Last Updated: 2019-2020 Academic Year
The Biology Faculty are active scholars and maintain current research programs. If you are interested in the research of any faculty member, please don’t hesitate to contact them directly to discuss opportunities.
Emily Brownlee firstname.lastname@example.org SH 235, ext.4211
My research involves understanding how microscopic aquatic organisms adapt to their rapidly changing environments. In particular, I am interested in mixotrophic organisms that – like a Venus flytrap – can both photosynthesize and consume organic material to acquire energy. This metabolic middle ground can provide a competitive advantage to a broad diversity of marine microbes. I study these organisms with a combination of modern molecular tools, flow cytometry, and traditional plankton ecology methodology. Research opportunities in my lab come in many flavors: from local wintertime fieldwork in the Chesapeake Bay to culture experiments with various mixotrophic dinoflagellates and ciliates (to understand physiological adaptations under controlled conditions) to statistical analyses of long-term data sets (to tackle questions about seasonality and deviations from these predictable patterns).
Jeffrey Byrd email@example.com SH 216, ext. 2973
My research interests: microbial ecology, survival of bacteria in the environment, and novel antimicrobial agents. My two ongoing study areas: 1) the predatory interactions of non-obligate predatory soil bacteria and 2) the survival of bacteria in the estuarine environment Bacterial genera commonly studied in my laboratory are Escherichia, Vibrio, Aristabacter, Cupriavidus, Ensifer, and Agromyces
Karen Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org SH 262, ext. 4598
My research interests involve questions concerning how normal pattern is created in regenerating and developing systems. Projects in my research lab include studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms that function during amphibian limb regeneration and metamorphosis, squid embryogenesis, and regeneration in a fresh water oligochaete worm.
Kevin Emerson email@example.com SH231, ext. 2123
My research primarily focuses on understanding evolutionary processes in natural systems. In particular I have research efforts in understanding how organisms survive in seasonal environments, how evolutionary processes have and will affect malaria transmission dynamics, and how organisms interact with intracellular symbionts. Molecular, Evolutionary, and ecological contexts drive my research. Research opportunities in my lab range from the field (collection, identification, monitoring) to the lab (molecular genetics) to the computer (computational biology including the analysis of large sequence datasets).
Tom Evans firstname.lastname@example.org SH214, ext. 2229
I am a biogeochemist interested in using chemical tools to understand organismal ecology. I am especially interested in fish, and tracking their movement. I am also interested in how migration strategies evolved and the trade-offs in adopting different strategies.
Sean Hitchman email@example.com SH262, ext. 4598
Dr. Hitchman is a broadly trained aquatic ecologist specializing in species-habitat relationships in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. Current and past research projects can be classified into three general areas:1) Evaluation of patterns and processes regulating fish species/communities and overall diversity in marine and freshwater ecosystems, 2) Effects of local and regional anthropogenic impacts on diversity-ecosystem relationships, 3) Using multiple approaches to understanding species-habitat relationships in aquatic ecosystems. Potential projects at SMCM include examining the efficacy of environmental DNA as a tool to track rare and/or invasive species and over biodiversity trends, quantifying species-habitat relationships in St. Mary’s River, using multivariate approaches to track community change in St John’s Pond.
Rose Keith firstname.lastname@example.org SH 258, ext. 4372
My research focuses on the evolutionary genetics of complex traits in plants. I primarily work on chemical defenses against herbivores in plants in the mustard family. I’m interested in how these defenses protect different parts of the plant against entire communities of insects and pathogens, and how selection on these defenses varies depending on plant tissue, environment, and season, and how the evolution of defenses may be constrained by all of these factors. Research in my lab may include eco/ev questions on plant resistance or tolerance to herbivores, or quantitative genetics or mapping.
Sarah Latchney email@example.com SH233, ext. 4365
Currently, Dr. Latchney’s research interests are broadly aimed at studying the impact of the environment on neural stem and progenitor cells through the intersections of neuroscience, toxicology, and environmental health. She uses ‘environment’ as an umbrella term to include anthropogenic pollutants, naturally occurring products, and pharmaceutic agents. Using neuronal cell cultures, students may join her lab and use various cellular and molecular approaches to study the effects of the environment on neuronal physiology.
