Shana Caro, Ph.D.Columbia University
Shana Caro is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, working with Dr. Dustin Rubenstein. She received her A.B. in human evolutionary biology from Harvard University and her D.Phil. in zoology from the University of Oxford, supervised by Professors Ashleigh Griffin and Stu West. She next worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
Caro is interested in the evolution of social behavior, particularly in how signaling systems evolve when there are evolutionary conflicts of interest between actors. Using parent-offspring signaling in birds as a framework, she has shown that variation in signaling systems can be explained by a combination of ecology and life history traits, and she has proposed a novel function for signals. At Columbia, she will integrate physiological, genetic, comparative and behavioral data to explore how environmental and social factors shift how starlings communicate and illuminate the mechanisms underlying these shifts.