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

We are pleased to welcome two new faces to the Webster Lab: Rebekah Klint is a new PhD student interested in phylogeography
and sexual signals: and Elizabeth Bergen, a new PhD student with Kern Reeve, is interested in sexual signals and cognition in birds and so joins us as a new “friend of the lab”.

Dan Baldassarre has now moved on to be an NSF Postdoc at the University of Miami (working with Al Uy), and Sara Kaiser is
moving to the Smithsonian where she will do a postdoc with Rob Fleischer and Tom Martin. Also, Dan’s paper on genomic
analysis of a fairy-wren hybrid zone put a red-backed wren on the cover of Evolution

Kathryn Grabenstein’s research poster was first runner-up for the Founders Best Undergraduate Poster Award at the Annual
Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society!

Shailee Shah produced an excellent video focused on our IRES program in Australia. You can view it here.

Mike is excited (and relieved!) to announce that the fairy-wren project has received three more years of funding from NSF!!



Banner photo by Graeme Chapman