The Schmidt Science Polymath program makes long-term bets on recently tenured professors with remarkable track records, promising futures and a desire to explore interdisciplinary research. Each professor is awarded $500,000 per year for up to five years to explore new ideas across disciplines and use emerging technologies to test risky theories that may not otherwise receive funding or support.
EEB associate professor Mary Caswell "Cassie" Stoddard studies the extraordinary diversity of signals and traits in nature. Her lab investigates the evolution of animal coloration and morphology, with a focus on birds — the most colorful terrestrial vertebrates, with tetrachromatic (four color-cone) vision and ultraviolet sensitivity. The researchers on her team apply an interdisciplinary approach, using using field biology, optics, computer vision, genomics and bioengineering to explore color, perception and eggshell structure in the avian world.
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