Leonard R. Reitsma

Professor of Zoology

BS, William Paterson College; PhD, Dartmouth College
Email: leonr@plymouth.edu
Homepage: http://oz.plymouth.edu/~leonr/

Contact information

Office: Boyd Science Center, Room 222
Phone: 603-535-2558

About Professor Len Reitsma

Dr. Reitsma received his BS in Biology from William Paterson University in 1985 and his PhD. from Dartmouth College in 1990. He is an avian ecologist and has conducted research on bird populations since 1986. Dr. Reitsma has worked on American Redstarts, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Yellow-shouldered Blackbirds and Northern Waterthrushes in the Caribbean. In 2003, he started a continuous population study on Canada Warblers in Canaan, NH, his home town. Graduate students working with Dr. Reitsma conduct research in the field on populations and communities of vertebrates in New England and abroad. All of his work is collaborative with either graduate and undergraduate students or colleagues. He enjoys his family, the outdoors, travel abroad and bird-watching. He also likes to play and listen to music of all types.

Selected publications/presentations/exhibitions

Roberto-Charron, A. C., J. Kennedy; L. Reitsma; J. Tremblay; R. Krikun; K. Hobson, J. Ibarzabal and K. C. Fraser. 2020. Widely distributed breeding populations of Canada warbler (Cardellina canadensis) converge on migration through Central America. BMC Zoology 5:10 https://doi.org/10.1186/s40850-020-00056-4

Westwood, A., J. D.  Lambert, L. Reitsma, D. S. Stralberg. 2020. Prioritizing Areas for Land Conservation and Forest Management Planning for the Threatened Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis) in the Atlantic Northern Forest of Canada. Diversity: 12, 61; doi:10.3390/d12020061

Burns, C., L. Reitsma. 2018. Rapid Assessment of Breeding Productivity, Demographics, and Habitat Suitability of the Canada Warbler (Cardellina canadensis). In review. Journal of Field Ornithology.

Reitsma, L., C. Burns, and J. Sullivan. 2017. Black capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillusfeeding Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) nestlings. In press.

Reitsma, L. R., J. J. Jukosky, M. L. Goodnow, and A. J. Kimiatek, M. T. Hallworth. 2018. Extra-pair paternity in a long-distance migratory songbird beyond neighbors’ borders and across male age classes. Canadian Journal of Zoology 96: 49-54. dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2016-0277

Demko, A.D., L.R. Reitsma, and C.A. Staicer. 2016. Repertoire structure, song sharing, reproductive success, and territory tenure in a population of Canada Warblers (Cardellina canadensis) in central New Hampshire.  Canadian Journal of Zoology. 94: 283–290 (2016) dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2015-0213

Conrod, Christopher A. and Leonard Reitsma. 2015. Demographic responses of myomorph rodents to a pulsed mast production in a northern hardwood forest. Northeastern Naturalist 22(4): 746-762.

Goodnow, Marissa, and Leonard Reitsma. 2011. Nest-site selection in the Canada Warbler (Wilsonia canadensis) in central New Hampshire. Canadian Journal of Zoology: 89: 1172-1177.

Awards or recognition

Distinguished Scholar Award, 2015, Plymouth State University
Distinguished Teacher Award, 2005, Plymouth State University
Patchen Miller Award, 2005, Upper Valley Land Trust (for conservation work)
Courses Taught


Ecology (BI 4050)
Current Environmental Issues (BI 4800)
Conservation (BI 3240)
Ornithology (BI 3250)
Tropical Biology (BI 3210)
Vertebrate Zoology (BI 2040)
Biology Seminar (BI 4960)

In the past:

Animal Behavior and intro level biology for non-majors
Biology of Sex Roles (IS 3610)
Graduate Seminar in Ecology and Environmental Science


Dr. Reitsma carpools in his car that runs on waste vegetable oil, he heats his home 70% with wood from his own forest, produces about 70% of the electricity his family consumes with solar panels, keeps laying hens, and eats about 70% locally produced organic foods. He loves birds and being in the forest year-round.