Hello! I’m Ellie Diamant, currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA in the Yeh Lab. Broadly, I’m interested in avian behavior and sexual selection as a lens to understand avian behavioral ecology and evolutionary responses to ecological change. I’m interested in the effect of anthropogenic change on animal behavior through basic science questions. For my Ph.D. thesis, I am exploring an urban colonization success story – the Dark-eyed Junco – and understanding behavioral, morphological, and genomic adaptation across Southern Californian urban cities.
I completed a Master’s in in the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology Department at Columbia University. For my Master’s thesis, I worked with Dr. Dustin Rubenstein to study female-limited plumage polymorophisms across the hummingbird lineage. I am using over 15,000 museum specimens primarily at the American Museum of Natural History to determine the evolution, intrasexual and intraspecific variation, and the function of male-like female morphs across over 300 species of hummingbirds. We are currently completing this work.
Previously, I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Davidson College in Biology with a minor in Environmental Sciences and completed minor requirements in French and Francophone Studies. There, I conducted research with Dr. Mark Stanback on proximate and ultimate mechanisms for Eastern Bluebird ejection of brood parasitic eggs and am continuing to work with him on questions relating to Eastern Bluebird nesting behavior.
Finally, I am also interested in questions pertaining to global conservation justice issues and questioning the frameworks within which we as scientists work and think. For example, I have explored the political ecology and subsequent justice issues related to conservation militarization and the ivory trade with Dr. Jeff Rose and presented two talks on the subject.