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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Division of Birds

Labrador Duck
Labrador Duck
Christina Gebhard © Smithsonian Institution
bar Image of Mercedes Foster, USGS Curator
    Mercedes S. Foster
    Reserach Associate (USGS - Emeritus Research Zoologist)

  • Phone: (202) 633-0788
  • Fax: (202) 357-1932
  • E-mail: fosterm[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Division of Birds
    PO Box 37012, MRC 116
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    Division of Birds
    10th and Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0116

Related Links

USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center


Ph.D. University of South Florida, Tampa (1974). Biology
M.A. University of California, Berkeley (1965). Zoology, minor Botany
B.A. University of California, Berkeley (1963). Zoology

Research Interests

Current research interests: (1) Social behavior and ecology of Neotropical birds, with emphasis on the evolution of lek behavior, and the ecology of avian frugivory, and seed dispersal; (2) Ecology of migrating and wintering nearctic birds; (3) Biodiversity studies, particularly the development of standard methods for measuring and monitoring biodiversity of different groups of organisms; (4) Conservation biology of birds.

Recent Publications

Foster, Mercedes S. and Johnson, Ned K. 2017. The Annual Cycle and Natural History of a Subtropical Atlantic Forest Avifauna in Paraguay. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 648: 2-83. doi:10.5479/si.19436696.648

Foster, Mercedes S. 2014. Can fruit pulp meet the calcium needs of tropical frugivorous passerines during reproduction?. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 30: 79-88. doi:10.1017/S0266467413000643

Complete List of Foster's Publications and Downloadable PDFs


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