Biographical Sketch

I teach courses that contribute to both the Biology and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology majors at Cornell College. These courses include Foundations: Cellular Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, and a Biological Problems course taught at the Gerace Research Centre on San Salvador, The Bahamas or the International Zoological Expedition’s field station on South Water Caye, Belize. Student researchers in my lab are investigating the evolutionary relationship of fire coral, so named because of their painful sting. These corals are one of the most common skeleton-forming animals found in Caribbean reef ecosystems. My students are using molecular genetic tools to untangle the complex evolutionary relationship between members of this coral group. In addition to directly examining the coral, we are also investigating the diversity and distribution of the obligate partnership between fire coral and endosymbiotic dinoflagellates called Symbiodinium.

Academic History

  • Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Pathology, Utah State University, 1987
  • M.S. in Zoology, San Diego State University, 1979
  • B.A. in Aquatic Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1977

Curriculum Vitae and Personal Web Page

Research

  • Phenotypic Plasticity in the Fire Coral Millepora
  • Host Specificity of Symbiodinium in Corals
  • Tracking parentage and genetic diversity in the threaten queen conch

Publications

Recent Publications: (* Indicates Cornell student author)

Squiers*, L., Hay*, C., Gorbach*, D., Friend*, D. Black, B., Greenstein, B., Strychar, K. and  Tepper, C. 2011.  Cryptic speciation: A mismatch between genetics and morphology in Millepora. Proceedings of the 13th Symposium on the Natural History of the Bahamas. 8-19.

Tepper, C., Squiers*, L. Hay*, C. Gorbach*, D., Friend*, D. Black, B., Greenstein, B., Strychar, K. 2012. Cryptic Species: A Mismatch between Genetics and Morphology in Millepora. Marine Sciences. 2(5):57-65.

Gaynor*, S., Hay*, C. and Tepper, C. 2013. Cryptic Species or Intragenomic Variation: Implications for the Millepores.  Proceedings of the 14th Symposium on the Natural History of the Bahamas. 14: 13-25.

Edited Proceedings Volume

Proceedings of the 14th Symposium on the Natural History of the Bahamas. 2013. Edited by C. Tepper & R. Shaklee Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas.  

Grants

Courses Taught

  • Foundations: Cellular Biology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics
  • Advanced Molecular Biology
  • Biological Problems in Belize and The Bahamas

Academic Awards, Honors and Professional Activity

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Plant-Microbe Interatctions, 1987-1989
  • Visiting Research Scientist, National Cancer Institute (NIH), 1995-1996
  • Ringer Distinguished Professor, 2007-2010
  • Conference Co-Chair, 14th Symposium on the Natural History of the Bahamas, 2011
  • Research Review Committee – Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas. 2011-present