Christie Riehl received her B.A. from Harvard in 2005 and her Ph.D. from Princeton in 2011, then returned to Princeton in 2015 as an assistant professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB). Her research focuses on the evolution of animal behavior, especially breeding behaviors in birds. Most birds nest as pairs (a male and female take care of the young) but many species have bizarre breeding behavior, including brood parasitism (females dump their eggs into another female's nest), cooperative breeding (extra birds help the parents take care of the young), and communal breeding (two or more females share a nest and cooperatively care for the young). Her field work, mostly in Panama, focuses on these unusual breeding systems. Current projects include the evolution of cooperative decision-making (how do groups of animals arrive at shared decisions?) and the evolution of brood parasitism. At Princeton, she teaches Behavioral Ecology (EEB 313) and several graduate courses. Dr. Riehl is also affiliated with the Program in Latin American Studies and the Princeton Environmental Institute and has advised many undergraduate senior thesis projects and PEI summer internships in Latin America. In her spare time, she enjoys birding, contra dancing, playing the cello, watching football (especially her hometown team, the New Orleans Saints), and spending time with her husband and her toddler, Desi.
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology