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What is your general area of specialty or interest?
My lab investigates the effects of environmental toxicants on brain development and behavior.
What are your current active research projects?
We have three ongoing research projects at the current time. We are investigating the effects of a brominated flame retardant called hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) on learning and attention behaviors. HBCD is added to products such as building insulation materials, upholstery, and electronics. We are also investigating the effects of another flame retardant called decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) on neuromuscular and skeletal growth and development. DecaBDE is added to many of the consumer electronics and household appliances that we use every day. Finally, we are investigating the effects of Bisphenol A (BPA) on social and reproductive behaviors. BPA is an estrogenic substance that is contained in many plastics and resins used to make baby bottles and line food cans. Unfortunately, all three of these compounds have become widespread in the environment and their effects on human and animal health are not well-known.
Would you be willing to work with students as assistants with your research projects at this time?
Student involvement and participation in the laboratory is absolutely essential to our success.
If yes, how many?
The number varies according to the workload but over the years I have found that 4-6 dedicated students can make the laboratory hum.
Do you prefer to choose your research assistants yourself or are you willing to be approached by students?
Participation in the lab is usually preceded by a relationship that begins in the classroom as well as some conversations about student interests, goals, and availability.
In what aspects of your research are student assistants involved (e.g. data collection, data analysis, hypothesis formation, literature reviews, writing)?
Student activities in the lab are “hands-on”. It’s a different experience than what you’ve encountered in the classroom.
Are there any special comments/instructions you would like interested students to know about you, your projects, or what you are looking for?
If you are interested in human and animal behavior, protecting the environment, and/or neuroscience, the lab might be a place for you to learn and grow. Students considering research should be prepared to dedicate at least 9hrs per week and should regard research as one of their top priorities at Geneseo.