I teach a variety of courses in biological fundamentals, animal biology, human and non-human vertebrate anatomy, development and evolution. I also direct the Marine Science minor, including teaching the course "Marine Biology" at the Marine Science Consortium at Wallops Island, VA. My research concerns the function and evolution of structure and behavior in animals, particularly fishes in the Family Cichlidae. I am a native of central Connecticut, but have lived, worked and studied in northern and coastal Maine, southern Indiana, and the eastern shore of Virginia, as well as western Pennsylvania.
My research interests include the evolution of social and reproductive behaviors. I am particularly interested in the evolution of aggressive behavior, and mechanisms and evolutionary significance of mate choice. My dissertation research on the reproductive behavior of Neotropical cichlid fishes, and the large and growing body of research on cichlid behavior, has clearly demonstrated the usefulness of this behavioral system in addressing many current questions in behavioral biology. These include questions about territoriality and aggression, mate choice and sexual selection, the evolution of parental care, particularly biparental care, as well as the neurophysiological bases of behavior, particularly the role of visual mechanisms in the evolution of behavior.