People

Faculty

Craig Woodard, Professor of Biological Sciences
Chair and Christianna Smith Professor of Biological Sciences

Craig Woodard’s research group examines metamorphosis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, in an attempt to understand how steroid hormones control biological processes such as development, programmed cell death, tissue remodeling, and insulin signaling. By examining the mechanisms by which ecdysone regulates fly metamorphosis, Woodard hopes to gain a better understanding of how steroid hormones control biological processes in all animals.

413-538-3056, 413-538-2724
105 Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Professor Andras, PhD

Jason Andras

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Jason Andras is interested in the ecological and evolutionary interactions between animals and their microbial symbionts. His previous research has explored these themes in deep-sea hydrothermal vent and coral reef communities. His current research focuses primarily on the coevolution between freshwater zooplankton of the genus Daphnia and one of their highly specific bacterial parasites, Pasteuria ramosa.

413-538-2891
100 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Biologist Sarah Bacon is fascinated by the relationship between mother and fetus during pregnancy. "What I'm really interested in is fertility and miscarriage," she says. "Eighty percent of what humans conceive is lost before birth." Bacon says that most pregnancies end before a woman even knows she's pregnant. She's trying to find out why by studying reproduction in rats, which have very similar pregnancies to humans. Bacon also studies the ways in which mother and fetus communicate through the placenta. "It's so powerful, such an enigma," she says. "There's no other relationship that is that physiologically intimate."

413-538-3056
120E Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
 Patty Brennan, Visiting Lecturer of Biological Sciences
Visiting Lecturer of Biological Sciences
413-538-3319
120A Clapp Laboratory
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Renee Brodie, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Renae Brodie

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Renae Brodie is an ecological physiologist who investigates the reproductive and larval biology of crabs. Currently, she is studying fiddler crabs along the Atlantic coast, where she has established field sites from Massachusetts to Georgia to test hypotheses about how temperature and other factors― like population density, food supply and pollution―impact survival and reproduction. Ultimately, insights from these projects will allow Renae, her students and collaborators to predict how the health and geographic ranges of fiddler crab populations will shift as the planet’s climate continues to change.

413-538-3380
112 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Amy Camp, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Amy Hitchcock Camp investigates how bacteria—once assumed to be antisocial organisms—“talk” with one another to coordinate complex biological processes. In particular, she studies a bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, that can transform itself into a dormant and nearly indestructible spore. Using molecular, cellular, genetic, and biochemical techniques, the Camp Lab “eavesdrops” on sporulating cells to discover the elegant and unexpected ways that they communicate and control gene expression.

413-538-3433
120A Carr Laboratory
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By appointment only
Professor of Biological Sciences

Rachel Fink's current research deals with the cytoskeletal dynamics in living fish embryos, with a focus on how microfilament and microtubule behavior relate to cell arrangements during embryogenesis. Her research was recently published in Cell Biology Education and the educational CD-ROM, The Living Laboratory.

413-538-2359
215 Clapp Laboratory
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By appointment only
Amy Frary, Professor of Biological Sciences
Chair of Biochemistry & Professor of Biological Sciences

Amy Frary's research focuses on studying the genetic architecture and evolution of plant genomes, largely through the analysis of quantitative traits and comparative genome mapping. She is equally at home among biologists who work at the molecular level and chemists who work at the biological level. Frary has worked with students on the Howard Hughes Summer Research Training program on such topics as the DNA fingerprinting of plants.

413-538-3015
120C Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Gary Gillis, Associate Dean of Faculty
Associate Dean of Faculty, Professor of Biological Sciences, and Director of the Science Center

Gary Gillis is interested in the biomechanics and neuromuscular control of animal locomotion. He has worked on systems ranging from swimming fish to running mammals and has been involved in projects exploring plasticity in muscle function and the effects of body size on locomotor movements. Most recently his lab has been using toads to study the control of rapid deceleration during landing. In 2012 and 2013 Gillis served as a Program Officer for the National Science Foundation. Gillis is the point-person for Summer Student Programming, Federal Grant Submissions and Faculty Fridays.

