Rachel N. Levin

Professor of Biology and Neuroscience
With Pomona Since: 1991
  • Expertise


    Working on the cusp of biology and neuroscience, Rachel Levin specializes in animal reproductive behavior—both the function of behaviors such as animal language and other displays and the hormonal mechanisms that underlie them. She conducts research both in the field (in the U.S. and Central America) and in the lab with songbirds. Together with the undergraduate students who work with her both in the field and in the lab, she is also working on a study of the development of transgender identity in humans.

    Research Interests

    • Behavioral ecology and behavioral endocrinology
    • Animal mating systems
    • Biological influences on gender identity and sexuality

    Areas of Expertise

    • Animal Behavior;
    • Behavioral Ecology; Behavioral Endocrinology
    • Animal Communication
    • Mating Systems and Strategies
    • Sex Differences in Behavior
    • Transgender Identity & Sexuality
  • Work


    With K. Freund and M. Fuxjager, "Understanding patterns of variation in avian life history traits: Comparisons of temperate & tropical house wrens", Integr.Comp. Bio. , 44(6), 591, 2004.

    With S.M. Correa, M.C. Will and S.C. Jang, "Effects of Latitude and Altitude on House Wren Reproductive Biology," Integr. Comp. Bio. 42: 1255-1256, 2002

    With T.I. Paris and J.K. Bester, "Social Versus Innate Influences on the Development of Sex-Specific Song in a Tropical Duetting Wren," American Zoologist 36(5): 92A, 1996

    "Song Behavior and Reproductive Strategies in a Duetting Wren, Thryothorus nigricapillus: I. Removal Studies," Animal Behavior 52: 1093-1106, 1996

    "Song Behavior and Reproductive Strategies in a Duetting Wren, Thryothorus nigricapillus: II. Playback Studies," Animal Behavior, 52: 1107-1117, 1996

    With J.C. Wingfield, "Hormonal Control of Reproductive Behavior: A Reevaluation Based on Tropical Birds," Journal of Ornithology 135: 378, 1994

    With J.C. Wingfield, "The Hormonal Control of Territorial Aggression in Tropical Birds," Ornis Scan, 23(2), 284-291, 1992

  • Education

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Ecological & Evolutionary Biology with Laboratory
    • Animal Behavior with Laboratory
    • Biology, Gender, and Society with Laboratory
    • Senior Experimental Thesis
    • Neuroethology: Mechanisms of Behavior with Laboratory
    • Topics in Neuroscience
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    National Science Foundation, REU Grant, 1993-2003

    Pomona College, Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1994

    Hirsch Research Initiation Grant , 1998 - present

    National Science Foundation, Young Investigator Award, 1992 -1998

    John T. Emlen Lecturer in Animal Behavior, 1992

    National Science Foundation, RUI Grant, 1993 -1996