Grace Smith-Vidaurre, PhD

Research & Collaborations

@José Francisco Calvo

Ongoing Projects

Evaluating acoustic variation in vampire bats


Social learning of vocalizations has been documented in bats as well. In this exciting new collaboration with Gerry Carter, we are evaluating patterns of acoustic variation in vampire bats to assess whether this system also exhibits evidence consistent with vocal learning.

Origins and shared selection pressures in a biological invader


Together with Dr. Michael Russello at the University of British-Columbia, and collaborators at the National Center of Genome Resources and elsewhere, we are using a genomic approach to identify origins and natural selection pressures of invasive monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) populations.

Vocal learning post-invasion in monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus)


In this collaboration with undergraduate student Valeria Perez and others, we are performing a direct comparison of calls from the invasive and native ranges to ask whether signaling of social information in monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) has changed as a result of their invasion process.

A trade-off in signaling social information among three vocal learning species


Yellow-naped amazons (Amazona auropalliata) converged on shared call structure across several social scales, including regional populations, but weak individual signatures. Thick-billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha) and monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) exhibited weak convergence on shared call structure within sites, and strong individual signatures. This finding indicates that vocal learning species face a trade-off in signaling social information in learned acoustic signals, which likely reflect differences in underlying social dynamics.

The social environment is key to rapid adaptation through epigenetic processes


This review is particularly targeted towards questions about adaptation to new and/or human-altered environments, as this area of ecology & evolutionary biology has traditionally focused on epigenetics processes in the narrow (molecular) sense.

Temporal and spatial stability of regional dialects in yellow-naped amazons


I am a collaborator in this ongoing project led by Dr. Christine Dahlin at the Unviersity of Pittsburgh. Together with Dr. Dahlin and others. This project will first tackle temporal stability of calls recorded over two decades in Costa Rica, and then spatial stability of calls recorded in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where we extended our geographic sampling of yellow-naped amazons in 2016. I am currently working on acoustic analysis for the temporal stability questions.

Genetics of naturalized North American parrot species


I am a collaborator on this book chapter with Dr. Michael Russello and my PhD mentor, Dr. Tim Wight. This chapter outlines how genetic approaches and tools can lead to important insight about naturalized parrot origins, establishment and spread in North America. We used ring-necked parakeets and monk parakeets as case study in this chapter, as there is generally little genetic research on invasive parrot populations. In review by editor.