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The Department of Neurobiology and Behavior (NB&B) was one of the very first departments to combine the study of animal behavior with its neural basis, based on the belief that the interface between them was one of great research potential. NB&B has a distinguished faculty with interests ranging from the intrinsic properties of neurons to the organization of animal societies. Research in the Department falls into five overlapping core areas: cellular and molecular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, computational neuroscience, chemical ecology, and animal social behavior.

Faculty, postdoctoral associates, technical staff, and graduate students all share the goal of understanding how the nervous system underlies behavior. NB&B offers a broad range of courses and research opportunities for undergraduate students, making it the most popular biology concentration at Cornell.

The associated Graduate Field of Neurobiology and Behavior encompasses all aspects of neurobiological and behavioral research on Cornellís Ithaca campus. The graduate program's goal is to advance the understanding of neurobiology and behavior by training the next generation of scientists working at this exciting interface.

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Kerry Shaw has been elected as a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society. She will be so honored at this summer' annual ABS meeting in Toronto.

Today it is my privilege to share with you some fantastic news about our newest NBB faculty member, Nilay Yapici.

Nilay has just been awarded a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship for 2017:

With this honor, Nilay joins a distinguished list of NBB faculty who have been Sloan Fellows, including Joe Fetcho, Christiane Linster, Kerry Shaw, and Melissa Warden.


Goldberg lab publishes work on dopamine and birdsong
learning in Science, see link.

Here is some coverage of the paper in the popular press:


EB/NBB Graduate Student Diversity & Inclusion Recruitment Friday, April 21, 2017 to 12:00am Corson-Mudd Hall.

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department and the Neurobiology and Behavior Department will host a joint recruitment event for prospective students from underrepresented backgrounds. This event is geared toward those who are interested in, but who have not yet applied to graduate school. During the event, prospective students will have the chance to meet with current faculty and graduate students, learn about ongoing research opportunities, and receive guidance on the graduate school application process.

Vikram Gadagkar (postdoc Goldberg lab) has
been awarded the Simons Collaboration on the
Global Brain (SCGB) Postdoctoral Fellowship


Robert Raguso receives the 2017 Silverstein-Simeone Award from the International Society of Chemical Ecology. This award recognizes Rob’s “cutting edge” research in chemical ecology.


Smith, M. L., M. M. Ostwald, and T. D. Seeley. Honey bee sociometry: tracking honey bee colonies and their nest contents from colony founding until death. Insectes Sociaux: 1-11.

Madeleine M. Ostwald, Michael L. Smith, Thomas D. Seeley. The behavioral regulation of thirst, water collection and water storage in honey bee colonies.
Journal of Experimental Biology 2016 219: 2156-2165; doi: 10.1242/jeb.139824

Claire Rusch, Geoffrey T. Broadhead, Robert A Raguso and Jeffrey A Riffell. Olfaction in
context - sources of nuance in plant-pollinator
.COIS 2016, 15:53-60.

Disentangling visual and olfactory signals in mushroom-mimicking Dracula orchids using
realistic three-dimensional printed flowers.
Policha et al; New Phytologist

John Sullivan, Sebastien Lavoué and Carl Hopkins.
A new genus of electric fish from Gabon with two new species. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.561.7137 d


NBB Seminar Series
Weekly presentations from renowned researchers on their current work, during the Fall and Spring semesters.

April 17, 2017, 12:30PM A106 Morison Room; Amy Toth- Climbing the social ladder: Genomic insights into social evolution from bees and wasps



Lunch Bunch Journal Club
A weekly discussion group for the evaluation of ongoing research projects - not necessarily finished products - in areas related to animal behavior. NBB graduate students studying animal behavior are encouraged to sign up to present once every year, especially those students in their second year and beyond. Students, post-docs and faculty from any field are welcome to both present and attend.

April 25, 2017; Thomas Blankers - QTL reuse in replicate species pairs of sexually divergent Hawaiian sword-tail crickets

Topics in Neural Basis of Behavior
A weekly journal club for presenting recent papers of consequence and potentially broad interest.

April 28, 2017; Andrew Bass- Kerk et al. 2017. Diversification of C. elegans Motor Neuron Identity via Selective Effector Gene Repression. Neuron.



Alumni and Faculty have teamed up to establish an endowment that will have a lasting impact on graduate student research in Neurobiology and Behavior. This endowment generates funds devoted exclusively to supporting our in-house program of Research Grants for graduate students, and we need your help to grow it.

Make a tax-deductible donation today!