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A list of invited speakers that will be highlighting the 2015 Animal Behavior Conference is below:



James Hare

James Hare, University of Manitoba (Keynote Speaker)

Dr. James Hare earned a B.Sc. Specialist degree in Animal Behavior and his M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of Toronto, with thesis work on brood recognition among hosts of slave-making ants. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta for work on Columbian Ground Squirrel sociality, followed by post-doctoral work in the Section of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, exploring the chemical basis of social recognition and antipredator behavior in ants, moths and fireflies. Associate Editor of Current Zoology and author of the Norton Animal Behavior DVD, Dr. Hare's diverse interests in animal communication, cognition and sociality are evident in over 50 peer-reviewed publications employing squirrels, birds, bats, snakes, insects, and human subjects.

David Crews

David Crews, University of Texas at Austin (Keynote Speaker)

Dr. David Crews is a renowned scientist who integrates behavior, physiology, and molecular approaches to understand the neuroendocrinology of diverse reproductive and sexual behaviors, most prominently in reptiles. More recently, his laboratory has pushed the envelope and explored the epigenetic and transgenerational inheritance of neuroendocrine physiology and behavior. Crews earned his PhD at Rutgers University in 1973 with Drs. Daniel Lehrman and Jay Rosenblatt, and conducted his postdoctoral research with Dr. Paul Licht at the University of California at Berkeley. Crews was an Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology and Psychology at Harvard University before joining the faculty of the Zoology and Psychology Departments at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in 1982. Currently, Crews is the Ashbel Smith Professor of Integrative Biology and Psychology at UT. He is highly productive and has authored over 350 articles in the fields of neuroendocrinology, animal behavior, biology, and psychology. Crews' outstanding career has been publicly recognized by numerous honors, including his election as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Psychological Association, a MERIT Award and Research Scientist Award from the NIMH, and the 2012 Daniel S. Lehrman Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.

Troy Smith

Troy Smith, Indiana University

Dr. G. Troy Smith earned a B.S. in Biology with a specialization in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Washington in the laboratories of Eliot Brenowitz and John Wingfield in 1996. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship with Harold Zakon at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Smith joined the Indiana University Department of Biology in 2001. His research examines the evolution and physiology of sexually dimorphic communication behavior by using interdisciplinary approaches to study species diversity in the neuroenocrine mechanisms regulating electric communication signals in South American knifefishes. Dr. Smith directs the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior and was instrumental in coordinating the development of a new undergraduate animal behavior major at IU. He was the recipient of the Indiana University Trustee's Teaching Awards in 2003 and 2012.

Aubrey Kelly

Aubrey Kelly, Cornell University

Dr. Aubrey Kelly received her PhD from Indiana University in 2014 under the supervision of Jim Goodson. Her dissertation focused on the role of nonapeptides in regulating sociality, including aggression and pair bonding, in several avian species. Her work combines behavioral assays with molecular techniques to map brain circuits relevant to social behavior. In 2014 she was awarded a NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and joined Alex Ophir's lab at Cornell University (with co-mentors Frances Champagne and James Curley from Columbia University). Her postdoctoral work examines the development and plasticity of the nonapeptide system and investigates how the various nonapeptide cell groups function as a network to modulate social behavior. She is the recipient of the 2014 WC Young Recent Graduate Award in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology from the Society of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.

Paul Forlano

Paul Forlano, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Dr. Paul Forlano's lab investigates how hormones and other neuromodulators interact with neural circuitry to produce auditory-driven social behavior in the midshipman fish, focusing recently on the role of catecholamines in hearing. Forlano earned his masters degree at the Florida Institute of Technology in 1997, where he studied GnRH hormone variants in the stingray brain under the supervision of Dr. Tim Tricas. In 1998, he joined Andrew Bass' lab at Cornell, and much to his delight, gained Jim Goodson as a "big brother". At Cornell, he used cellular and molecular tools to identify neuroanatomical sites of brain-derived estrogen and steroid hormone signaling in the midshipman fish and earned his PhD in Neurobiology and Behavior in 2005. Forlano received post-doctoral fellowships in Neuroendocrinology at the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health and Science University, and in Cellular Neuroscience in the Department of Neurobiology and Physiology at Northwestern University. Dr. Forlano currently is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Neuroscience in the Department of Biology at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY), and is a faculty member in the Neuroscience, and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Ph.D. subprograms in Biology, as well as the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Ph.D. program in Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Andrew Bass

