Rachel N. Levin is a biologist who studies the behavior of free-living animals in their natural habitats. She is specifically interested in animal communication and reproductive strategies. For over 20 years, first as a graduate student at Cornell University, later as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and lastly (and currently), as a faculty member at Pomona College, Rachel studied the function, neuroendocrinological basis, and development of song in the bay wren (Thryothorus nigricapillus), a tropical bird in which males and females alternate their song syllables in a vocal duet. Rachel considers herself lucky to have had the opportunity to work in tropical rainforest for such a long time.
More recently, Rachel began to examine the direct effects of latitude and elevation by studying song and reproduction in populations of house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) at different sites in North and Central America. In addition to this work, in the last 12 years, Rachel and her students have been studying biological influences on gender and sexual identities in a project which has over 1,000 participants. In her free time, Rachel enjoys watching an amazing array of wildlife traipse through her yard, singing while driving, and exploring trails with her dog Locket.