Nancy Chen

Nancy Chen acting as a pedestal for a scrub jay

• Email:

• Twitter Handle:

• Website/Blog/Etc:

• My position with AOS:
Early Professionals Committee Member
Diversity Committee Member

• My current full-time title and institution:
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis

• My current career stage:

• My lineage of mentors/labs:
Scott Edwards (undergrad)
John Fitzpatrick + Andrew Clark (Ph.D. + postdoc)
Graham Coop (postdoc)

• #badlyexplainyourjob:
I tell a computer to look for patterns in files too big to read, then convince people to trust what my computer found

• My favorite bird and why:
Don’t really have a favorite species. I love corvids because they are so smart, making them extra fun to watch and interact with.

• I am involved with AOS because:
I went to AOS meetings as a young grad student and enjoyed being a part of a group of scientists asking diverse questions but united by a love of birds.

• The best part about being a member of AOS is:
I find that postdocs are often forgotten, but AOS listens to and helps promote early professionals.

• Birds are important to me because:
Birds are (relatively) easy to observe in the wild, which makes it possible to study individual behavior & fitness in a natural environment

• Advice I have to offer a student (master’s level or younger) in ornithology:
Don’t put your life on hold for grad school / work. You will only get busier, so learn to achieve work-life balance early.

• One ornithology question or problem I would like to solve or see solved:
What mechanisms maintain genetic variation for fitness-related traits in natural populations?

• Fun random fact about myself:
I have an extra rib.


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