Call for Storytellers for AOS & SCO–SOC 2023

Birds as Bridges Storytelling Event


Please join your friends and colleagues for an evening of laughter, tears, and joy as we listen to five captivating stories that reflect the diversity of experiences within our ornithological community. For this engaging event, we are seeking uplifting stories that express the theme of this year’s conference, which is “Birds as Bridges.” The Storytelling event is planned at RBC Place London for Saturday, 12 August, from 7:30–8:30 p.m. ET.

As in previous storytelling events, we will showcase five storytellers who will share 8- to 10-minute stories. We are partnering with Story Collider to provide skilled coaching for storytellers one month prior to the meeting to craft their stories for the stage. Story coaching will involve two one-hour, one-on-one virtual sessions tailored to participants to focus on developing their personal narratives. The preparation and coaching that our storytellers will receive is a valuable form of professional development that will help speakers improve their science communication and public-speaking skills. Learning the art of storytelling makes science and the people behind it more accessible, inclusive, and relevant for broad audiences. 

If you are interested in joining us in London to share a personal story from your experiences in ornithology, please fill out this Google Form with a short pitch of your story (200-words max) by 5 MAY 2023 (deadline extended). We strongly encourage pitches from ornithologists who self-identify as members of historically underrepresented groups in ornithology and birding. We also welcome story pitches from ornithologists who speak English as a second language (stories can be multilingual and translation will be available). Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your colleagues in the ornithology community in a new and exciting way!

For more information on what makes a good story and what to expect as a featured storyteller, see The Moth’s Tips and Tricks. For questions about this event, contact Dr. Nanda Rodriguez (

Storytelling Event Organizers

Dr. Nandadevi Cortes

Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Ithaca College, Ithaca NY

Nandadevi Cortes is an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Ithaca College where she teaches evolution and ecology to first year students, she also teaches Ornithology to biology majors. Her research is focused on the role that geographic barriers have had in shaping the evolutionary history of neotropical species using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. Her students are currently studying vocalization between different populations of Orioles species to add more information into their evolutionary history. 

Twitter: @NandaHedwig

Dr. Nick Mason

Assistant Professor and Curator of Birds, Louisiana State University and Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science

Nick Mason is an Assistant Professor and Curator of Birds at Louisiana State University and the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science. His research group studies systematics, taxonomy, and the ecology and evolution of color, song, and migration with natural history collections as the unifying theme.

Twitter: @Nick_mas0n

Emily Williams

Ph.D. Candidate, Biology, Georgetown University

Emily Williams is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Biology Department at Georgetown University. Emily’s research centers in migration ecology, understanding the ecological drivers that influence variation in migratory behavior. Emily is passionate about outreach and the accessibility of science, and never foregoes an opportunity to get people excited about birds.

Twitter: @wayfaringwilly

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