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Zachary Aidala

Zachary is second year GK-12 graduate teaching fellow and a third year doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is working towards a Ph.D. in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. After graduating with a BS in Psychobiology from Binghamton University (SUNY), he worked as a field assistant studying social behavior and disease transmission in American Crows in Ithaca, NY. He came to NYC in 2007 to start an MA in Psychology at Hunter College (CUNY) with a concentration in Animal Behavior and Conservation. His Masters work focused on the neurotoxic effects of environmental mold exposure in mice. After finishing his MA in 2009, he entered the Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience program at The CUNY Graduate Center where he works with Dr. Mark E. Hauber at Hunter College studying the evolution of sensory and perception systems in birds. His doctoral work incorporates a mix of behavioral and molecular techniques to better understand the dynamics of evolutionary pressures and consequences.

Zachary expects to receive his Ph.D. in the spring of 2014 As a GK-12 graduate teaching fellow in 2010, he worked at Astor Collegiate Academy in an Advanced Placement Environmental Science class. He is developing a course in which students learn basic field biology techniques to study birds. In addition to fostering an appreciation for the urban habitat, his course allows for long-term monitoring of bird populations around the high school so that students can study a diverse range of topics and add to previous years' data sets.  This year, he is working with Jennifer Dahlstrom and Danielle Dubno-Hammer at the Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE) in an Indepentent Research Methods in Neuroscience class.  He is closely working with students to help them develop and implement experiments, the results of which are to be entered to the Intel STS and NYCSEF science fairs.