Laurel B. Symes, Ph.D.

Dr. Laurel Symes
Dr. Laurel Symes

As the Assistant Director of the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics, my goal is to maximize the accessibility and effectiveness of acoustic tools for research and conservation. I work with the Yang Center capacity building team to develop introductory and advanced training materials and courses, and to provide intensive professional mentorship and training. Scientifically, I coordinate the tropical biology research program, focusing in Central and South America and working with teams from Central Africa and Southeast Asia to develop research approaches and tools that span tropical terrestrial habitats.

In my research, I work at the intersection of ecology, evolution, conservation, and technical development. I conduct research across a variety of taxa, including insects, frogs, bats, and birds in both temperate and tropical systems. I have a particular research interest in the evolution of signaling rates, how often animals repeat signals over days, months, or years, a historically difficult data type to access. Signal rate is central to using acoustics to estimate population density, and is shaped by many factors, including morphology, physiology, seasonality, energetics, and interactions within and between species.

Year Hired: 2018

Contact Information
K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Room #148
159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
Phone: +1.607.254.2405

Ph.D., Dartmouth College, 2013
B.S., Denison University, 2007

Recent Publications