Jeff Lombardo firstname.lastname@example.org SH129, ext. 4204
The majority of my work centers around the population ecology of forest insect pests. Populations of many important forest insects are characterized by complex dynamics, often involving alternating states of abundance that can vary in space as well as time. The question of why populations fluctuate, and what factors contribute to these patterns are important not only for understanding the processes that drive these dynamics, but also in mitigating pest outbreaks. I am particularly interested in the influence of temperature, and the response of species to altered thermal regimes. Some of my recent research has focused on the relationship between the thermal environment and phenological synchrony, and the feedbacks among synchrony, abundance, and population growth. Other recent work has focused on quantifying evidence of thermal adaptation in invasive insects; which is an important process in the establishment and spread of introduced populations.
Jessica Malisch email@example.com SH258, ext. 4368
Research in my lab focuses on the vertebrate stress response and the effects of stress on physiology and behavior. I collect physiological and behavioral data from a population of white-crowned sparrows each May and June in the eastern Sierra Mountains just outside Yosemite National Park in California. I also plan to conduct similar studies of white-crowned sparrows and dark-eyed juncos in southern Maryland. Students in my lab may join me in the eastern Sierras to collect data, may help collect data from bird populations around campus, and/or analyze previously collected plasma samples, field videos, and field activity data. My most recent work in the sierras is examining decision making during inclement weather. Global climate change has led to an increase in severity and inconsistency of typical weather patterns subjecting free-living organisms to more stressful events in an increasingly stochastic environment. Organism’s responses to storms may affect reproductive success and thus fitness. For example, fleeing a storm may increase life-time survival but may also result in the loss of territory or nest abandonment. How organisms make these types of decisions is not well understood, but hormonal influences on behavior make endocrine secretions prime candidates.
Rachel Myerowitz firstname.lastname@example.org SH260, ext. 4373
In general, I study human inherited disorders which result from a defective lysosomal enzyme and therefore affect lysosomal function. The focus of my research includes the molecular genetics, molecular pathological mechanisms, gene expression profiles and treatment development for Tay-Sachs, Gaucher and Pompe Diseases, three inherited lysosomal disorders. In addition, I am interested in bioethical questions mainly concerned with ethical dilemmas raised by the new biotechnology and I have mentored many SMPs focused on such questions. I am also interested in utilizing plants as my experimental system for asking genetic questions. I am currently mentoring an SMP which asks the question of whether or not a nursery ground for an extinct shark, C. megalodon, existed in the Chesapeake area 15 million years ago-take home message- come speak with me about any interesting question you would like to explore!
Jordan Price email@example.com SH 212, ext. 2216
My research blends two disparate fields of biology, animal behavior and molecular evolution, to investigate the evolutionary histories of animal traits, especially the songs and color patterns of birds. But I am broadly interested in topics spanning these and other biological fields. Previous SMP students have studied the behaviors of a variety of local animals (including deer, insects, isopods, and a wide diversity of birds), as well as other non-local taxa from the New World tropics. Some studies have used molecular phylogenies to examine how and why animal characteristics have evolved into the forms we see today. You can browse some of my recent papers, including a few co-authored with students, posted on my lab bulletin board. Current projects that students could jump right into include: the evolution of sexual dimorphism, song evolution in mockingbirds and relatives, the evolution of nest structures in Australian and African birds.. But I’d be happy to talk about any ideas you might have.
Stephen Raiker firstname.lastname@example.org SH 232, ext. 2001
My research interests pertain to the proper development and maintenance of neural connections. Specifically, my research investigates the molecular pathways that contribute to the proper cellular structure and function of neurons. My current projects utilize Drosophila Melanogaster as a model system to examine how axonal transport of intracellular cargoes contributes to neurotransmission and neurodegeneration.