Our lab is located at:
100 Ecology Building
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

ph: 612.625.4796
fax: 612.624.6777

Please call or email us for any questions or comments:
Dave Stephens
Virginia Heinen
Evan Carter

The Stephens Lab is part of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences at the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota.

Our lab participates in the EEB Behavior Group in St. Paul and the Center for Cognitive Sciences in Minneapolis.

We are currently accepting undergraduate applications for fall and spring research. Check out Undergraduate Opportunities from the menu, or click here to find out more.

Lab News

Lab members Tricia Rubi and Tim Polnaszek earned their doctorates in December 2015.


Evan Carter joined the lab in September 2013 for his postdoctoral research.

NSF Grant  

We are pleased to announce that our lab has received funding from the National Science Foundation toward our new project, "Experimental studies of learning evolution: the role of uncertainty and reliability." The project has been funded for four years, starting in the fall of 2010.


    DAVE'S DOINGS. Dave presented a B.F. Skinner lecture at the Association for Behavior Analysis (ABAI) annual meeting in Phoenix in May of 2009, as well as presenting at the University of California Davis and the University of Arizona in the fall of 2009.
    Dave's completed his three year term as editor of the journal Animal Behaviour in August 2009.  Hooray!
    RECEIVER PSYCHOLOGY.  We were very pleased and excited to hear that the National Science Foundation will continue to fund our lab until 2011.  The new project called “Receiver psychology and the value information” will extend our ideas about the value of information to the problem of aposematic signals, and use signal detection theory to objectively assess the conspicuousness of stimuli.
foraging book
  FORAGING BOOK PUBLISHED.  At long last, the new foraging volume edited by Dave, Ron Ydenberg and Joel Brown has been published by the University of Chicago Press. The book became available in late July, and you can buy on Amazon (or other fine retailers). This is the first attempt to synthesize this important topic in many years.  Sorry if you missed the midnight release party.
foraging theory book
  FORAGING THEORY IS NUMBER 9!   A recent analysis by Sam Elworthy (Bull. Brit. Ecol. Soc, 38; 2007) ranked the most cited books in evolution and ecology.  Our very own Foraging Theory was ranked 9th overall.  The books above and below foraging theory make for some very heady company---Fisher, Darwin, Mayr, MacArthur, Dobzhansky.  I don’t think Foraging Theory is really in that league, but it’s cool to crash the party.