Welcome to the Townsend Lab!

The capacity for animals to make flexible and appropriate decisions will affect how well they fare under changing environmental conditions. In the Townsend Lab, we are broadly interested in the behavioral responses of animals to environmental changes, particularly emerging infectious disease, urbanization, and climate change, and the consequences of these behaviors for individual fitness and population dynamics. We are also interested in the evolution of behavior and disease resistance over time. 

One current focus of our work is on how learning, memory, and decision-making are affected by condition and migratory tendency in American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). We are also exploring genetic associations with migration, disease, and cognition. In this work, we complement field studies of behavior with satellite telemetry, molecular tools, and aviary-based cognitive experiments.