Our lab includes biologists engaged in fieldwork, genomics, neuroscience, computational and behavioral studies. These varied approaches provide unique perspectives on social behavior, its diversity and its mechanisms.

Click on photos to learn more about individual lab members.


Steve Phelps

Steve Phelps Dr. Phelps got his PhD in Integrative Biology from the University of Texas in 1999. As a graduate student he received pre-doctoral fellowships from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and the National Institutes of Health. As a post-doc, he was a fellow at STRI and at the NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Atlanta. He was a faculty member at the University of Florida from 2002-2010, and joined the University of Texas 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. He is a member of graduate programs in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience and Psychology. His lab has been funded by NSF, NIH and National Geographic. A full CV is available here.

Dr. Phelps got his PhD in Integrative Biology from the University of Texas in 1999. As a graduate student he received pre-doctoral fellowships from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and the National Institutes of Health. As a post-doc, he was a fellow at STRI and at the NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience in Atlanta. He was a faculty member at the University of Florida from 2002-2010, and joined the University of Texas 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. He is a member of graduate programs in Ecology, Evolution and BehaviorCell and Molecular BiologyNeuroscience and Psychology. His lab has been funded by NSF, NIH and National Geographic. A full CV is available here. His interests include social cognition, perceptual scaling and brain size, signal detection and information theory, neural network models, the evolution of gene regulation, epigenetics and transcription, sexual selection, human evolution and population genetics. He also likes softball, good writing, and old country music.


Graduate students

Alejandro Berrio. Epigenetics, gene regulatory evolution, evolutionary genetics.

Alejandro Berrio. Epigenetics, gene regulatory evolution, evolutionary genetics.

Mariam Okhovat. Chromatin remodeling, methylation, epigenetics and development.

Mariam Okhovat. Chromatin remodeling, methylation, epigenetics and development.

Gerard Wallace. Behavioral neuroscience, animal movement models, mathematical statistics, memory and cognition.

Gerard Wallace. Behavioral neuroscience, animal movement models, mathematical statistics, memory and cognition.

Erin Giglio. Genetics, sexual selection, metabolic condition.

Erin Giglio. Genetics, sexual selection, metabolic condition.

Tracy Burkhard. Animal communication, sexual selection, population genetics.

Tracy Burkhard. Animal communication, sexual selection, population genetics.

Stavana Strutz. Disease ecology, climate change, rodent reservoirs of human disease. Co-advised by Camille Parmesan.

Stavana Strutz. Disease ecology, climate change, rodent reservoirs of human disease. Co-advised by Camille Parmesan.

Da-Jiang (David) Zheng. Behavioral neuroscience, epigenetics, animal communication.

Da-Jiang (David) Zheng. Behavioral neuroscience, epigenetics, animal communication.

Zahra Dehghani, MS in Cellular and Molecular Biology, summer 2014.

Zahra Dehghani, MS in Cellular and Molecular Biology, summer 2014.

Andreas George, MS in Psychology, summer 2014.

Andreas George, MS in Psychology, summer 2014.

Jorge Pino, PhD in Biology, summer 2014. Co-advised by David Reed.

Jorge Pino, PhD in Biology, summer 2014. Co-advised by David Reed.

Past trainees

Polly Campbell, post-doc 2004-2007, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Oklahoma State University.

Polly Campbell, post-doc 2004-2007, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Oklahoma State University.

Bret Pasch, PhD in Biology, 2010. Now a post-doc at Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology.

Bret Pasch, PhD in Biology, 2010. Now a post-doc at Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology.

Marcela Fernandez-Vargas, MS from University of Missouri in St Louis, 2008. (She performed her MS work in our lab at UF). Now a PhD student at Cornell.

Marcela Fernandez-Vargas, MS from University of Missouri in St Louis, 2008. (She performed her MS work in our lab at UF). Now a PhD student at Cornell.

Alex Ophir. post-doc 2003-2007, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Cornell University.

Alex Ophir. post-doc 2003-2007, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Cornell University.

Sarah Jane Alger, post-doc 2010-2011, Lecturer and blogger, Univ. Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Sarah Jane Alger, post-doc 2010-2011, Lecturer and blogger, Univ. Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Ondi Crino, MS in Biology, 2008. Currently a post-doc at Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia.

Ondi Crino, MS in Biology, 2008. Currently a post-doc at Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia.

Lauren O'Connell, post-doc 2011-2012, Bauer Fellow, Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University.

Lauren O'Connell, post-doc 2011-2012, Bauer Fellow, Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University.

Dimitri Blondel, PhD in Biology, 2013. Now a post-doc at Duke University.

Dimitri Blondel, PhD in Biology, 2013. Now a post-doc at Duke University.