Professor of Biology
Indiana University Southeast
Phone: (812) 941-2380
Office Location: LF 322
Educational and Professional Background
I obtained my B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Kent State University. My masters research focused on the ecology of aquatic insects occurring in a small spring. I then served as a National Park Service Ranger at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area and Mammoth Cave National Park before pursuing a Ph.D. at The Ohio State University.
At The Ohio State University I was involved in an interdisciplinary research program that focused on insect vectors of plant pathogens. Dr. Lowell Nault was my dissertation advisor. My research examined mechanisms of leafhopper transmission of plant viruses and other aspects of leafhopper behavior and ecology. I then obtained a postdoctoral position with Dr. Kenneth Haynes at the University of Kentucky where I studied the sex pheromone of the moth Trichoplusia ni. I resumed research on leafhoppers at UK and began studies of vibrational communication and the influence mating behavior on plant disease epidemiology. Before arriving at IU Southeast, I was a visiting assistant professor at Centre College in Danville Kentucky, where I taught for several years and maintained a research program involving many students.
I have worked at Indiana University Southeast since 1998. I teach several courses that are described in the teaching section. My research focuses on vibrational communication in leafhoppers and treehoppers. This research has been supported by the Indiana Academy of Science, United States Department of Agriculture, and National Science Foundation. Teaching is defined broadly at IU Southeast and the inclusion of undergraduate students in our research is well supported. Over 20 students have worked in my laboratory; many of these students have presented research at state and national meetings.
The amazing mating signals produced by leafhoppers and treehoppers have allowed me to contribute to public science education. In addition to several newspaper articles and regional television appearances, my insects and I were included in the British Broadcasting Corporation's series Alien Empire. This series was repeated as a NOVA production in the United States. Recordings of my hoppers were included by Rex Cocroft (University of Missouri) in an interview on NPR's Radio Explorer and I was interviewed on NPR's Science Friday.