Tag Archive: bird songs

August 19, 2010

Portrait of a Scientific Artist, Champion of Diversity and Facilitative Leader

Image from Rockefeller University

Erich Jarvis is a professor and head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics of Language at the Rockefeller University and a specialist in bird songs and calls.  Called a “scienfic artist,” Jarvis was raised in New York City, attended the School for the Performing Arts (where he was an accomplished dancer), and went on to study birds while a student at Hunter College and Rockefeller University.  His research has suggested that birds are more intelligent than most give them credit for, and Jarvis hopes that his focus on the complexity behind bird songs will lead to therapies for human beings with speech difficulties.

There are those in the scientific community who had objected to Jarvis’ and others’ assertions about avian intelligence, in part because the terminology used to describe a bird’s brain had long emphasized its primitiveness. This is precisely what Jarvis set out to change a number of years ago.  He took it upon himself to pull together colleagues from around the country and across disciplines to collaboratively rename parts of the avian brain. Read More

Leave a comment