Darcy B. Kelley, PhD

Darcy B. Kelley, PhD

Research Interest

Research Summary

Our research focuses on the neural and genetic basis of species- and sex-specific vocal communication.  Xenopus provides our experimental system; the 29 species in this genus depend on acoustic communication for finding and attracting mates, have a well-supported phylogeny, are readily reared in the laboratory and provide experimental advantages including the ability to evoke fictive singing from the brain and species-specific songs from the larynx.  Our research aims to determine how the production and perception of vocal signals are matched across sexes.  We are also identifying the genetic changes that support the divergence of acoustic communication across evolutionary time scales.

  • BS, 1970 Biopsychology, Barnard College - Columbia University
  • PhD, 1975 Neuroscience, Rockefeller University
  • 1970 - 1975
    Graduate Fellow, D. Pfaff, Rockefeller University
  • 1975 - 1977 
     Post-doctoral Fellow, F. Nottebohm, Rockefeller University
  • 1977 - 1978
    Assistant Professor, The Rockefeller University
  • 1978 - 1981        
    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Princeton University
  • 1982 - 1984
    Instructor, Neural Systems and Behavior, Marine Biological Laboratory
  • 1982 - 1987
    Associate Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Columbia University
  • 1985 - 1989
    Course Director, Neural Systems and Behavior, Marine Biological Laboratory
  • 1987 -  Present
    Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University
  • 1995 -  Present
    Director, Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University

Recent Seminars and Invited Lectureships, 2010 – 2013 (see also: Invited Symposia, Plenary and Keynote Lectures)

  • USC, Neuroscience Program
  • Dalhousie University, Neuroscience Program
  • Retreat, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia
  • UCLA, Sawyer lecture
  • Fowler Symposium, the Florida State University
  • Columbia University, Department of Neuroscience
  • Columbia University, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
  • 2007 - 2009
  • University of Montana, Bozeman
  • Wake Forest University
  • Davidson College
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

2003 - 2006

  • Washington University
  • University of British Columbia
  • Cornell University
  • Stanford
  • UCSF
  • UC Berkeley
  • UCSD
  • University of Missouri, Columbia University
  • Columbia University, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Forbes lectures, Marine Biological Laboratory (Grass Foundation)
  • North Carolina State University, Keck Center for Behavioral Biology
  • University of Chicago, Committee on Neurobiology
  • Queens College

2000 - 2002

  • Indiana University, Systems Neuroscience and Neuroethology
  • Harvard University, Neurobiology Department
  • Arbus lecture, University of Arizona
  • University of Pennsylvania, Program in Neuroscience
  • Skirball Institute, NYU Medical School
  • Georgetown University, Neuroscience Program
  • NYU, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Emory University, Department of Neuroscience, Graduate Student Invitee
  • NYU, Seminar on developmental cognitive neuroscience
  • Columbia, Department of Physiology
  • Purdue University, Neuroscience
  • UC Davis, Biology
  • Columbia University, Center for Neurobiology and Behavior
  • Fordham University, Biology
  • Marine Biological Laboratory, Neurobiology and Behavior Course
  • Marine Biological Laboratory, Computational Neuroscience Course
  • City University of New York, Biology
  • University of British Columbia, Neuroscience
  • Bowdoin College, Biology
  • Weil Medical College of Cornell University, Endocrine Grand Rounds

1997 - 1999

  • University of Arizona, Distinguished Lecturer in Developmental Neurobiology
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Station, Visiting Scholar
  • Marine Biological Laboratory, Computational Neuroscience Course
  • University of California at Davis, Biology Department
  • University of Oregon, Neuroscience Department
  • Oregon State University, Zoology Department
  • Swarthmore College, lecture series on "Communication in Biological Systems"
  • Columbia Univ., Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dean's Distinguished Lecture
  • The Rockefeller University, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Course
  • Marine Biological Laboratory, Computational Neuroscience Course
  • University of Virginia, Biological Sciences
  • Case Western Reserve University, Depts of Neuroscience, Biological Sciences
  • New York University, Center for Neural Science
  • Smith College, Neuroscience and Behavior
  • Farleigh Dickenson University, Department of Biology
  • Lehman College, Department of Biology
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Neurobiology
  • Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar University of Iowa
  • Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Coe College

