Evolution of conventional signals: from individuals to populations and back (Visiting Scholar)
I am a behavioral ecologist specialized in the field of animal communication. My research program combines empirical and theoretical work and spans different levels of analysis. An important goal of my NESCent project is the development of a general modeling framework in which communication behaviors are viewed as evolving norms of reaction. This novel approach has allowed me to explore fundamental, yet little-known aspects of the evolutionary dynamics of communication. For example, I am currently studying the mechanisms behind the evolution of individual variation in communication strategies and the link between this process and the evolution of personality in animals. During my stay at NESCent I have also taken advantage of the tremendous in-house expertise on phylogenetic and comparative methods to develop a series of projects that explore the effects of climatic niches on biological processes. For example, in collaboration with colleagues at Cornell University, I recently showed that birds living in more variable and unpredictable environments tend to have more elaborate sexual displays.
Please visit my personal website to learn more about me and my research: http://duke.edu/~cb176/