Development and Evolution of Iridescent Colors in Feathers


photo: Chris Maynard

photo: Chris Maynard

I am a Junior Fellow of the Simons Foundation in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, working in the Rubenstein Lab. Before that I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Luke Harmon’s lab at the University of Idaho, after finishing my PhD in the Integrated Bioscience program at the University of Akron, under the supervision of dr. Matthew Shawkey, studying how structural colors are produced in the animal integument, with a focus on bird feathers.

Iridescent colors of bird feathers are among the brightest, most dazzling and diverse visual signals found in animals. My PhD research investigates how the nanometer-level organization of color-producing structures in bird feathers takes place during feather development, and how this template can be explored to produce new colors and foster the diversification of sexually-selected phenotypes. For more information on my research, publications, software and contact, follow the links above!