Bio


Dakota "Cody" McCoy is a Stanford Science Fellow (also supported by the NSF PRFB) who recently completed her PhD in Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Previously, she attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar to study environmental policy. Combining applied physics with biological methods, she studies the functions and origins of optical adaptations in nature. For example, her work on “super black” birds and spiders has driven novel solar technology research, inspired recent studies of light manipulation in several animals, and will soon appear in a forthcoming United Nations booklet on bioinspiration. Cody hails from Pittsburgh, greatest city in the USA, where she grew up with four siblings and four dogs.

Honors & Awards


  • Stanford Science Fellow, Stanford University (7/1/2021-7/1/2024)
  • NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology, National Science Foundation (7/1/2021-7/1/2023)
  • Trail-Crisp Medalist, The Linnean Society (2021)
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, USA Department of Defense (9/1/2015-5/23/2021)
  • Ashford Fellow, Theodore H. Ashford Fellowship (9/1/2015-5/23/2021)
  • Rhodes Scholar, The Rhodes Trust (9/1/2013-6/1/2015)

Stanford Advisors