Program PhD Students

Andrew Shall

Andrew Shall

Title: IB PhD Student
Department: Biology


Biography

I graduated from the University of Akron in 2004 with a degree in biology.  At the time, I anticipated going into the medical field, so most of my classes were focused on the workings of the human body.  However, after completing my studies, I spent the next several years in China where I taught a range of things from ESL (English as a Second Language) to AP Biology. It was there where I fell in love with teaching and deepened my passion for biology.  I went back to school, earning a master’s degree in education from the University of Oklahoma, and then returned to good ol’ Akron, Ohio.  I am now in the IB program at the University of Akron hoping to get a PhD so that I can eventually teach biology at the university level.

I am currently working in Todd Blackledge’s lab studying the inner workings of spiders.  At such a nascent stage, it is hard to say exactly which direction my research will take me.  However, it looks like I will head in the direction of the glues found on the capture spiral of some orb-weaving spiders’ webs.  Specifically, I am interested in the biomimetic uses of such glues (and really anything in the natural world, for that matter).  In more general terms, I am excited about using the designs and products in the natural world to solve ecological problems around us.


Education

B.S., Biology, University of Akron