I am a biologist interested in animal social behavior. My research interests are centered on the role of communication in mediating social behavior and I am particularly interested in the interplay of evolution and development in shaping animal communication systems. You can find out more about my research or view my publications by clicking on the links above. My CV can be found here: CaglarAkcayCV (pdf) . My Google Scholar profile is here.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Associate at Virginia Tech, working on tree swallows with Fran Bonier (Queen’s University, Kingston, ON), Ignacio Moore (Virginia Tech), Mark Hausmann (Bucknell University) and Mark Stanback (Davidson College). Previously, I was Research Associate at University of Washington, studying social factors in song learning of young song sparrows, continuing a line of research that was part of my PhD with Mike Beecher. During my PhD at University of Washington, I also worked on territoriality, extra-pair mating and honest signaling in aggressive intent in song sparrows. 

From 2011 to 2013 I was a postdoctoral associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithologystudying vocal signals and their role in mediating social interactions between relatives and non-relatives in western bluebirds at the beautiful Hastings Reserve in Carmel Valley, CA in collaboration with Janis Dickinson

Although my current research is in Animal Behavior, I embarked on my graduate career as a cognitive psychologist. Between 2004 and 2006, I was a graduate student in Cognition and Perception at University of Iowa, working with Eliot Hazeltine on problems of control of motor action.

I did my undergraduate studies at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, graduating with double major in Biology and Psychology in 2004. My first name is pronounced as “Chalar” (more or less). If you know me but I seem to not know you when you run into me in a conference or meeting, it is probably because you’re dealing with my doppelganger, Erol Akcay also a biologist interested in social behavior.   

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a mean looking song sparrow in Vancouver, BC

a not-so-mean looking western bluebird in Carmel Valley, CA