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I am an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Swarthmore College where I teach organismal biology courses, mentor students and conduct basic research on vertebrate behavior.

My projects investigate how hormones and the brain generate variation in behavior and connect this variation to fitness consequences in the wild. I am especially interested in the biological basis for differences within- and among-individuals with a focus on sexual behavior, coping behavior and (neuro)endocrine traits as the phenotypic characters of interest. Wild songbirds and frogs serve as tractable, relevant and interesting focal organisms. 

When I’m not in the lab or outdoors, you can find me experimenting in the kitchen.


2009            Ph.D.                     University of Texas at Austin | Neuroscience

2002            B.S.                        University of Utah | Biology

Academic Positions

2019–             Associate Professor

Biology Department | Swarthmore College

2013–19              Assistant Professor

Biology Department | Swarthmore College

2010–13        Postdoctoral Fellow (with M. Hau & K. van Oers)

Max Planck Institute-Animal Behavior and the Netherlands Inst. Ecology

2004–09         Ph.D. Student (with M. Ryan)

Integrative Biol. & Neuroscience (UT-Austin) and STRI (Panama)

2003–04        Research Technician (with F. Goller & G. Rose)

Biology Department | University of Utah

2001–03        Curatorial Assistant (with E. Rickart)

Utah Museum of Natural History | University of Utah


2016    NSF MRI #1626008: Development of an observatory for quantitative analysis of collective behavior in animals. Collaborator (PI: Marc Schmidt, UPenn) $339,174

2016    James A. Michener Faculty Fellowship Swarthmore College, $81,500

2011    Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Post-doctoral Research Funding, €82,800

2010    Max Planck Society International Post-doctoral Research Funding, €27,600

2009    Animal Behavior Society Travel Grant, $1000

2009    NSF Travel Grant, $1000

2009    Animal Behavior Society Travel Grant, $500

2009    Animal Behavior Society Allee Best Student Presentation, Honorable Mention

2009    University of Texas Center for Perceptual Systems Travel Grant, $1000

2008    University of Texas Homer Lindsey Bruce Endowed Fellowship, $20,600

2007    University of Texas Center for Perceptual Systems Travel Grant, $1000

2007    Animal Behavior Society Research Grant, $500

2007    University of Texas Professional Development Award, $1000

2004    Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service (NIH) in Neurobiology, $22,750

2004    University of Texas Dean’s Excellence Award, $1000

2004    NSF Graduate Fellowship Program Honorable Mention

2002    Magna cum laude | University of Utah

2002    University of Utah Biology Undergraduate Research Program Grant, $1000

2002    University of Utah Senate Research Grant, $2500

2002    Packard Foundation Research Grant, $1000

2001    Bamfield Marine Station (Canada) Academic Merit Scholarship, $1500

1997    University of Utah Biology Department Seville Flowers Fellowship (declined)

1997    University of Utah Achievement Scholarship $1000

1997    Utah Creditors Association Merit Scholarship $1000

Scholarly Service

Associate Editor: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

Review Editor: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution