Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850
I build and operate large databases at the Lab. Together with programmers and staff, we bring biodiversity information to scientists and the public. I support systems for the Macaulay Library, the Information Science team, the Membership group, and the Communications & Marketing team. Welcome to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology!
Brian has been writing software for Macaulay Library since 2007, and appreciates the structure of Java and the expressiveness of Ruby. Brian has developed applications at the lab using Spring and Rails, and at the lab, has seen a Virginia Rail in the spring (well, really summer...). He also appreciates good (or bad) puns. In his spare time, he researches natural building methods, and has built a straw bale house for his family. He enjoys camping and hiking trips in the summer to the Adirondacks, which he has been doing for almost 30 years.
An avid birder and wildlife photographer from the Ithaca area, I have been interested in animal sounds from a young age. I got my bachelor's degree from Cornell in 2009 and have worked at the Macaulay Library since 2011. My primary responsibilities involve archival of audio and video specimens, but I also co-manage the audio and video equipment loaner fleet.
As a leader of the Collections Management team, I work with our media specialists to archive audio and video recordings and then distribute these recordings to researchers, educators, conservationists, and others. With over 10 years of archival experience at the Macaulay Library, my primary focus is working with new and existing contributors to preserve their audio and video recordings in the ML archive.
I am responsible for engaging undergraduate students with faculty, graduate students, and staff in a variety of research projects at the Macaulay Library. Additionally, I conduct research on the acoustic communication and behavior of animals to understand how inter-species communication works, how communication evolves, and how to acoustically monitor a population for conservation purposes.
Matt is a web designer and developer working with the Macaulay Library team. He relishes the opportunity to create interactive websites that feature beautiful images of birds, videos of amazing behavior, and audio recordings of the great diversity of bird songs.
I am the co-founder (with Tim Laman) and leader of the Birds-of-Paradise Project at the Cornell Lab. I have been using audiovisual media to document and study the birds-of-paradise since 1999. Prior to joining the Cornell Lab in 2008, I was a postdoctoral fellow in Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and earned my Ph.D. in Ecology in Evolutionary biology from the University of Kansas in 2006.
I graduated from Cornell in 2009 and have worked on several research projects at the lab before settling in as a Media Specialist. I currently work on archiving audio and video specimens.
As Director, I oversee the various archival, collections development, and research/outreach activities of the Macaulay Library. I am also a Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, with research focusing on the behavior and evolution of birds (particularly Australian fairy-wrens and New World warblers). You can learn more about this research at http://www.nbb.cornell.edu/neurobio/websterlab/index.html.
I've worked at the Lab for approximately 8 years, and recently became Collections Management Leader. My main job duties are media licensing, audio editing, and overall collections management. Main research interest is finch taxonomy, particularly Red Crossbill call types.
Students and Postdocs
I study avian vocal communication, with the goal of understanding how acoustic signals change in response to changes in a bird's social and physical environment. At the Lab of Ornithology, I conduct research on vocal behavior and male mating strategy during the dawn chorus in the Red-backed Fairy-wren as part of the Macaulay Library and Bioacoustics Research program (BRP).
I am a Ph.D. student in Mike Webster's lab with broad interests in animal sociality and plumage evolution in birds. Currently, I am investigating social dominance, plumage status signaling, and female competition in the variegated fairy-wren of Australia.
I'm pursuing a PhD in the Webster lab and have interests in the myriad of factors that enforce honesty in signals and how these influence an individual's behavior. Currently I am designing a project to determine the relative effects physiological and social costs have on plumage signals in red-backed fairy-wrens.