Welcome to the Department of Biological Sciences at ETSU! We currently have 18 full-time faculty and two lecturers offering courses that help prepare our graduates for careers in the health sciences, natural resource conservation, industry, and academia. Our graduate program is very active and includes a Master of Science research degree and a Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences. One of the strengths of our department is the involvement of undergraduate students in research, with faculty members enthusiastically accepting undergraduates as contributing members of their research teams. We firmly believe that the best way to learn biology is to do it! - Joe Bidwell, Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences
Dr. Tom Jones
Behavioral Ecology, Neuroethology, Chronobiology
Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2000
I have a broad-based research program in the areas of animal behavior, ecology, population genetics, and neuroethology. Specifically, I am interested in the evolution of cooperation, sociality and dispersal strategies. My model organism is The northern social spider Anelosimus studiosus. This is among the most dynamic social systems found in nature, in that the spiders vary in their degree of sociality in response to latitude and microhabitat. I am exploiting the variation in this system to develop a deeper understanding of the selective forces involved with, and the mechanisms underneath, the evolution of sociality. Our group takes a multifaceted approach to this work including: computer modeling, field and laboratory experimentation, and using molecular markers to analyze the genetic structure of populations. We are also now beginning to explore the effects of various neurotransmitters on spider behavior. I am also interested in science education, developing interactive inquiry-based simulations to illustrate ecological principles.