The past academic year brought many new faculty and staff to our department:
Dr. Elizabeth McCullagh joined the Department of Integrative Biology as an Assistant Professor in January 2020. Liz received her Ph.D. in 2014 from the University of Illinois Chicago before pursuing a postdoctoral position at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Liz is an auditory neuroscientist who’s interests broadly cover how animals, including humans, determine where a sound is coming from using the brain. Specifically, she is interested in using animal models that have environments that make sound localization difficult, such as burrowing rodents, to better understand how the brain has evolved to interpret sound source cues. She is also interested in how the brain processes sound in conditions such as autism, where it is known that the auditory system becomes hypersensitive to sound information. Overall she can use these different lines of work to better understand how the brain works.
Dr. Jesse Balaban-Feld joined the Department of Integrative Biology as a Teaching Assistant Professor this past August. Jesse received his Ph.D. in 2017 from Saint Louis University. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Ben- Gurion University in Israel. Jesse studies Behavioral Ecology, with a focus on foraging and reproductive behaviors, and predator-prey interactions. Most of his research examines how animals make decisions based on prior experience. He loves all animals, and has worked with many species, including insects, birds, and fish. At OSU, Jesse is currently teaching Animal Biology, Ecology, and an Honors add-on course about Exotic and Invasive Animal Species.
Caitlin Laughlin joined the Department of Integrative Biology as an Academic Advisor II in March 2020, just one week before the university switched to remote work. Caitlin comes to us from the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. She has been working as an Adjunct Instructor in NREM teaching Introduction to Natural History and Ecology of Natural Resources since Fall 2017. Caitlin graduated from OSU with a M.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Management in December 2018. Her thesis on the Avian Responses to Fire Frequency in the Oklahoma Cross Timbers makes her well suited to work with our biology students. She earned her B.S. from Utah State University in Logan, Utah in May 2012 in Conservation and Restoration Ecology. As Vice President of the Payne County Audubon Society, Caitlin has been enjoying watching her bird feeders as she works from home with the help of her administrative assistant, Sophie (Canus lupus familiaris).