Advocacy and Outreach Manager
Molly joined NYC Audubon in 2019, hired for the newly created position of Advocacy and Outreach Manager. Formerly at New York Aquarium, Molly strives to connect people to conservation of the natural world through education, outreach, and advocacy. As an avid bird watcher and novice bird-bander, the need for immediate conservation efforts for many species inspires her participation in NYC Audubon's efforts for bird-friendly building legislation and other conservation policy actions at the local, state, and federal levels.
In 2016, Molly founded the Feminist Bird Club, a bird watching club in New York City for LGBTQIA+ folks, women, and people of color. This club acts as a safe way for birders of all backgrounds and gender identities to get outdoors in urban areas while also fundraising for basic human rights. After a feature in The New York Times, versions of the club were started in Boston, Chicago, Michigan, Toronto, Seattle, and Buenos Aires—with more in the works.
Molly holds an MA in marine conservation and policy from Stony Brook's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and a BA in critical and visual studies from Pratt Institute, with an emphasis on sustainability and natural history museums.
Aurora Crooks has been on the Conservation team at New York City Audubon since 2019 as conservation associate, working to organize data and coordinate volunteers for NYC Audubon's Project Safe Flight, Tribute in Light, and for habitat restoration efforts.
Aurora is passionate about increasing racial and gender equity within scientific fields, and for improving biological and environmental literacy with the public.
Susan Elbin, PhD, with Great Egret
Susan Elbin, PhD
Conservation Scientist Emerita
Retired in December 2019 from her position as NYC Audubon's director of conservation and science, Dr. Susan Elbin is an ornithologist who has worked in the field of behavioral ecology and conservation for more than 25 years. Susan’s specialties are avian behavioral ecology and conservation of colonial waterbirds. She is the chair of the Ornithological Council and, locally, co-chair of the Harbor Herons Subcommittee of the Restoration Committee for the Harbor Estuary Program. Susan is an adjunct professor at Columbia University where she teaches courses in ornithology and migration ecology.
Before coming to NYC Audubon, Susan was the director of the Wildlife Trust’s New York Bioscape Initiative, a regional, landscape-level approach to issues of human health, wildlife health, and ecosystem health. She has also worked in several departments at the Wildlife Conservation Society, including the Education and Ornithology Departments and the Science Resource Center of the Bronx Zoo. While at WCS she led a variety of projects including studies of avian ecology and behavior in disturbed or restored grassland habitats and of birds'social behavior and use of space in exhibits at the Bronx Zoo.
Susan has also been involved with conservation on an international scale, working with biologists from Argentina to Indonesia to South Africa. She is currently active in conservation in her hometown, having served for five years on the planning board for five years for the town of Parsippany, NJ, and being currently on its environmental advisory committee.
Susan holds an MS degree in ecology from The Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in ecology and evolution from Rutgers University.
Kathryn joined NYC Audubon in September 2014. She is eager to advance NYC Audubon’s scientific research, to build its educational work and public programs, and to support its advocacy activities throughout the five boroughs—all efforts that share a common goal of preserving critical natural areas that provide wild birds with welcoming, safe, and healthy habitats. A healthy environment for wild birds is a healthy environment for all New Yorkers.
Raised in suburban Washington, DC, Kathryn learned to love wild birds at the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She has built her professional career in New York City. She served for the past two years as director, principal gifts with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the zoological and global conservation organization headquartered at the Bronx Zoo. From 2001 to 2012 she was director of development at Wave Hill, the public garden and cultural center in the northwest Bronx, following seven years in a similar capacity with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Kathryn studied literature as an undergraduate at SUNY’s Purchase College, and performing arts administration as a graduate student at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
Debra grew up in the Boston area, and her love of nature and animals started at an early age. Her specific interest in birds, however, came much later in life after trying to identify the species she had seen on a trip to Costa Rica. She has been birding and photographing birds ever since.
After college, Debra spent several years working in the film industry at companies such as Miramax Films and National Geographic Films. All the while, she remained passionate about the environment and in 2012 she decided to pursue a Master's degree in conservation biology. Debra started off as an intern at NYC Audubon through her thesis work on horseshoe crabs and shorebirds in Jamaica Bay. She is excited to be continuing this work and assisting with NYC Audubon's other conservation and research programs as a research associate.
Debra holds a BA in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MA in conservation biology from Columbia University.
Andrew is excited to be part of the incredible team at NYC Audubon and work towards bird and environmental conservation in the City's five boroughs. Born and raised in New York City, Andrew has always appreciated the wilder side of the city, most notably Central Park. From his time at NYC Audubon he has learned about many of the other natural wonders in the City, including Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Pelham Bay Park, and the "Harbor Herons" islands of Swinburne Island and the Brother Islands.
Andrew holds a BA in Communications and Media Studies from Fordham University.
Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Leo Wexler-Mann is a New York City-based pianist, composer, and podcaster. Since graduating from Juilliard in 2015, Leo has worked as a collaborative pianist, an archive assistant for the New York Philharmonic, and a music teacher. He’s held faculty positions at music schools in Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as running his own private studio. Leo spent much of his childhood birdwatching in Minnesota, learning calls, species, and behavior. It’s a love that has stayed with him to this day; hermit thrushes pop up regularly in his music.
