Welcome to the Webster Lab!

Exploring the ecology, evolution and mechanisms of animal reproductive behavior and sexual signals, and educating others about our natural world and its importance to our daily lives.

We study animal social behavior from an evolutionary perspective, particularly focusing on the processes and outcomes of sexual selection. Our work is integrative, in that we examine issues from both ultimate and proximate perspectives. This research combines intensive fieldwork with genetic, hormonal and other analyses in the lab, to unlock the secret lives of birds and other taxa.

We are part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as well as the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior.


Lab News

Weblab welcomes new postdocs Julian Kapoor and Marcelo Araya Salas. Julian is joining us to help bring cutting-edge tracking technology to our studies of fairy-wren social behavior, and Marcelo is embarking on a new project exploring the evolutionary significance of vocal learning in birds.

In August, Mike had the honor of giving a plenary talk to about 1,500 professional ornithologists at the 6th North American Ornithological Conference in Washington DC — the largest such gathering in the history of humankind!

Congrats to recent Weblab alums that have recently published some of their work from their time with us. Sara Kaiser recently published a paper on using SNPs to assess parentage in birds, and Willow Lidnsay published a paper, including an opinion summary piece with an awesome cartoon, exploring the role of testosterone in development of sexually dimorphic plumage in fairy-wrens.




Banner photo by Graeme Chapman