SWS : Dr. Rachel Page, Evolutionary Ecologist (STRI)

Dr. Rachel Page received a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures and Anthropology from Columbia University in 1966. She received a PhD in Evolution and Behavior from the University of Texas in 2008.

The focus of Dr. Page's research is vertebrate behavior, in particular the cognitive behavior of animals in nature. She is specifically interested in predator-prey interactions, the sensory and cognitive ecology of foraging, and the effect of eavesdroppers on the evolution of their sexually advertising prey. These studies allow her to examine how an animal's sensory and cognitive abilities influence how it makes a living in the wild, how it exploits the behavior of other species to do so, and how the dynamics of these predator-prey interactions evolve. She has studied these questions extensively in the frog-eating bat, Trachops cirrhosus, a predator that eavesdrops on the mating signals of its anuran prey. She worked as a field biologist for several years with US Fish and Wildlife and USGS Biological Resources Division, researching Atlantic puffins, guillemots, terns and eiders, and later, Hawaiian honeycreepers. She was a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow for a year in Germany, with a field season in Bulgaria, studying comparative cognition and learning in bats. She joined the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama as a staff scientist in November 2009.

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