Education and Background


B.A., Biology
Carleton College

M.S., Zoology
Ohio State University

Ph.D., Evolution, Ecology, & Organismal Biology
Ohio State University

I am a professor of biology in the Department of Natural Sciences at Clayton State University who serves as an advisor for students majoring in biology (B.S.) as well as students who are interested in applying to dental school.  Check the pre-dental tab for more information if you are interested in applying to dental school.

My research interests focus on animal behavior, particularly acoustic communication. My main research experience involves analyzing bat echolocation calls recorded in the field.  I've been interested in biology my whole life, so it was a natural subject for me to major in at college. I decided during college that animal behavior was the subject in particular that I wanted to study, and the majority of the work I did before graduate school involved birds.  I worked with Dr. Sylvia Halkin, studying the singing behavior of the Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis. I had expected to continue studying birds in graduate school, since there are a lot of people who study them, but there are still a lot of interesting questions to address. I had never even seen a bat up close until I got to college and that was entirely by accident. One day while out taking some pictures, I heard a strange sound, sort of like "thip-thip-thip". I looked up and saw a bird that was flying very strangely. When the "bird" landed on the trunk of a tree, it was pretty obvious what I was really seeing. Needless to say, I snapped a picture of this little critter, shown here:


I know, I'm not the world's greatest photographer, but I do try! :)

This was probably a little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), so here's a better picture of one:

To be honest, I knew very little about bats until I actually started graduate school, but ever since I started learning about them, I've been hooked.

As much as I love bats, they aren't all that I study.  I like studying animal behavior from lots of different angles, and in the past, I've had students study bats, but I've also had students study arthropods, emus, armadillos, and lemurs. If you have an interest in studying animal behavior of any sort, click on the "Research" tab the to learn more about what I've done in the past and what I'm currently doing..

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