Research Interests: Greater Ani, Panama, Breeding Group Members, Division of Labor, Workload Inequality, Parental Synchronization, Parental Care, Reproductive Success.
Maria Smith is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Before beginning graduate school at Princeton, Maria earned her bachelor's in biological sciences at Cornell University. Maria studies parental care and social behavior in birds and her dissertation focuses on individual variation in parental care and coordination among caregivers in a Neotropical bird, the Greater Ani (Crotophaga major), which inhabits tropical forests from Panama to Argentina. The Greater Ani has an unusual breeding system: multiple unrelated male-female pairs cooperate to raise their young in a single nest. Maria studies Greater Anis at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.
Topic / Title of Dissertation: Individual variation and coordination in the context of parental care.