Andrew Bass, Cornell University

Dr. Andrew Howard Bass is renowned for his highly integrative approach to the study of the physiology and evolution of acoustic communication in teleost fishes. Dr. Bass' work incorporates behavioral, bioacoustic, neurophysiological, and molecular techniques to investigate the neural and hormonal mechanisms of vocal-acoustic communication in the plainfin midshipman fish. He was Jim Goodson's postdoctoral advisor from 1998-2000, and together they explored neuropeptide regulation of social behavior from a comparative perspective. This worked demonstrated that neuromodulation can be decoupled from gonadal sex, and helped to establish midshipman as a model for understanding the hormonal regulation and neurophysiological correlates of sexual dimorphism and alternative male reproductive phenotypes. Bass received his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1979, where he was trained as a comparative neuroanatomist, investigating the neurobiology of vision in turtles and olfaction in fishes under Dr. Glenn Northcutt. During his postdoctoral research with Dr. Carl D. Hopkins then at the University of Minnesota and now also at Cornell, he turned to studying physiology and hormonal control of communication in electric fish. Bass is currently a Professor at the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and Senior Associate Vice Provost for Research at Cornell University.

Hans Hofmann

Hans Hofmann, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Hans Hofmann is professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include the neuromolecular basis of social behavior and its evolution, the neurobiology of social networks, and the genetics of alternative reproductive tactics. He received his Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Leipzig and the Max-Planck Institute in Seewiesen. As a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, he began taking advantage of the astonishing diversity and plasticity of cichlid fishes to study how the social environment regulates brain and behavior. While a Bauer Genome Fellow at Harvard University, he pioneered behavioral genomics in cichlid fishes to analyze and understand the molecular and neural basis of social behavior and its evolution. He developed many of the functional genomics resources for cichlids and co-led the cichlid genome consortium. He received the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (in Neuroscience) and was awarded the Frank A. Beach Early Career Award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. He has also been honored with the UT Austin College of Natural Sciences Teaching Award. He has served on the editorial boards of several journals and was an Editor for Behavioral Ecology for five years. Since 2012 he has been the Director of UT's Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics where he leads an innovative bioinformatics initiative across the College of Natural Sciences. In 2013, Hofmann was selected as new Co-Director of the Neural Systems & Behavior summer course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole (MA).

David Kabelik

David Kabelik, Rhodes College

Dr. David Kabelik studies neuroendocrine mechanisms of affiliative and aversive social behaviors, focusing on identifying specific populations of neurons that produce signaling molecules involved in these behaviors. Kabelik earned his PhD from Arizona State University in 2006, where he studied neural mechanisms mediating the effects of testosterone on aggressive behavior under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Moore. During his postdoctoral research, Kabelik worked with Jim Goodson at University of California at San Diego as well as at Indiana University, investigating the role of context and neural connectivity in the regulation of social behavior. Kabelik joined the faculty of Rhodes College in 2009 and is currently Assistant Professor in the Biology Department.

