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Degree Program University
Ph.D. Arizona State University

My Siena Experience

My Teaching Philosophy

Excellent teaching is an active and reflective exercise to change students' understanding about the world and exert a positive influence on how students think, act, and feel. My objectives are: (1) provide students with perspective about the living world and how it works, (2) encourage critical thinking skill development, (3) help students understand how fundamental scientific knowledge and insights arise and are communicated, and (4) empower students to contribute to scientific understanding. I use evidence-based teaching methods to teach concept-focused courses with an emphasis on the development of communication and critical-thinking skills.

What I Love About Siena

Siena reflects the ideal attributes of a vibrant learning community.  Our faculty and students are collegial and vested in our shared interests in teaching and learning, lifelong scholarship, and promoting positive change in society and the world around us. Our classes are small enough to facilitate the one-on-one engagement that is crucial for fostering intellectual development, and our emphasis on hands-on skills ensures that we remain engaged in theory and in practice.

My Favorite Courses to Teach

I am currently teaching General Biology and Comparative Physiology, and find both courses equally rewarding to teach.

My Professional Experience

Current Research

I study metabolic physiology and ecology in two insect groups, wing-dimorphic field crickets and leafcutter ants. I ask (1) how nutrients affect growth and physiological allocation (i.e. how do different nutrients get to different parts of the body or organism?); and (2) how nutrition and behavior interact to drive function and growth of complex social groups. For example, how do ant queens balance between foraging vs. tending their young, to grow a new leafcutter colony?