I am an ornithologist interested in the evolution of form in the diverse avian family Paradisaeidae--the Birds of Paradise.  I received my Ph.D. from the University of Kansas (advisor Dr. Richard Prum-now at Yale University) in 2006 and was a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History during 2007 (supervisor Dr. Joel Cracraft).  Since January 2008, I have been employed as the Curator of Video in the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY.  The Macaulay Library is a scientifically valuable audiovisual archive, which aims to document the diversity of life on Earth through the collection and preservation of recorded animal sounds and moving images.

I have been studying birds of paradise in New Guinea since 1999 and have been privileged enough to observe, video record and study all 39 species in the wild.  My Ph.D. research examined the evolution of the courtship phenotype in the genus Parotia (photos at right).  My research program integrates intensive field-based studies of wild birds with lab and museum based research emphasizing comparative ethology, morphology, phylogenetic systematics, and analyses of evolutionary patterns and underlying processes.  My work uses a variety of visualization tools to facilitate comparative study, e.g. digital-video, etho-informatics resources for documenting and archiving behavioral phenotypes, digital photography for assessing homology, and phenotype ontologies to represent complex aspects of courtship-related form.

To learn more about my research, please visit my research page.

copyright © 2011 Edwin Scholes III

edwin scholes III

Edwin Scholes III, Ph.D.

Curator, Biodiversity Video

Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

159 Sapsucker Woods Rd

Ithaca, NY 14850-1999


tel: +1.607.254.1115

fax: +1.607.254.2493


Photo credit: Tim Laman