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Graduate Students

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Elizabeth Bergen (email:

My research is on the social signals of satin bowerbirds, an Australian songbird with particularly complex courtship displays. I am broadly interested in animal signaling and information use.


Sarah Bluher (email:

I am interested in how and why social groups form. I am using paper wasps to test models of cooperation and competition.

Teja Bollu (email:

My research is on teaching mice how to use joysticks.

Geoffrey Broadhead (email:

Ruidong Chen (email:

I am investigating how brain circuits evaluate ongoing motor performance against internal goals.?

Yu-Ting Cheng (email:

I am using multiphoton microscopy to study spinal cord circuit in awake, locomoting mouse in healthy and diseased states

T. Samuel Dillon (email:

My main interest is the effect of steroid hormones in the central nervous system. Using the rat olfactory bulb as a model circuit, I study modulation and plasticity in sensory system and neural networks.

Joseph DiPietro (email:

I study dendritic and synaptic dynamics and how they change day and night.

Jay Falk (email:

I am interested in the function and evolution of color polymorphisms in female hummingbirds.

Akash Guru (email:

I'm interested in studying how neural dynamics change over depression.

Yi-Yun Ho (email:

I am interested in how neuromodulator input affects decision making in threatening situations. My current main focus is on serotonergic input to medial prefrontal cortex.

Sara Keen (

I’m interested in cooperation, social evolution, sexual selection, and communication, particularly vocal signaling in birds. My research explores how birds use publicly available acoustic information (e.g. alarm calls and songs) to learn about their environment and how contributions to social information vary among species.

McKenna Kelly (email:
Callum Kingwell (email:

Jonathan Lambert (email:

I am broadly interested in understanding the evolutionary forces responsible for producing speciation phenotypes, and how these phenotypes accumulate to form new species. Specifically, I'm interested in the role post-copulatory sexual selection plays in the rapid speciation of Hawaiian Laupala crickets.

Joshua LaPergola (email:

Behavioral ecology exhibits a strong "temperate zone bias": most of what we know derives from studies of organisms living in temperate (especially Northern) latitudes. My contribution to help remedy this bias is studying the adaptive causes and consequences of group-living and sexual size dimorphism in a colonial, Neotropical bird, the Hispaniolan Woodpecker.

Andrew Legan (email:

I am fascinated by animal social behavior and the basic sensory mechanisms underlying social interactions. I am currently studying the genomic basis of chemosensation in paper wasps.
Matt Lewis (email:

Kyle Martin (email:

I study signal evolution, mimicry, and deceptive pollination in diverse plant lineages.

Caitlin Miller (email:

Julie Miller (email:

I'm interested in the evolution of cooperation and group-level phenotypes, like collective behaviors. Currently, I work on the raiding behavior of slave-making ants, but I am broadly interested in ants and other social insects.

Maria Modanu (email:
Esther Niemasik (email:

Mickey Pardo (email:

I study vocal communication and social cognition in the acorn woodpecker.

David Peck (email:

I am fascinated by the ways parasites behave as they parasitize their hosts, the ways hosts behave to fend off their parasites, and the ways parasites can change the behavior of their hosts. My thesis work is focusing on both the behavior of the honey bee parasite Varroa destructor and the behaviors of bees that help them defend against this parasitic mite.

Ryan Post (email:

I am studying the effects of chronic stress on motivated behavior and anhedonia, and how connectivity between cognitive and reward systems may change as a result of stress.

Andrea Roeser (email:

I hope to uncover the neural mechanisms that underlie song evaluation in songbirds.
Saumya Sahai (email:
Hailey Scofield (email:
Changwoo Seo (email:

Michael Smith (email:

I'm interested in how honey bee workers sense the size of their colony, and how they make the switch from investing in survival/growth to reproduction. I spend lots of time counting bees and looking at drone comb.

Glenn Stamps (email:

I am examining the role of chemical communication both in mate recognition and species delimitation,. I use behavior trials and gas chromatography to explore variation in cuticular hydrocarbon expression within and between species and the implications of this variation on reproductive isolation.

Rose Tatarsky (email:

I am interested in the genetic and neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying the peripheral acoustic and vocal motor system in the plainfin midshipman (Porichthys notatus) as well as other species of vocal teleost fish. 

Derrick Thrasher (email:

I am investigating the role of social selection on the evolution of female plumage ornaments and reproductive strategies in the variegated fairy-wren.

Joel Tripp (email:

I am interested in the brain mechanisms underlying alternative mating tactics, aggression, and social interactions. My research has focused on gene expression and hormonal effects in the preoptic area and midbrain of midshipman fish, using a combination of field behavioral experiments, neurophysiology, and next-generation sequencing.

Rebekah Villalta (email:

I am interested in avian behavior and phylogeography, divergence of sexual signals, and extra-pair mating in birds.

Hayden Waller (email:

I'm interested in the role nervous system anatomy plays in the evolution of behaviorally relevant variation of cricket song

Joseph Welklin (email:

I study how social environment and androgens influence sexual selection in Red-backed Fairy-wrens, a small Australian songbird.