1995 - 1996

  • Purdue University, Keynote speaker, Neuroscience retreat
  • The Rockefeller University
  • Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar University of Delaware and Villanova University
  • University of Washington, Bloedel Center
  • Society for Neuroscience, Special Lecture
  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sloan Center for Theoretical Neurobiology
  • University of California at San Diego, Dept. of Biology
  • Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Brookdale Institute for Molecular Biology
  • Emory University, Dept. Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Dartmouth College, Department of Physiology
  • Center for Biomedical Research, Population Council
  • USC, Distinguished Lecturer in Neuroscience

1993 - 1994

  • Cornell University
  • University of Pittsburgh, Neuroscience retreat speaker
  • University of California at San Francisco
  • Northeastern University
  • Stanford University, Neuroscience retreat speaker
  • Marine Biological Laboratory, Neural Systems and Behavior Scholar-in-Residence
  • City University of New York
  • University of Florida at Talahasee
  • State University of New York at Albany
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • State University of New York at Buffalo
  • New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • University of Colorado, Health Sciences Center, Neuroscience retreat speaker
  • University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Indiana University

1990 - 1992

  • Oberlin College
  • Duke University
  • Rockefeller University
  • NIH
  • Columbia University, Department of Psychology
  • Princeton University
  • Rutgers University
  • New York Academy of Sciences
  • Mt. Sinai Medical School
  • New York Psychoanalytical Society
  • New York University
  • University of British Columbia
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Williams College
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Cornell University Medical School
  • University of Madrid

1988 - 1990

  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Cornell University
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Yale University
  • Wesleyan University
  • Bell Laboratories
  • University of Southern California
  • Hunter College
  • University of Orgeon, Eugene
  • Wellesley College
  • University of California, Riverside
  • Brown University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Minnesota
  • Roche Institute for Molecular Biology
  • Vassar College
  • Cornell University Medical College
  • Hunter College
  • The Rockefeller University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University

1986 - 1987

  • Rockefeller University
  • University of Virginia
  • State University of New York, Stony Brook
  • Rutgers, Newark
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Vanderbilt University
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Rutgers, New Brunswick
  • Michigan State University
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Chicago
  • Princeton University

1983 - 1985

  • State University of New York, Downstate
  • Rockefeller University
  • State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Cornell University
  • University of Connecticut at Storrs
  • Harvard University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Cornell Univ. Med. College
  • Washington University
  • University of California, Los Angeles

Invited Symposia, Plenary and Keynote Lectures, 2003 – 2013

  • Hormonal control of circuits for complex behavior, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus Conference, 2013
  • International Society for Neuroethology, Roots Symposium, 2012
  • CABI Symposium, CUNY, 2012
  • Discussant, Gordon Conference on Genes and Behavior, 2012
  • Evolution of Neural Circuits, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2011
  • Keynote address, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, 2011
  • UCLA, the Sawyer Lecture, 2011
  • The Florida State University, Fowler Symposium, 2011
  • Conference on sexual differentiation, brain and behavior, HHMI, Janelia Farm, 2010
  • NMNH Smithsonian Institution, Senate of Scientists Speaker 2009
  • Indiana University Animal Behavior Conference, Plenary Speaker, 2008
  • Maine Biomedical Symposium, Plenary Speaker, 2008
  • SNRP meeting, New York City, Keynote address, 2008
  • AACU meeting on science in the liberal arts curriculum, Keynote address, 2008
  • Union College, Keynote Address, General Education Meeting, 2004
  • University of Chicago, Neural Coding Workshop, 2003
  • Gordon Conference, Hormones and Development ,2003
  • Associacion Estudiantes Biologia, University of Puerto Rico, 2003

1998-2002

  • International Society for Neuroethology, Plenary Lecture, Bonn Congress August, 2001
  • Gordon Conference on Metamorphosis, June 2001
  • The Rockefeller University, Alumni Reunion speaker, May 2001
  • Rand Symposium, International Society of Herpetologists, 1998

1994 - 1997

  • No-Coast-Nerve-Net-Meeting, Model Systems in Neuroethology, 1997
  • Winter Animal Behavior Conference, 1996
  • Yale University Center for Neurological Sciences, Neurobiology Symposium, 1995
  • Sexual selection and the nervous system, Int. Congress of Neuroethology, 1995
  • Breckenridge Conference on Steroid Hormones and Trophic Factors, 1995
  • Microscopy Society of America, 1994
  • Keystone Conference on Muscle Development, 1994

