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)



Common loon eggs as indicators of methylmercury availability in North America



Effects of air pollution on ecosystems and biological diversity in the eastern United States



Patterns of common loon (Gavia immer) mercury exposure, reproduction, and survival in wisconsin, USA



Common Loon(Gavia immer)



Monitoring the response to changing mercury deposition



Avian mercury exposure and toxicological risk across western North America: a synthesis



Mercury exposure in breeding common loons (Gavia immer) in central Ontario, Canada



Geographic and seasonal variation in mercury exposure of the declining Rusty Blackbird



Mercury in western North America: A synthesis of environmental contamination, fluxes, bioaccumulation, and risk to fish and wildlife



Spatial and temporal patterns of mercury concentrations in freshwater fish across the Western United States and Canada



Common loons (Gavia immer) nesting on low ph lakes in northern Wisconsin have elevated blood mercury content



Mercury and other contaminants in common loons breeding in Atlantic Canada



Status assessment and conservation plan for the Common Loon (Gavia Nimmer) in North America



New Study Shows High Levels of Mercury in the Peruvian Amazon

New study Amazon forests capture high levels of atmospheric mercury pollution from artisanal gold mining published in Nature Communications. An international team of researchers documented substantial mercury accumulation in soils, biomass, and resident songbirds in some of the Amazon’s most protected and biodiverse areas.
28-Jan-2022 04:05:48 PM EST

Biodiversity Research Institute to Lead Avian Research on $7.5 M Grant from the Department of Energy

Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) is part of a collaborative team, led by Duke University, that has received a total of $7.5 million to assess the risks that offshore wind energy development along the East Coast may pose to birds, bats, and marine mammals. BRI’s role is to lead the avian research components for the five-year project Wildlife and Offshore Wind (WOW): A Systems Approach to Research and Risk Assessment for Offshore Wind Development from Maine to North Carolina.
20-Oct-2021 10:05:28 AM EDT

The Impact of Mercury in New York State

Biodiversity Research Institute announced that a series of scientific studies that assessed the impact of mercury on air, water, fish, and wildlife in New York State was published in the journal Ecotoxicology, an international journal devoted to presenting critical research on the effects of toxic chemicals on people and the environment.
23-Nov-2020 04:05:31 PM EST

Impact of Mercury on North American Songbirds

Fifteen papers have recently been published in a special issue of the journal Ecotoxicology. Findings: at least 58 songbird species show demonstrated effects from mercury. The journal’s October 2020 issue presents results of field, laboratory, and museum studies—from Alaska to Maine to Puerto Rico.
15-Oct-2020 09:00:54 AM EDT

Biodiversity Research Institute Announces First Successful Loon Nesting in Southern Massachusetts in a Century

Biodiversity Research Institute announces the successful results of its long-term loon translocation and restoration project Restore the Call: A male loon chick that was translocated in 2015 from New York to Massachusetts returned in 2018 to the region from which it fledged, and now has formed a territorial pair, nested, and successfully hatched a chick in Fall River, Massachusetts.
08-Jul-2020 02:05:34 PM EDT

It’s “visible evidence that breeding loon populations can be restored to their former habitat.”

- https://wgme.com/news/offbeat/loon-hatches-for-1st-time-in-a-century-in-southeastern-massachusetts

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