Program PhD Students

Alysha Cypher

Alysha Cypher

Title: IB PhD Student
Department: Biology
Email: adc51@zips.uakron.edu


Biography

As a conservation biologist and naturalist at heart, I’m primarily interested in exploring the effects that humans have on the natural world.  I completed my undergraduate degree at Clarion University of Pennsylvania where I led multiple research projects exploring anthropogenic impacts on amphibians and fish.  Undergraduate projects included observing dispersal mechanisms in fishers, olfactory cues in blind cave fish and channel catfish when exposed to heavy metals, metamorphosis in American toads when exposed to pollutants, and development of a novel detection for the amphibian killing fungus.  I also interned at The University of Akron in their REU program in the summer of 2010 where I measured biochemical indicators in stoneroller minnows in streams of varying health.  My work with amphibians inspired me to co-establish an amphibian research facility and non-profit organization in Clarion, PA that coordinates with a local high school.  Through these organizations I have attempted to become an ambassador for science and nature, and have educated at elementary and high schools and in the community.

At the University of Akron, I will be using the zebrafish as a model organism to continue my exploration in areas of research including ecotoxicology.   Zebrafish are an excellent model because not only can their development from fertilization to adulthood be viewed, observing genetic variation over many generations is feasible.  With a doctorate in integrated bioscience I would pursue a position in academia and continue to interact in society to teach others about science and nature.


Education

B.S. Biology, Clarion University