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Shannon Olsson


2003 - 2004 CSIP Fellow

Research Interest:
Neurobiology and Behavior

Chemical communication is truly the unspoken language of nature. The ability of animals to perceive and transmit information through chemicals (i.e. pheromones, kairomones, and synomones) is a wonderful aspect of Mother Nature's magic. As a Ph.D. student in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, I explore this world of Chemical Ecology. Currently, my thesis project analyses how changes in reception of chemicals (via changes in neurophysiology) can mediate speciation in a widespread agricultural pest, the apple maggot fly.

Chemical Ecology is becoming increasingly important to areas of agriculture, horticulture, conservation, neurobiology, genetics and many others. As a researcher at the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, I would love to help students discover how chemocommunication functions in nature and/or how research in chemical ecology can be directly applied to agriculture. From ant trail following and pest management to the potential for human pheromones, there are many avenues that can be explored. I possess NYS Teaching certification in Chemistry (Gr 5-12) and have also TA'ed Introductory Biology. I would be happy to work with either chemistry or biology classrooms. I am looking forward to combining research with education and especially to the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for science with others!





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