• Postdoctoral, University of California, Los Angeles (Neurobiology)
  • Postdoctoral, University of California, San Diego (Biology)
  • Ph.D. Northwestern University (Neuroscience)
  • B.A. Lawrence University (Biology & Neuroscience)

Areas of Expertise

  • Microscopy
  • Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


I am a developmental neurobiologist interested generally by the ways organisms develop and specifically by the ways the nervous system forms. That a single cell, the fertilized egg, has all the information and resources necessary to coordinate the development of complex and varied multicellular organisms is an endlessly fascinating question with important implications for basic research, stem cells, and clinical research. I am very fortunate to be able to teach classes about my favorite subjects in both biology and neuroscience to a steady stream of talented and engaged Davidson students.


My laboratory investigates how individual neurons wire themselves together into a precisely interconnected and functional nervous system. Students in the lab study axon extension and innervation, growth cone dynamics, and the elaboration of axonal and dendritic arbors using tadpoles and zebrafish embryos.

Examples of recent questions examined by students in my lab have examined the role of the cholinergic signaling in developing spinal neurons as influenced by pesticides, the role of Stitrks, a novel family of genes implicated in neuronal wiring, and the influence of estrogen mimicking plasticizers, such as BPA, on tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the developing tadpole brain.


  • BIO 161 Being Human in STEM
  • BIO 251 Light Microscopy
  • BIO 261 Neuroscience of Exercise
  • BIO 306/336 Developmental Biology