Last Updated: 2023-2024 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 email@example.com 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).
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).
Sarah Latchney firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Rachel Myerowitz email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Lorena Torres-Martinez email@example.com SH 214, ext. 2229
My research focuses on disentangling the eco-evolutionary mechanisms driving plant adaptation to variable habitats in the face of climate change. My lab is investigating three main and interconnected mechanisms that can promote evolution in variable environments. I) The maintenance of genetic variability in populations, which ultimately is the source for adaptive potential and rapid evolutionary change. II) Evolution of phenotypic plasticity, which is the ability of a single genotype to modify its phenotype depending on the environment that it experiences. III) How can symbiotic associations with the surrounding microbiota provide benefits under unexpected and stressful situations. To investigate these processes, my students use a broad set of tools including genome sequencing and microbiome analyses, manipulative experiments in green house and growth chamber facilities, quantitative genetic breeding designs, inoculation trials and niche modelling techniques.
Patricia Santos-Ciminera firstname.lastname@example.org SH 127, ext. 4376
The flow of pathogenic organisms in the environment and how they encounter a susceptible host is part of the epidemiologic process of disease transmission. We are interested in the isolation, identification, and characterization of infectious agents and how they cycle in the environment to affect humans, we use environmental, vector and population surveillance tools to detect bacteria, parasites, and viruses in both terrestrial and aquatic environments utilizing both conventional and molecular laboratory approaches.
Detecting the presence of these organisms in the environment, which is shared with susceptible hosts, allows for guidelines on management of area use; continued surveillance of areas frequently used by susceptible hosts allows for specific directives on risk of exposure, laboratory support during surveillance in part of our process and the addition of molecular data to epidemiological tools allows for a better understanding of infectious diseases as the ability to characterize organisms at the molecular level allows for the identification of unique clusters that may be missed when using traditional protocols.
Current and past projects in our lab include samples originating from birds, cats, oysters, fishes, ticks, otters, humans, and various fomites.
Abby Beatty email@example.com SH 129, ext. 4204
My research crosses two distinct fields. First, I study the genetic regulation of endocrine signaling. One of my primary interests right now is how the Insulin-Signaling Network regulates physiological processes such as tissue regeneration, embryonic development, and life-history evolution. I use reptiles as a study system for understanding these processes. Much of the work in my lab requires either live animal experiments (in the field or in the lab), or organ-based experimentation using previously collected tissue samples.
The second focus in my lab is on Biology Education. My primary interest in this field is the study of creating diverse, equitable and inclusive learning environments in the biology classroom. I specifically focus on how incorporating Ideological Awareness into curriculum can further these efforts and increase engagement. While this work is currently available and funded, my interests in Biology Education are widespread, and I am always open to discussing new ideas and interests you may have!