Director of Neuroscience
Sarah Meerts (B.A., Vassar College, Ph.D., Dartmouth College) teaches courses in behavioral neuroscience, hormones and behavior and the neurobiology of motivated behaviors like sexual behavior and parenting. Sarah’s research focuses on the hormonal and neural mechanisms that mediate sexual motivation and reward. Her research uses behavioral techniques and immunocytochemistry to better understand female rat sexual behavior and the neuroendocrine changes that occur during puberty to facilitate adult sexual behavior.
Eric Hoopfer (B.S., University of Michigan, Ph.D., Stanford University) studies the genetic and neural basis of social behavior. He uses genetic and molecular approaches to investigate the neural circuit mechanisms that control aggression and courtship behaviors in the fruit fly. He teaches courses in neuroscience, developmental neurobiology, and the genetic and neural circuit basis of behavior.
Dr. Jaramillo is a neurobiologist interested in sensory systems. His work focuses on the hair cell, the mechanosensory receptor of the auditory, vestibular, and lateral line systems. His current research interests include the study of mechanoelectrical transduction, molecular motors in the hair cell, the role of noise in sensory processing, and the physiology of synaptic transmission. He teaches Neurobiology, Human Physiology, and a Neuroscience seminar.
Julie Neiworth, (B.A., Psychology, Reed College; M.A., Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, Michigan State University; postdoctoral fellow, neurobiology, U of TX Medical Center) studies comparative cognition including cognitive processes in primates, comparative neuroscience, aging and Alzheimer’s disease, animal and human learning. She was Chair of the psychology department for 6 years (1995–2001) and was director of the neuroscience concentration for 5 years (2007–2010, 2012–2014). She has published over 25 articles with Carleton students as co-authors. Julie is also on the board of consulting editors for the Journal of Comparative Psychology.
Dr. Rand, a vertebrate reproductive biologist, studies the hormonal mediation and function of sexually dimorphic traits. Currently he is looking at the role of genes in determining pigment differences in Sceloporus lizards. He teaches Animal Physiology, Vertebrate Morphology, a seminar on Behavioral Genetics, part of Introductory Biology, and a non-majors course that explores the biological basis of reproduction and sexuality in Humans.
Larry Wichlinski (Ph.D., Southern Illinois University) teaches courses in behavioral neuroscience, psychopharmacology, and sleep and dreaming. His research interests include the pharmacology of memory and anxiety, the behavioral and neurochemical effects of drug abuse, and sleep and dreaming.
Chair of Biology
Dr. Wolff is a developmental biologist interested in the embryonic development of the nervous system. She is currently using genetic and molecular approaches to investigate how male-specific neurons that control mating arise during development in the model organism C. elegans. She teaches Animal Developmental Biology, Developmental Neurobiology, part of Introductory Biology, and Biotechnology, Health, and Society.