Where did you complete your academic studies?
I received my Bachelor of Science degree from St. Thomas Aquinas College, my master's degree from Bowling Green State University, and my PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
What are your research interests?
My interests focus on two broad topics of fish biology: adaptation and breeding behavior. These are important topics to study because they are two key aspects when trying to understand how organisms and species persist in their environment.
To study these topics, my research encompasses several fields of biology: evolution, behavior, ecology, morphology, and physiology. My research involves both studies in the field and in the lab with natural populations of freshwater fish species. At heart, I am a scientist and naturalist and believe that only by incorporating a solid understanding of natural history into scientific pursuits can we fully understand the patterns and processes observed in nature.
What attracted you to Fitchburg State?
I was attracted to Fitchburg State’s commitment to providing students with a quality education. I wanted to work at an institution that wanted its students to succeed and it's clear that I found such a place here at Fitchburg State.
What have been your impressions of the campus community in your time here so far?
I have really enjoyed my time here on campus so far. The students in my classes have been very fun to interact with during class and are very motivated and hard working. The faculty and staff have been great as well. Everyone has been very friendly and numerous people (too many to count) have been exceedingly helpful in answering any and all questions that have popped up.
What is your approach to teaching, and what do you think makes an effective undergraduate professor?
If I had to boil it down to what makes an effective undergraduate professor (which is not an easy task), I’d say that that person needs to be knowledgeable and approachable. Knowledgeable not only in the sense of being an expert in their field, but also knowledgeable in how to convey that information in a way that is clear and makes sense. However, being knowledgeable will only be truly effective when students are open to the information and material being presented. This is why being approachable is essential. When students feel comfortable, their interest in the material increases and they are more actively engaged in their learning.
Is there anything else you would like the campus community to know about you?
Fish are amazing organisms and Massachusetts has a very cool variety of species, from small, bottom dwelling fish that you might only catch a glimpse of at the bottom of a stream, to large, open water species found in the middle of lakes and large rivers. They can teach us a lot about our world, our place in this world, and how human activity can impact our world. I am always happy to share what I know about fish and their world with anyone who is interested in knowing more.