CU

Rubenstein Lab

integrative organismal biology in a changing world

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We take an integrative approach to understand how the environment—both social and ecological—influences animal behaviors through empirical studies that combine ecology and evolution with those of the underlying molecular and neuroendocrine mechanisms. Our work is grounded in mathematical theory, and we use modeling approaches and phylogenetic comparative methods to both generate and test novel hypotheses. We study a variety of terrestrial vertebrate and invertebrate systems (including birds, reptiles, mammals, and insects) on every continent except Antarctica, as well as a number of aquatic organisms (including crustaceans and fishes) in both marine and freshwater ecosystems. We span molecules to populations, from invertebrates to vertebrates, and across levels of analysis, scales of biological organization, and the globe. 

We are particularly interested in the causes and consequences of sociality and the evolutionary responses and behavioral, physiological, and molecular adaptations that both social and non-social organisms use to cope with environmental change. By studying species that have experienced climatic variability for many generations, we seek to gain an understanding of not only how animals have adapted over evolutionary time to cope with unpredictable environmental changes, but also how organisms are likely cope with increased environmental uncertainty resulting from anthropogenic climate change. Ultimately, we seek to develop a synthetic understanding of how environmental change influences social living and adaptive coping by taking an integrative approach to study a diversity of organisms living in a range of habitats across the globe.

Columbia University

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology

10th Floor Schermerhorn Extension, MC5557

1200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027


Office: 90 Morningside Drive, Basement #3  |  Lab: 851-854 Schermerhorn Extension

Tel: 212-854-4881  |  Lab Tel: 212-854-5330  |  Email: dr2497[at]columbia.edu  |  Twitter: @DustRubenstein

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© 2002-2021  |  Dustin R. Rubenstein  |  Columbia University in the City of New York