Research in behavior and organismal biology investigates the evolution of individual and social behaviors, including foraging, communication, cognition, social organization, mating, movement, and collective decision- making. Understanding the diversity of behavior and morphology is a central goal, so we also study the physiology, biomechanics, and development of organisms.
The overarching goal of conservation biology at Princeton is to foster research that makes significant strides in identifying, understanding, and reducing the threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services. To do so, we employ field work, modeling, theory, and meta-analytical synthesis.
Mechanistic insight in ecology and the environment has traditionally lagged other biological disciplines, owing to the vast complexity of ecosystems and the large spatial and temporal scales across which ecological dynamics play out. However, this is changing rapidly: enhanced computational power and emerging technologies are increasingly enabling fresh tests of classic models and stimulating the development of novel theory, promising that the 21 st century will be one of transformative advance in this field.
Research in evolution and genomics addresses the formation and maintenance of biological diversity. We study the evolutionary process at multiple levels – from the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie changes in specific traits to the forces that shape patterns of variation across genomes, populations and species.
Infectious disease research focuses on synthesizing the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of hosts and parasites and exploring optimal strategies for both immune defense and public health intervention. Faculty pursue this integration across scales from parasite and immune molecules to global pandemic spread.