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E3B and Columbia

Columbia is a great place to start or continue your academic career. In addition to the diverse community in E3B and its partner institutions, the Rubenstein lab has strong links to colleagues in the Department of Biological Sciences, the Department of Psychology, the Program in Neurosciences and Behavior, and the Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative, as well as with faculty in the Biology Department at Barnard College. We also interact regularly with colleagues from CUNY, Fordham, Rockefeller, NYU, and other NYC academic institutions. Members of the lab typically are affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History, where we do much of our molecular sequencing. We also work closely with the New York Genome Center and a variety of core labs at the Columbia University Medical Center and other local hospitals. While Columbia may be small in size, NYC is not. Whether it be access to a lab, a collaborator, or a colleague, most of what you could ever need is only a short subway ride away.


There are many opportunities for undergrads to gain experience with molecular techniques (PCR, gel electrophoresis, sequencing, genotyping), hormone assays, various immune assays, bioinformatics, comparative methods, or field work.  Students work initially with an older student in the lab, eventually developing their own project for a senior thesis. Ultimately, I hope that each undergraduate student will publish their thesis work as a first-authored paper in a top-tier, peer-reviewed scientific journal.


MA Students

Masters students are generally accepted into the E3B program and then find an advisor during their first year at Columbia. However, if you are interested in working with me, feel free to get in touch.


PhD Students

My policy with PhD students is one of guided independence. I encourage you to think big! What are the most interesting problems in behavioral and evolutionary ecology right now and how are you going to solve them? Your goal as a graduate student should be to not only master your topic of study and become an expert in your discipline and study system, but also to push the field and further develop a body of evolutionary or ecological theory. My job is to help you succeed in doing this. I will work with you to develop questions and formulate hypotheses. I will help you become a better writer, both for scientific publications and for grant proposals. Although I will help you become a better field biologist, I will also require that you learn a variety of laboratory techniques so that you become trained as an integrative biologist that can think and work across disciplines. I firmly believe that integrative research is the future of animal behavior and behavioral ecology, and mastering this approach now will make you more marketable for postdocs and jobs.



Because my interests are broad and varied, I am open to people working on a variety of systems. If you might be interested in working in my lab, please email me and we can discuss opportunities. I currently do not have funding to support postdocs, but I am happy to work together with you to write grants to fund research at Columbia. There are also a few relevant postdoctoral fellowship opportunities available through Columbia, including The Columbia Science Fellows Program and The Earth Institute Fellows Program.


behavior | ecology | evolution

Columbia University in the City of New York