Broadly, I am interested in behavioral ecology, specifically the ways in
which individuals make mate choice decisions and the way those decisions
affect both their own fitness and that of their offspring. My research
focuses on extra-pair mating in socially monogamous organisms. This
behavior is quite common in songbirds, and has been well-studied from the
perspective of male behavior, but much less so from the female perspective.
In some species, more than 25% of offspring are produced by extra-pair
mating, although individual females vary from highly faithful (no EPO) to
highly unfaithful (all EPO). My research is aimed at understanding the
sources of this individual variation from both ultimate and proximate
perspectives, as well as the effects that extra-pair behavior has on
fitness. I am also interested in the long-term dynamics of behavior, both
in terms of the causes of annual variation in extra-pair mating as well as
the consequences for population structure and evolution.