50WomenAtYale150 Lecture Series
Cassie Stoddard '08


Jasmina Wiemann


The Colorful World of Birds

Thursday, October 1, 5:30 pm


Register Now




Mary Caswell Stoddard (Cassie) ‘08
Assistant Professor
Princeton University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Jasmina Wiemann
PhD Candidate
Yale University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences



Birds evolved roughly 150 million years ago. Today, they are the most diverse and colorful land vertebrates. In conversation with Yale's Jasmina Wiemann, Princeton Professor and Yale alumna Mary Caswell Stoddard (Cassie) '08 discusses her fascination with the ecological and evolutionary processes that drive this variation.


In the field, she and her research group are establishing a system for studying color perception in wild hummingbirds in the Rocky Mountains. These tiny iridescent birds lead colorful lives, performing spectacular courtship dives and pollinating diverse wildflowers. She also studies the avian egg, a remarkable structure built to break. The eggs laid by stealthy cuckoos and flightless emus offer insights into avian behavior and evolution.