I'm a biologist passionate about both research and teaching. My research interests span sensory physiology and perception, communication, and chemical ecology in arthropods. I currently study reproductive regulation in three polydomous ant species, Novomessor cockerelli, Camponotus floridanus, and Oecophylla smaragdina. I'm faculty in the Life Sciences Division at Estrella Mountain Community College and am passionate about teaching and mentoring undergraduate students in biology. I actively work on improving my teaching by utilizing evidence-based practices. Please use the links for more details about my work and experience.
Q&A with Jessie
Where are you from?
I grew up in Randolph, Ohio on a hobby farm with my Mom. We lived down the road from my grandparents who ran a 100 acre dairy/crop farm. We were the only people living on that side of our road with two neighbors across the street (It was a tiny town!) I'm an only child and was the first person in a my large extended family to go to college.
Where did you go to school and what research are you interested in now?
I did my undergraduate work at Wittenberg University where I double majored in Biology (focusing on marine science) and Psychology (focusing on behavior/neuroscience). I completed my master's degree in biology at the University of Cincinnati where I studied visual perception and navigation in fiddler crabs. Finally, I completed my PhD in animal behavior at Arizona State University where I studied long-range communication and reproductive regulation in ants.
My general research interests are in animal communication and sensory physiology. I want to know how animals communication and what physiological mechanisms they use to interact with their world. Although, I've done research with rats and humans, I strongly prefer working with invertebrates as research subjects. For more about my research, visit my website www.jessieebie.com.
What was your first job?
McDonald's when I was 16. I lasted one whole week before abandoning ship and becoming a host at a a restaurant called Country Kitchen. I've also waited tables and been a janitor at a daycare.
What are your hobbies?
Does starting new hobbies and giving up on them after a couple of weeks count as a hobby? Some of the hobbies I've stuck with: I love trying new coffee shops (please send recommendations), SCUBA diving, traveling, reading, and hiking. I'm also great at making awkward typos in text messages and emails. Apologies in advance. ;0)
What are a couple of things you used to do but don't anymore?
I was a dancer from about 3 years old and stopped dancing about 10 years ago. I was in a modern dance company in college and for a year after college. I also used to play the saxophone in band but was pretty awful at that.
Who do you share your home with?
I live with my partner (Ted), my dog (Fritz), a tarantula (Baldy), and two hermit crabs.
What is your favorite animal?
My absolute favorite animal is hands down dogs! My top five undomesticated animals are peacock jumping spiders, wombats, weaver ants, fiddler crabs, and bush stone curlews.
If you were going to pursue a non-STEM career, what would it be?
I would either become a nature photographer so I could travel the world taking photos, or I would open an indoor dog park complete with a tiny coffee shop here in Phoenix.