We are integrative behavioral ecologists who primarily study the colors of animals like birds to understand the costs, benefits, and evolution of visual signals. We employ a variety of biochemical, nutritional, physiological, immunological, and endocrinological methods to determine the factors that control color intensity. We couple these approaches with behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary studies, both in the field and the lab, to comprehensively evaluate how and why animal colors function in visual communication.
Our taxonomic interests continue to expand to diverse avian groups (e.g. penguins, hummingbirds, parrots) and to other colorful creatures like spiders, lizards, and butterflies. Moreover, our studies of colors and pigments span all of Tinbergen’s levels of analysis, including early-life developmental and macroevolutionary, phylogenetic aspects.