I am a biologist interested in animal social behavior. I am particularly interested in the role of communication in mediating social behavior and the interplay of evolution and development in shaping animal communication systems. I am also interested in the mechanisms of behaviors, particularly the mechanisms that mediate the effects of social interactions on fitness. You can find out more about my research or view my publications by clicking on the links above.

My CV can be found here: [pdf]. My Google Scholar profile is here.

Currently, I am a postdoctoral associate at Virginia Tech working with Fran Bonier, Ignacio Moore, Mark Haussmann and Mark Stanback. Before that I was at Cornell Lab of Ornithology (postdoc with Janis Dickinson), and University of Washington (PhD with Mike Beecher).

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. 




(illustration by Zeynep Akcay)

IMG_7109-1 a mean looking song sparrow in Vancouver, BC

DSC_5793-2 a not-so-mean looking western bluebird in Carmel Valley, CA