Natalia Borrego is a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the Core Curriculum at The American University Cairo (AUC), Department of Biology. Her research focuses on African mammal behavior and ecology. Her areas of specialty include ecology, conservation biology, ethology and cognitive evolution. Her research is published in Animal Behavior, Animal Cognition, Behavioral Processes, The Journal of Mammalogy and Behavioral Ecology. Borrego is the first person to formally investigate cognition in big cats and the first person to experimentally establish the presence of cognitive abilities associated with learning, memory and problem-solving in African lions. She takes an interdisciplinary approach and applies the mechanistic insights she gained from her research to current issues in wildlife conservation. Boreggo values making science accessible to broad audiences and her work is featured in several broadcast documentaries, scientific American and science magazines. Her teaching emphasizes a scientific processes approach with a focus on problem-based learning. She has received multiple fellowships aimed at increasing student participation in research, including an NSF science made sensible doctoral fellowship and an NIH Initiative for maximizing student development doctoral fellowship.
- Identifying the ultimate and proximate drivers of animal behavior and cognition
- Identifying factors regulating populations in social systems
- Identifying the evolutionary drivers of complex behaviors and how primary drivers differ among systems
- The importance of male dynamics in the population regulation
- Applying the mechanistic understanding gained from investigations in the above areas to issues in wildlife conservation