Grace Smith-Vidaurre


I am queer and I am a biologist.//


I am a queer Latina. My identity and background have shaped my interests and perspective as a scientist. I received my PhD from New Mexico State University in 2020 for my work in avian population genetics and vocal learning, with a focus on parrot vocalizations. I am primarily interested in the ecology and evolution of vocal learning, or the ability to modify vocalizations through social learning. Vocal learning is a fundamental component of human language, and this cognitive ability is also found in such distantly related taxa as bats, whales, parrots, and songbirds. I study how the social environment influences social information in learned vocalizations, as well as nongenetic inheritance of the neural circuits that underlie vocal learning abilities. I am committed to increasing the representation of diverse people in science, particularly through disseminating coding skills. Feel free to write if you’re interested in my research, or you’d like to get in touch about grad school and research opportunities (gsvidaurre[at]