Sam is intrigued by plant-animal interactions within changing forest ecosystems. Particularly, he is curious about how functional traits vary within communities composed of native and non-native species, and how novel species interactions accelerate or hinder invasion processes. For Sam's PhD research, he is studying the role of introduced game birds in seed dispersal networks of Hawaiian forests. Two non-native game bird species, the Kalij Pheasant and Erckel’s Francolin, are well established in forest habitat of Oahu, where all native seed dispersers are extinct. To explore whether these birds contribute to plant species invasion or conservation, Sam is investigating their diet, gut passage effects on seed condition, and movement ecology. This work is a part of the Hawaii VINE Project, a larger investigation of seed dispersal networks in novel ecosystems of Hawaii.