The Animal Behavior Podcast

S2E1 Jenn Smith on Ground Squirrels, Female Leadership, and SLACs

May 02, 2022 Season 2 Episode 1
The Animal Behavior Podcast
S2E1 Jenn Smith on Ground Squirrels, Female Leadership, and SLACs
Show Notes

In this episode, Matthew speaks with Jenn Smith (@JennSmithSocBeh), associate professor of biology at Mills College.

They talk about Jenn's work directing a long-term study of the social behavior of California ground squirrels, including the opportunities and risks presented by remote data collection technologies. They also discuss Jenn's work connecting animal behavior and sociological questions, such as the female leadership paradox and the inheritance of wealth and privilege.

After the break, they talk about Jenn's experience as a professor at a small liberal arts college, what the students and mentorship environment is like, and what steps students and postdocs who are seeking such a job should take.

This week's Two-Minute Takeaway comes from Dr. Gabriela Pinho (@Gabriela_MPinho), a researcher at the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas and recent PhD from UCLA . Read Gabriela's open-access paper about aging in marmots here.

Media relevant to today's show:

 Jenn's paper about the social networks of ground squirrels above and below ground:

Smith, J. E., Gamboa, D. A., Spencer, J. M., Travenick, S. J., Ortiz, C. A., Hunter, R. D., & Sih, A. (2018). Split between two worlds: automated sensing reveals links between above-and belowground social networks in a free-living mammal. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 373 (1753), 20170249.

2.  Female leadership in social mammals:

Smith, J. E., Fichtel, C., Holmes, R. K., Kappeler, P. M., van Vugt, M., & Jaeggi, A. V. (2022). Sex bias in intergroup conflict and collective movements among social mammals: male warriors and female guides. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 377(1851), 20210142.

3.  Jenn's new work on the evolution of privilege:
Smith, J. E., Natterson-Horowitz, B., & Alfaro, M. E. (2022). The nature of privilege: intergenerational wealth in animal societies. Behavioral Ecology, 33(1), 1-6.

And hear the segment talking about this paper on Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!


The Animal Behavior Podcast is created by a team of animal behavior researchers and audio professionals. Come meet us here! We receive production support from the Cornell Broadcast studio, directed by Bert Odom-Reed and financial support from the Animal Behavior Society.