413-538-2515
Mary Lyon 106
Contact
By appointment only

Amanda Hamel

Visiting Lecturer in Biological Sciences
N/A
N/A
N/A
By appointment only
Martha Hoopes, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Ecologist Martha Hoopes is interested in how species coexist and even more in why they don't. Her research focuses on invasion ecology and conservation biology and the human interactions with the environment that lead to interactions between invasive species and rare species. Hoopes and her students study invasive plant species in the Quabbin, Harvard Forest, and on Mount Holyoke property, using fieldwork, mathematical models, and statistical approaches to explore spatial dynamics and metacommunities, or how communities interact through dispersal.

413-538-2210
214 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Stan Rachootin, Professor of Biological Sciences
Professor of Biological Sciences

Stan Rachootin teaches what evolved (Introductory Biology, Terrestrial Arthropods, Invertebrate Zoology), how evolution might work (Evolution, Macroevolution), and how evolution evolved (Darwin). He has advised theses on how flatfish evolved from round fish, why a tiny fly preserved in amber made eye lenses on its wings, and what the differences in shapes of closely related snails teach us about metaphor in statistics. Each project takes a new problem, though most find that development can help disentangle an evolutionary mystery.

413-538-2093
3D Clapp Laboratory
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By appointment only

Katherine Schreiber

Visiting Lecturer of Biological Sciences
413-538-2573
120D Carr Laboratory
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By appointment only

Geoffrey Tanner

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
413-538-2805
211 Clapp Laboratory
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By appointment only

Andre White

Visiting Lecturer in Biological Sciences
N/A
N/A
N/A
By appointment only

Staff

Jennifer Atkins

Laboratory Instructor
413-538-2139
3A Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Leszek Bledzki

Leszek Bledzki

Senior Research Associate

Leszek Bledzki is a limnologist, ecologist and forester, and senior research associate of the Miller-Worley Center for the Environment, Environmental Studies and Biology Departments. He provides curricular support for environmentally-related laboratories in science courses; manages the collection/archival of water quality and weather data; and is assisting faculty and students with independent research. Bledzki's research interests range from biostatistics and modeling, through ecosystems functioning, global climate change, nitrogen and carbon cycling in temperate peatlands to taxonomy, ecology and biogeography of Rotifera, Cladocera and Copepoda. Bledzki has published over 90 peer-reviewed and popular-press articles.

413-538-3075
10E Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Blanca Carbajal-Gonzalez

Microscopy Director
413-538-3118
123 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Colleen Fenton

Research Technician
413-538-3174
114 Carr Laboratory
N/A
By appointment only

Louise Grosslein

Lab Director/Instructor

Teaches computer programming for SummerMath at MHC.

413-538-3221
3B Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Sue LaBarre

Academic Department Coordinator
413-538-2149
104 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Amanda MacAvoy

Laboratory Instructor; Biological Sciences
413-538-3624
3C Clapp Laboratory
N/A
By appointment only

Amy Mays

Laboratory Instructor; Biological Sciences
413-538-2122
3C Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Justyne Ogdahl

Laboratory Instructor; Biological Sciences
413-538-2106
6A Carr Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Deborah Piotrowski

Laboratory and Animal Care Facilities Director

Deborah Piotrowski's Research interests include: turtles, natural history, physiology, and conservation; Animal care & enrichment, and animal welfare. Piotrowski also serves on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

413-538-2139
3A Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only

Alivia Price

Senior Lab Instructor; Biological Sciences
413-538-3221
3B Clapp Laboratory
N/A
By appointment only

Emeriti

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
413-538-2148
119 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Jeffrey A. Knight Professor of Biological Sciences
Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences

Jeffrey Knight is the editor of both volumes of Encyclopedia of Genetics, the author of numerous articles, and a contributor to many textbooks and encyclopedias. His current research interests include mitochondrial ribosomal biogenesis in yeast, the fine-structure analysis of mitochondrial genes in yeast, and genetically engineered ribozyme expression in yeast.

413-538-2487
105 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only