Faces of AOS: Sara A. Kaiser Bio

“Reunited with my love. I think the feeling was mutual. zoo zoo zoo zeeeeee!” Sara Kaiser studied Black-throated Blue Warblers for her dissertation.

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• Website/Blog/Etc:

• My position with AOS:
Early Professionals Committee Chair

• My current full-time title and institution:
Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Center for Conservation Genomics

• My current career stage:

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Carol Vleck (undergrad, Iowa State University)
Catherine Lindell (masters, Michigan State University)
Eric Kershner (NGO)
Michael Webster (PhD, Cornell University)
Scott Sillett (PhD, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center)
Robert Fleischer (postdoc, Smithsonian Center for Conservation Genomics)

Making friends with the local endemics – the Friendly Bush-warbler on Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I follow songbirds around the forests to snoop on their secret sex lives

• My favorite bird and why:
The boisterous tui native to New Zealand – they have their own pom poms to cheer each complicated note and awkward click and wheeze

• I am involved with AOS because:
When I was introduced to this bird community by the Vlecks as an undergrad in 2001, it felt like home; AOS is now my home society

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
AOS meetings are reunions bringing together my favorite people from different chapters of my life – a chance to catch up with friends and their science

• Birds are important to me because:
Birds connect me to the natural world no matter where on Earth I am standing

Processing a bird at the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego where Suellen Lynn and Sara started a MAPS banding station.

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Don’t be in such a rush, there’s a world full of birds to see, take advantage of opportunities to go see them

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
What is the relatedness of individuals migrating north and south together?

• Fun random fact about myself:
Earlier in my life I was a synchronized swimmer – my twin sister and I tap-stroked and ballet-legged our way through our youth