Interests and Goals
Biology is an incredibly fascinating discipline that allows
students, researchers, and teachers to investigate questions that
address issues along a huge continuum: from molecules to ecosystems.
As a biologist, my specific interests lie in the area of animal behavior
- especially in the 1) neural and hormonal control of behavior as
well as the 2) influence of the environment. Many of my investigations
address issues of circadian biology. Circadian
rhythms are controlled by an internal clock and are molecular,
physiological or behavioral events that occur at a frequency of about
once/day. These rhythms are ubiquitous among eukaryotic organisms
from single-cell organisms to worms to insects to crustaceans to vertebrates
and everything in between! This ubiquity suggests that having a circadian
clock helps organisms to anticipate and synchronize to daily environmental
changes and is of tremendous adaptive advantage.
teaching, my goal is to get my students
to tap into that sense of wonder and questioning that we have all
experienced when we turn over a log in the forest or a rock in a stream.
Further, I try to help them to develop their questions and then to
come up with ways with which they can attempt to answer them. In my
classes, the focus is on critical thinking and the process of doing
science. My research is often focused on
questions that can be addressed under the auspices of a course or
as independent study work. Overall, my goal is to try to immerse my
students in hypothesis -driven science with the goal of presenting
the results at regional (NEURON)
and/or national (NEUROSCIENCE) conferences.