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Koenig Lab Members

If you're a prospective Ph.D. student interested in behavioral ecology and are thinking of applying to Cornell's field of Neurobiology and Behavior, see my page for prospective graduate students.

I'm always happy to talk to students about potential research possibilities, but at this point, it would probably have to be in California, as I am no longer living in Ithaca.

Postdoctoral associates (recent past)

Mario Pesendorfer. (Ph.D., University of Nebraska, Lincoln). Ecology and masting of California oaks. Currently a postdoc at the Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Eric Walters. Ecology of cooperative breeding in the acorn woodpecker. Currently an Associate Professor at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Brian Barringer. Phenology and acorn production in valley oaks. Currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, WI

Ian Pearse. Phenology and acorn production in valley oaks. Now with the US Forest Service in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Cornell University Ph.D. students

Josh LaPergola. Social behavior and ecology of the Hispaniolian Woodpecker.

Mickey Pardo. Vocal communication in the Acorn Woodpecker.

Cornell University undergrads

Caroline Rusk, B.S. 2012. Current a Ph.D. student at Duke University.

Devin McMahon. Cornell University REU, summer 2013. Currently a Ph.D. student at Stanford University,

David Weber. Cornell University REU student, summers 2013 and 2014. Cavity use of birds at Hastings Reservation.

Jennifer Kim. Cornell University REU student, summer 2015/2016. Oak regeneration at Hastings Reservation.

The last crop of my UC Berkeley students who finished their degrees

Dan Levitis, 2009. Thesis title: Post-fertile survival: the evolution of a demographic anomaly. Currently an Associate Sicentist in the Department of Botanhy, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Bill Monahan, 2007. Thesis title: Microevolutionary responses of the house sparrow to changing environments. Currently an ecologist with US Forest Service in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Lauryn Benedict, 2007. Thesis title: Functional vocal communication and social behavior in the California towhee. Currently an Associate Professor at the University of Northern Colorado.

Alan Krakauer, 2005. Thesis title: The evolution of cooperative male courtship: kin selection and the mating system of the wild turkey. Currently a Senior Project Scientist at UC Davis in Gail Patricelli's lab.


We regularly hire interns to work at Hastings Reservation in central coastal California on either the acorn woodpecker or oak projects. The two main seasons are spring (March through mid-July) and winter (September through mid-March); we also sometimes hire people during the summer (July and August). None of these positions pay much, but they offer great opportunities for field experience. Please contact me (here) or Eric Walters well in advance.

More information on internships and how to apply is available here.

Field crew at Hastings Reservation, spring 2012

Field crew at Hastings Reservation, spring 2012

See for more images of Hastings Reservation

Contact Information

Walter D. Koenig

38601 E. Carmel Valley Rd. Carmel Valley, CA 93924
Ph: 607 - 221-7591

  • Climbing to a woodpecker nest at Hastings Reservation