The American Ornithological Society (AOS) names Christina P. Riehl as new Ornithology editor-in-chief

Riehl is the first female editor of the journal in its 147-year history


October 18, 2023—CHICAGO—The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is pleased to announce Christina (Christie) P. Riehl as the new editor-in-chief for its top-ranked journal, Ornithology. She will assume her new role on January 1, 2024, working side-by-side with the journal’s current editor-in-chief T. Scott Sillett until that date. “Christie brings a wealth of ornithological knowledge and editorial experience to the job. I am thrilled that she is the incoming editor-in-chief and look forward to working with her,” Sillett says.

Dr. Riehl is the first female editor of the journal in its 147-year history. “I’m very honored to be selected for this position!” Dr. Riehl enthuses. Many of the past editors-in-chief of Ornithology have been Riehl’s mentors and intellectual heroes, she explains. “Fortunately, though, I’m just the latest in a very long line of women who have contributed to the AOS, and more broadly, the field of ornithology. So the sense of being ‘first’ is dwarfed by the sense of being part of a large—and increasingly diverse—community of people brought together by the desire to publish and disseminate first-rate science.” She joins a strong AOS editorial team that includes Ornithological Applications editor-in-chief Catherine Lindell and a cadre of associate editors from both AOS journals.

Dr. Riehl is an associate professor in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at Princeton University. She received her B.A. in biology from Harvard University in 2005, and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University in 2011. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, then a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. She returned to Princeton’s EEB department as an assistant professor in 2015, and became an associate professor in 2022. She studies the ecology and evolution of avian mating systems, parental care, and social behaviors, particularly in the Neotropics, and is particularly interested in how predictions from fundamental evolutionary theory—life history tradeoffs, kin selection, parent-offspring conflict—can explain the diversity of reproductive behaviors in birds. Dr. Riehl’s research is based on field work and combines field experiments with long-term monitoring of individuals and populations.

Dr. Riehl has been an associate editor of Ornithology since 2014, and her research has been published in Ornithology (previously The Auk: Ornithological Advances and The Auk). She was awarded an AOS James G. Cooper Early Professional Award in 2013, and was elected as an Elective Member of the AOS in 2018 and as an AOS Fellow in 2020.

Dr. Riehl has been a birder since she was 12 years old. “Seeing a Wood Thrush in my local park (Audubon Park in New Orleans, Louisiana) and then going to the library and finding the name ‘Wood Thrush’ in a field guide on a plate depicting my bird sparked a visceral thrill,” she reminisces. “I never looked back after that; I loved watching birds, especially finding their nests, and that led me to a career in ornithology as a science,” she says. 

Dr. Riehl also plays the cello and is active in the folk music and dance community, especially contra dance. She says her four-year-old son, Desi, “never stops talking or moving” and thanks to him, she knows a lot about monster trucks. She’s an avid reader of fiction, history, biography, and nature writing; a fan of her hometown NFL team, the New Orleans Saints; and of course, loves birds and birding.

About the journal

Ornithology is an international, scientific journal of the American Ornithological Society (the other is Ornithological Applications). The journal publishes original research that tests fundamental, scientific hypotheses through ornithological studies and advances our understanding of living or extinct bird species. Descriptive studies are considered if they present important discoveries or methodological advances that open novel avenues of ornithological research.

Ornithology has been published continuously since 1876. Its first, 8-volume series was published as the Bulletin of the Nuttall Ornithological Club until 1883. The second (current) series began with The Auk’s first volume in 1884. The Auk became The Auk: Ornithological Advances in 2014 to emphasize its revised focus on basic science. The journal was officially retitled Ornithology for its 138th volume in 2021. It was published from 1876 to 1883 by the Nuttall Ornithological Club, from 1884 to 2016 by the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU), and since 2016 by the American Ornithological Society (the result of a merger of the AOU and the Cooper Ornithological Society).


  1. What is the society doing about solar panels and windmills killing birds? Would the birds not care more about dying than what their names are?

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