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Amanda Savagian

Amanda Savagian

Department Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Faculty Adviser Christie Riehl
Year of Study G1
Undergraduate Institution University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate Major Ecology & Evolutionary Biology


Personal Bio I grew up in Wisconsin and have been fascinated by animals since day one. In college I joined two research labs, studying communication in cowbirds in Pennsylvania, and working extensively with wild owl monkeys in Argentina for two summers. After graduation, I worked on a few more research projects to get more experience in the field. I spent time in Montana tracking, trapping, and radio-collaring gray wolves, and in Puerto Rico where I observed macaque social behavior for six months. I also interned with the scientist who would be become my PhD advisor in Panama studying cuckoos (see below!) In my spare time, I like to hike, camp, and study French (read: I eat cheese).
Fun Fact I'm licensed to drive a boat in the Panama Canal!
Research Keywords animal behavior, communication, ornithology
Research Pitch I’m interested in how animals use communication to solve social problems, and how vocal communication especially can help group-living animals perform cooperative behaviors. I study the Greater Ani, a cooperatively breeding cuckoo living in Panama. Anis produce complex group-level vocalizations that seem to have multiple functions and are used in multiple social contexts. The goal of my research is to identify how their vocalizations are structured and produced, how they function in ani social life, and how they may have coevolved with the greater ani’s unique social system.
Meet and Greet 10/12 Yes, I will attend
Meet and Greet 10/13 No, I will not attend.
Meet and Greet 10/17 Yes, I will attend
Meal for Mentoring 11/14 Yes, I will attend.
Meal for Mentoring 11/15 No, I will not attend.


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