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Teacher, Researcher, Human

The work I do with undergraduate students in my laboratory is interdisciplinary but a common theme is the evolution of developmental mechanisms. Unlike many scientists what I do today has little to do with my past training. I got my start using molecular biology and pharmacological tools to study ion channels and then transporter proteins in a variety of expression systems including a variety of mammalian cells, Xenopus laevis oocytes, bacteria (E. coli and L. lactis), and mouse (Mus musculus) and rat (Rattus rattus) brains. I also did side-projects on lobsters (Homarus americanus) and fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). Then I did a brief stint studying birdsong in zebra finches (Taeniopygia gutta). I became disillusioned with science and worked as a chef (Homo cibusarrogans) for a spell and then began teaching undergraduate biology. During my first full year of teaching I began working with Daphnia magna, a water flea. Over the past 6 years I have built a program of research focused on Daphnia. We study the development and function of the eye and the motor system using molecular biology, biomechanics, pharmacology and behavioral tools. Recently, we have broadened our studies to a variety of Branchiopods, a rich evolutionary class of mostly aquatic invertebrates, some with one eye and some with two who exhibit both swimming a crawling behaviors. The Branchiopods seem well-suited to help us answer question about the evolutionary developmental origins of both cyclopian and the transition from swimming to crawling.

  • B.S. Biology, Brandeis University, 1988-1992

    • with Chan Fulton and Elaine Lai

  • Ph.D. Neurobiology, Univ. Alabama at B'ham, (1999)

    • with Michael W. Quick

  • Postdoc, Yale Univ. 2002-2004

    • with Gary Rudnick​

  • Postdoc, Univ. Montana, 2004-06

    • with Michael Kavanaugh​

  • Interlude, Univ. Minnesota (2007-08)

    • with Teresa Nick​

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