Alexander Ophir

Alexander Ophir, Cornell University

Dr. Alexander Ophir studies the proximate mechanisms and ultimate consequences of social behaviors. His lab is interested in the influence of nonapeptide hormones and receptors in shaping mating strategies and reproductive decisions. His lab also focuses on how early life experiences influence neural and behavioral phenotypes that may lead to reproductive decision-making. Ophir received his PhD from McMaster University in 2004 under the supervision of Dr. Bennett (Jeff) Galef, where he studied the use of social information in quail mate choice. During his post-doctoral research at University of Memphis (2004-2005) and University of Florida (2005-2007), he studied the behavioral ecology and neuroendocrine mechanisms of fidelity in prairie voles. Ophir was an Assistant Professor in the department of Integrative Biology at Oklahoma State University from 2009-2013, and joined the Department of Psychology in the Behavioral and Evolutionary Neuroscience group at Cornell University in 2013. Ophir serves as an Associate Editor for Acta Ethologica, a Review Editor for Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, and is the Ethics Editor for Animal Behaviour.

Rosemary Knapp

Rosemary Knapp, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Rosemary Knapp's research focuses on the endocrine mediation of alternative reproductive tactics in fish, as well as the physiological basis for male parental behavior. Knapp received her doctoral degree from Arizona State University in 1996, where she studied variation in hormonal responsiveness of different tree lizard morphs under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Moore. During her post-doc at Cornell University with Dr. Andrew Bass (1996-1998), Knapp studied early development of male morph differences in the neurons controlling the midshipman's sonic system and began her studies of the association between hormones and parental behavior in fish. She is a Professor in the Department of Biology and the Women's and Gender Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma (OU), where she has been since 1998. Knapp received National Institute of Mental Health Individual National Research Service Awards to fund both her doctoral and post-doctoral research. She has also been recognized as one of the top reviewers for Hormones and Behavior and Proceedings of the Royal Society B journals, where she is also a member of their editorial boards. Knapp also serves as the Director of Graduate Studies for Biology at OU.

Richmond Thompson

Richmond Thompson, Bowdoin College

Dr. Richmond Thompson studies how neuroendocrine mechanisms mediate the perception and response to social stimuli in fish and humans. Thompson received his PhD from Cornell University in 1996, where he studied sexual differentiation of brain regions in birds under the guidance of Dr. Elizabeth Adkins-Regan. As a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Frank Moore's lab at Oregon State University (1996-1999), Thompson studied the mediation of behavioral response to social stimuli by steroids and neuropeptides. He is currently a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Bowdoin College, where he actively involves undergraduates in research and publications.

Steven Phelps

Steven Phelps, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Phelps studies the mechanisms of social cognition in rodents, including singing mice and prairie voles, taking an interdisciplinary study that combines neurobiology, bioinformatics, and fieldwork. Phelps received his PhD from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin in 1999, where he studied neural networks in frogs under the guidance of Dr. Michael Ryan. He conducted his postdoctoral research as a fellow at STRI and at the NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Atlanta with Dr. Larry Young. He was a faculty member at the University of Florida from 2002-2010, and joined the UT faculty in 2010. He is currently an Associate Professor of Integrative Biology, and the Director and co-founder of UT-Austin's Center for Brain, Behavior and Evolution.

Elizabeth Adkins-Regan

Elizabeth Adkins-Regan, Cornell University

Dr. Elizabeth Adkins-Regan uses the zebra finch and Japanese quail as model systems to understand the neuroendocrine architecture and development of social behavior. Dr. Adkins-Regan was Jim Goodson's doctoral advisor at Cornell University from 1993-1998 where he began his investigation into the role of septal neuropeptides in social behavior. Adkins-Regan received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 under the mentorship of Dr. Norman Tenner Adler. Joining the faculty of the Department of Psychology and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University in 1975, she studied the mechanisms of sex differences in behavior, gradually focusing in on neuroendocrine mechanisms and the development of both specific behaviors and social relationships. Her outstanding career has been recognized by many awards: Adkins-Regan is a fellow of AAAS, Association for Psychological Science, and Animal Behavior Society. She is the president-elect of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, and has served on the editorial boards of many professional publications, including American Naturalist, Hormones and Behavior, and Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In addition to authoring many influential papers, Adkins-Regan's book "Hormones and Animal Social Behavior" is a landmark reading in the field.