1990 - 1993

  • Conference on Steroid Actions on Excitable Cells, 1993
  • The Development of Brain Function, NYU, 1993
  • Dahlem Conference, Flexibility and Constraint in Behavioral Systems 1993
  • Biology of Xenopus , University of London, 1992
  • Conference on Vertebrate Reproductive Endocrinology, US Fisheries Commission, 1992            
  • Society for Developmental Psychobiology, 1992
  • Meeting in Neural Development, 1991
  • University of Toronto, Neuroscience Symposium,1991
  • National Dyslexia Research Foundation, Scientific Research Conference,1990

1986 -1989

  • Int. Cong. on Prostaglandins and Related Compound,   Winter Conference on Brain Research
  • Soc. Neurosci:Neural Control of Communication Conf. on Developmental Psychobiology
  • 1st International Cong. Neuroethology, Winter Conference on Animal Behavior           
  • 2nd International Congress of Neuroethology  Soc. Neurosci. - Presidential Symposium              

Science in Theater and Film; Radio

2012 - 2014  Scientific Advisory Committee, Ensemble Studio Theater Sloan Project

2011

  • Awards Committee, Student Grand Jury Prize, Tribeca Film Festival
  • Juror and panelist Imagine Science Film Festival

2010

2008

  • Tribeca Film Institute-Sloan Screenplay Development Program
  • Advisor and panelist, Imagine Film Festival

2005

  • Panelist, Hamptons International Film Festival
  • TFI Sloan Science Summit panelist

2004 - Present

  • Sloan project, Ensemble Studio Theater

Federal and Other Advisory Panels

2013

  • T32 and R25 Review Panels

2012

  • T32 Review Panel, NICHHD
  • NSF Activation 1 Preproposal review panel

2008 - 10

  • T32 Review Panel, Joint Institute Program in Neuroscience

2007-10

  • Ad hoc reviewer NICHHD T32 review panel

2007

  • Member, CCLI review, NSF

2004

  • Member, T90 training grant review panel (NIH)

2004 - 5

  • Ad hoc reviewer NICDD review panel

2003

  • Scientific Advisory Panel, Environmental Protection Agency, Atrazine
  • EPA Workshop on Anuran Model Systems

1999

  • ANDP Fellows Review Panel

1995 -1999

  • Member, NST training grant review panel (NIH)

1996/9,2000

  • Hughes International Research Scholars Program

1994,98,99

  • Hughes predoctoral review panel

1981 -1985

  • Member, Biopsychology study section (NIH)

Professional Societies

  • Society for Experimental Biology
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society of Zoologists
  • New York Academy of Sciences
  • International Society for Neuroethology
  • Society for Developmental Biology

SERVICE

Columbia University

Department of Biological Sciences

Chair, Executive Committee Director of Graduate Studies MA in Biotechnology

Undergraduate Committee* Neuroscience and Behavior major  Finance Committee

Chair and Member, Faculty Search Committees Graduate Committee Library Committee

University-wide

  • Internal ARC review committee, Psychology
  • Search Committee, Executive Director Mind, Brain and Behavior Institute
  • Search Committee in Biology, Barnard College
  • Search Committee in EEEB, CERC
  • Director, Doctoral Sub-Committee in Neurobiology and Behavior*
  • COSI Policy Committee on Science and Technology
  • MD/PhD Advisory Committee
  • Faculty Advisory Committee, Labyrinth Books
  • Vice-presidential Search Committee
  • Columbia University Animal Care Committee
  • Women's Center Advisory Board
  • University Seminar in Neurobiology, Co -Chair
  • Executive Committee: Grad School
  • Junior Faculty Review Committee
  • Horwitz Prize Committee
  • Columbia College Committee on Instruction
  • Ch.Task Force on Mandatory Retirement
  • Chair, Natural Sciences Advisory Group
  • Chair General Studies Dean Search Committee
  • Committee on Faculty Development
  • Departmental Review Committee
  • Advisory Committee, The School at Columbia University
  • A&S Development Committee
  • Diversity Initiative, Executive Committee
  • Advisory Committee, E3B

 

Society for Neuroscience

  • Finance Committee (current)
  • Public Information Committee
  • Education Committee, member and Chair
  • Nominating Committee
  • Lindsley Prize Committee, member and Chair
  • Program Committee
  • Committee on Committees
  • Investment Committee* (as of 11/13)

