Introducing our newest lab member, Taylor Rubin, who will do her PhD research with us.

Taylor comes with a slightly unconventional and super appealing background. She obtained her master’s degree in neuroscience and animal behaviour in 2012 from Emory University. Her research subjects were tufted capuchins – am I the only one who wonders if the late Keith Flint modelled his hairstyle after these capuchins? Anyway, Taylor studied their cognition and facial expressions. This included a year in Argentina working with these adorable monkeys in the field.

But ever since then, Taylor’s main jam has been science communication and outreach. She has been doing this for over a decade, starting with the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots programme during her time at Emory. She next went to Zoo Atlanta, where she grew her outreach experience and acquired plenty of animal husbandry skills, especially with birds. Currently, she runs the volunteer and education programmes at the Tucson Audubon Society.

Students pursue PhDs for many reasons. And although Taylor has not identified her precise career path yet, she knows her objective is to become a better researcher (in whatever capacity). What she will study exactly is a bit of an unknown at this time (though she has some ideas), but Taylor hopes it will somehow revolve around ecosystem services rendered by urban wildlife, possibly including a social-science component.

Taylor is a terribly smart, well-rounded and passionate individual and, as such, I am confident she will succeed in her PhD and beyond, and I am thrilled to have her in my lab.