Sarah Wagner


Public Information Specialist


Avian Ecology • Science Communication • Education

I work at the interface between the public and the Lab to answer questions, convey the Lab’s mission, and highlight resources and opportunities available from the Lab.

From an early age, I was drawn to the mysteries and beauty of natural history and in college I took my first ornithology class. Suddenly the flat corn and soybean landscape of Indiana was rich with story and intrigue. Understanding birds became my new favorite way to understand the world. After college, I did research on Palila honeycreepers, Florida Scrub-Jays, Kirtland’s Warblers, and Brown-headed Cowbirds. I was always particularly drawn to projects that incorporated outreach and education. I grew to understand the importance of communicating science and making conservation applicable to people.

During my Ph.D. and Master’s work, I examined how the natural history of birds can inform conservation efforts, with a focus on how bird life history traits and behavior can determine responses to landscape disturbance. I worked in New Mexico to study the relationship of bird communities to invasive riparian vegetation for my Master’s, and my Ph.D. research combined animal behavior and macroecology patterns in Australian honeyeaters. During my graduate career, I taught every semester, and I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of outreach and research; I thrive in an interactive teaching and research environment. I am devoted to conservation of biodiversity worldwide through effective science education and communication.

I really enjoy continually working on how best to communicate science to the public. We have so many amazing resources at the Lab to highlight the applicability of our research, to harness the expertise of citizen scientists, and to give people the tools to understand the world of birds and how to go about conserving them.


Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder
M.A., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder
B.A., Environmental Education, Earlham College

Recent Publications

Sarah Wagner
Center Engagement in Science and Nature

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library