He currently lives in the Bronx where he has started a home recording studio and collaborates constantly with incredibly talented musicians and dear friends.
Senior Conservation Biologist
Originally from Maryland, Kaitlyn grew up with one foot in the rural countryside and another in the urban landscape of Baltimore. This dichotomy has continued to drive her passion for urban ecology and urban wildlife conservation, concepts that to some people seem diametrically opposed. Kaitlyn began her career in the biological sciences by studying native plants, surveying monarch butterflies, assisting with songbird banding, and working in environmental education. In 2011 she moved to New York City to study ecology at Fordham University and completed her Master's degree thesis work on the City’s urban bats.
Kaitlyn first came to NYC Audubon in 2013 as an intern focusing on the Project Safe Flight program and she is thrilled to re-join the team as a staff conservation biologist. Her current research interests include animal migration and movement and innovative approaches to creating habitat in urban spaces. In her spare time, Kaitlyn enjoys hiking, photography, making her own clothes, and drinking bird-friendly coffee.
Kaitlyn holds an MS in Biology and an Advanced Certificate in conservation biology from Fordham University and a BA in biology & psychology from McDaniel College.
Director of Development
Kellye joined NYC Audubon in January 2015. She is an avid birder who led walks for several years in Central Park and at Jamaica Bay for The Nature Conservancy. Formerly the director of operations for the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, she worked, with co-author Deborah Rivel, on Birdwatching in New York City and on Long Island (2016, University Presses of New England). She is thrilled to be part of a team whose work focuses on making New York City a bird-friendly place.
Kellye holds a BA in art history from Vanderbilt University and a MA in arts administration from Columbia University.
Institutional Giving Manager
Anne joined the staff of NYC Audubon in June 2017 as Institutional Giving Manager. After growing up watching sprawl replace the fields and forests of the Hudson Valley, she has dedicated her career as a writer and editor to communicating about environmental issues. In the 1980s and 90s, she was an editor at Garden magazine of the New York Botanical Garden, which sounded an early alarm on climate change, tropical deforestation, and the worldwide loss of plant diversity, and at the National Audubon Society, where she edited the Audubon Activist. As the parks columnist for Gotham Gazette from 1999 to 2012, she covered policy, politics, and news related to the city’s parks and natural areas. She also produced digital and fundraising communications for environmental nonprofits including The Conservation Campaign and Open Space Institute.
She has published articles in Audubon, Land & People, and other magazines, and is the author of Rescuing Wetlands Close to Home, published by the Trust for Public Land. A resident of Brooklyn, Anne always looks for a chance to get outdoors, whether to research a story, walk with a friend in Prospect Park, or hike and canoe in the wild.
Anne has a BA in Literature from Bennington College, and a Certificate in Conservation and Environmental Sustainability from Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
Education and Public Programs Manager
Danielle Sherman joined NYC Audubon as programs manager and advocacy coordinator in February 2017, coming from a background in education and logistics. Most recently she has worked as an interpretation associate for Liberty Science Center and as the director of scheduling and advance for the Speaker of the New York City Council.
Raised in the Hudson Valley Region, Danielle still harbors a deep love for the area and its wildlife. She holds a BA in Latin American Studies from Bard College and an MA in Environmental Conservation Education from NYU.
Emilio Tobón with American Oystercatcher
Born in Mexico City, Emilio has studied seabirds all across the globe. His bachelor’s thesis at the National Autonomous University of Mexico was in the ecology and behavior of the Elegant Tern at Isla Rasa in the Gulf of California. His PhD research studied the ecology and behavior of the Magnificent Frigatebird during chick development in Isla Isabel, off Mexico’s Pacific Coast. For five years, he worked to study and conserve seabirds in the “Seabird Capital of the World,” New Zealand.
Emilio moved to New York City in 2008 and soon after volunteered on several different NYC Audubon Harbor Herons projects under the direction of Dr. Susan Elbin. Since 2011, he has been conducting surveys of the American Oystercatcher population in Breezy Point, Queens, as well as assisting with field work for several other NYC Audubon conservation projects, including testing bird-friendly glass at their testing tunnel at the Bronx Zoo from 2014 to 2016.
Tod Winston with Great Egret
Communications Content Manager, Special Projects; Research Associate and Birding Guide
Tod wears several NYC Audubon hats. In his role as communications content manager for special projects, Tod is managing editor and designer of The Urban Audubon, and manages and edits publications such as our Annual Report and new Strategic Plan. In his research associate role, he has led NYC Audubon's Harbor Herons Nesting Survey for the past six years, helps with wading bird and cormorant bird-banding, and provides ID help with Project Safe Flight collision victims. Finally, Tod is one of NYC Audubon's birding guides: he teaches our Beginning Birding course and leads walks and trips including the spring Birding by Ear series. [a href = missing] Read more about his work as one of our guides.
Tod began working with NYC Audubon in 2007 as a volunteer writer for The Urban Audubon. Since then he has also served in other roles including program manager and communications manager—as well as program manager of National Audubon's Plants for Birds project. A lifelong birder who got to know the wonders of the natural world in the company of his nature-loving father, Tod is grateful to spend his time bringing new people to the joy of birds and aiding in their conservation.
Tod holds a BA in psychology from Oberlin College and a certificate in postbaccalaureate basic sciences from Columbia University.