Other Extramural

Steering committee SociogenomMarine Biological Laboratory 1995 - 2002, 2004 - 2007

Trustee and Search Committee for Director

Education and Housing Committee

Chair, NS&B Director Search

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

HHMI Professors Review (current)

International Scholars Program Review Panel

Predoctoral Fellowship Review Panel

International Society for Neuroethology, Council Member, Chair, Program Committee

Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs, Columbia Representative*

The Rockefeller University Alumni Advisory Committee

Sloan Foundation Fellowship Committee

  • Current Graduate

  • Experimental Appeoches in the Neurosciences
  • Developmental and Systems Neuroscience
  • Current Undergraduate

  • Developmental and Systems Neuroscience

Federal Government Public Advisory Panels; Current Membership (14 total)

  • NSF Activation 1 Preproposal review panel, 2012          
  • NICHHD T32 review panel, 2012, 2013  

Societies

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for Experimental Biology

Current Boards

  • Wenner-Gren Foundation
  • American Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Sawyer lecture, UCLA , 2011
  • Harold Weintraub Chair in Biological Sciences,  2010
  • Distinguished lecture, Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, 2010
  • Lenfest award, Columbia University,  2009
  • Kravitz lecture, Neurobiology, Marine Biological Laboratory,  2008
  • HHMI Professor 2002 – 2006; 2006 - 2010
  • Forbes lectureship, the Grass Foundation and the MBL,  2003
  • Arbas lectureship, University of Arizona,  2002
  • Society for Neuroscience, Special Lecturer,  2001
  • Society for Neuroethology, Plenary Lecturer,   2001
  • University of Arizona, Distinguished Lecturer in Developmental Neuroscience,  1999
  • Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, NIH,   1995 - 2002
  • Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar,   1996-97
  • Society for Neuroscience, Special Lecturer,   1995
  • University of Southern California, Distinguished Lecturer in Neuroscience,   1995
  • University of Florida at Talahasee, the Rushton Lectures,   1993
  • Society for Developmental Psychobiology, Wiley Distinguished Lecturer,   1992
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science,   1989
  • Society for Neuroscience, Presidential Symposium,   1988
  • Wellesley College, Mayer Lectureship,  1988
  • Dalhousie University, Soc. Neuroscience Chapter Lecturer,  1987
  • Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, NIH,   1988 - 1995
  • Vanderbilt University, Kennedy Lectureship,   1982
  • Research Career Development Award, NIH,   1981 - 1986
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship in Neuroscience,   1978 - 1981
  • NIH Post-doctoral Fellowship,   1975 - 1977
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship,   1970 - 1973
  • Martha L. Tobias, Senior Research Scientist
  • Ian Hall, Revson Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Taffeta Elliott, Columbia Science Fellow
  • Charlotte Barkan, Neurobiology and Behavior Graduate Fellow

Sarah Woolley  Department of Psychology, Columbia University  Spatiotemporal Receptive Fields of Neurons in the Xenopus Central Amygdala

Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard Un

Darcy B. Kelley, Irene H. Ballagh, Charlotte L. Barkan, Andres Bendesky, Taffeta M. Elliott,

Ben J. Evans, Ian C. Hall, Ursula Kwong-Brown, Young Mi Kwon, Emilie Perez, Heather Rhodes, Avelyne Villain, Ayako Yamaguchi, Erik Zornik (2020) Generation, coordination and evolution of neural circuits for vocal communication. Journal of Neuroscience, 40, 22 – 36. 

Ian C. Hall and Darcy B. Kelley (2020) Endocrine modulation of acoustic communication; Xenopus laevis as a model system. In Endocrine Regulation of Animal Vocalization. F. Hoffmann and Werner Kloas, Eds. Elsevier.

Ursula Kwong-Brown, Martha L. Tobias, Damian O. Elias, Ian C. Hall, Coen P.H. Elemans, Darcy B Kelley (2019) The return to water in ancestral Xenopus was accompanied by a novel mechanism for producing and shaping vocal signals. eLife 2019;8:e39946. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.39946

Barkan, C.L, Kelley, D.B. and Zornik, E. (2018). Premotor neuron evolution reflects divergent vocal behaviors, Journal of Neuroscience, 38, 5325 – 5327

  • Motor Systems 
  • Evolution of Neural Circuits  
  • Neuroethology 
  • Mechanisms of Sexual Differentiation