Grace Smith-Vidaurre, PhD

Join the Lab

My lab will focus on how animals are using socially learned vocalizations, and how early life experiences may influence these communication signals over short evolutionary timescales. Our research will overlap with data science, ecology, evolution, neuroscience, and open-source methods development.

The lab's primary study systems will be monk parakeets (medium-sized parrots) and zebra finches (small songbirds). We will leverage computational approaches to analyze complex biological or simulated datasets, and develop and test open-access methods to collect and/or analyze biological data. I am currently recruiting for different positions in the lab that can start in summer or Fall 2024 (see below). The lab may be a good fit if you:

 • Are interested in how animals use learned vocalizations to communicate with others
 • Have experience in any of the following areas:
  ◦ Experiments or animal care with captive birds or other species
  ◦ Computational approaches to analyze large datasets
  ◦ Programming in Python, command line, R, or other languages
  ◦ Basic wet lab techniques in molecular biology
  ◦ Neuroanatomical microdissections
  ◦ Developing mathematical or agent-based models to test ideas
 • Enjoy learning new methods to analyze large datasets, developing open-source software, or developing new hardware tools with open electronics (Raspberry Pi)
 • Enjoy brainstorming new ideas with people from different areas of expertise

Students and postdocs in the lab will have opportunities to learn a wide variety of skill sets, including: computational and quantitative skills, coding skills in different programming languages, basic molecular biology skills, open-source methods development, scientific writing and communication, as well as how to brainstorm ideas, and how to lead or support projects as part of an interdisciplinary research group.

I am looking for driven individuals from diverse backgrounds and identities who can fill these different positions in my lab. The forms below have a lot of questions and I appreciate you taking the time to address each question in turn. If it seems that you will be a good fit for one of these positions in the lab, then I will be in touch by email to schedule a follow-up conversation.

 • Undergraduate students: More info is coming soon! I am interested in supporting students who want to learn more about behavioral experiments and data analysis with captive birds, as well as computational methods.
 • Graduate students: Prospective graduate students should fill out this form to provide me with more information.
 • Postdocs: If you are interested in a postdoc position, please fill out this form to provide me with more information.

I’m also excited to work with incoming graduate students or postdocs interested in applying to competitive fellowships (e.g. NSF GRFP, NSF PRFB, Ford Fellowships, or others) to develop their own independent research in the lab.

Prior to getting in touch, please make time to reflect about how you will contribute to the lab’s research, what you want to learn from working in the lab, and where you’d like to go after leaving the lab. This information will help me assess which projects will be a good fit for you, both to support the lab’s research and your own career path.

Contact Email: jointhelab@smith-vidaurre.com