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Speaker: Karan Odom, PhD.

Talk: Listening to Nature’s Divas: What Female Songsters Have to Tell Us

April 21 (Wednesday) 7:30 PM via Zoom

Dr. Karan Odom is a behavioral ecologist interested in how animals evolved their often complex and diverse behaviors. She is especially interested in the evolution of elaborate bird songs and the ecological and social selection pressures that have shaped these songs. Karan’s research focuses on the stark similarities and differences seen between female and male bird songs from tropical versus temperate regions. She combines phylogenetic comparative methods with field studies in order to tease apart the evolutionary processes responsible for the biogeographical patterns we see in female and male song today.
Karan is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park, having recently completed a postdoc at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Karan received her masters at the University of Windsor in Ontario studying the function and geographic variation in Barred Owl duets. Then she earned her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) studying male and female song in troupials, a tropical oriole in Puerto Rico. Karan also runs a citizen science project (the Female Bird Song Project – www.femalebirdsong.org), encouraging wildlife enthusiasts to help document the understudied singing behaviors of female songbirds.
She is a co-recipient of the AOS 2019 James G. Cooper Early Professional Award.

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