Post-doc Assistant Professor
Core Curriculum


Brief Biography

Natalia Borrego is a Post Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the Core Curriculum at The American University Cairo in the Department of Biology. Her research focuses on African mammal behavior and ecology. Her areas of specialty include: ecology, conservation biology, ethology, and cognitive evolution. She is published in Animal Behavior, Animal Cognition, Behavioral ProcessesThe Journal of Mammalogy, and Behavioral Ecology. She is the first to formally investigate cognition in big cats and the first 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 gained from her research to current issues in wildlife conservation. Borrego values making science accessible to broad audiences and her work is featured in several broadcast documentaries, Scientific American, and Science Magazine. 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. 


  • B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida. 2005
  • M.Sc. in Environmental Science, Florida Gulf Coast University. 2011
  • Ph.D. in Biology, University of Miami. 2016
Research Interest
  • 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