About Me

My name is Sam Snow and I’m an evolutionary biologist, currently a Ph.D. candidate at Yale. I explore the fascinating evolutionary consequences of mate choice for sexual ornamentation, mate-system evolution, and social behavior.

I integrate natural history insights and empirical observation into the development of new evolutionary theory. These new theoretical frameworks provide a scaffold for asking new and unexpected questions of empirical systems.

My Ph.D. dissertation focusses on scenarios where males and females are in evolutionary conflict, usually with females attempting to make mating decisions, and males using violence or competition to hinder those choices. Using theoretical computer models, social network theory, and behavioral observations of wild birds, I study the various possibilities and outcomes associated with evolutionary conflicts over one sex’s freedom to choose the mates they most prefer. How do we define these kinds of conflicts over mate choice? How does one party restore the balance of control when the aim of the other party is specifically to subvert that control? Importantly, by understanding these dynamics, can we achieve new insight into the quirks and features of mating systems?