I study evolution and development of animal social cognition and 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’m also interested in the mechanisms of social behavior and life-history trade-offs.
Currently, I am a research scientist at Virginia Tech working with Adam Lendvai, 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 deliberately not recognize you when you run into me in a conference or meeting, it is probably because you’re dealing with my doppelgänger, Erol Akcay, also a biologist interested in social behavior.
word cloud made (with wordle) from abstracts of recent papers
(illustration by Zeynep Akcay)