Dr. Crowley is Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Kentucky and currently serves as Associate Director for Research of the Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment. Dr. Crowley has a diverse academic background that includes degrees in geology (B.A., Rice University), environmental science and engineering (M.S., Rice University), and zoology, specializing in ecology (Ph.D., Michigan State University). He has been on the faculty at the University of Kentucky since 1976. Since then, he has published more than sixty articles in refereed research journals and has served as Principal Investigator on extramural research and research-training grants from the National Science Foundation exceeding $2M in total funding. Dr. Crowley has presented invited talks on his research at numerous universities, including 12 outside the USA. He has been awarded a Visiting Fellowship from the British Science and Engineering Council, a Faculty Merit Award from the University of Kentucky, and a Fellowship from the Royal Society of London. He has served on two editorial boards, nine federal grant panels, and a national science board. Dr. Crowley has served as research mentor for 8 postdoctoral researchers, 15 graduate students, and about 40 undergraduates.
Dr. Crowley's research examines a broad range of issues in evolutionary ecology in an effort to understand the structure of ecological communities, life histories within communities, and underlying behavioral mechanisms. He has worked extensively on freshwater aquatic systems, emphasizing the role of aquatic insects and their interactions with fish predators and invertebrate prey. More recently, Dr. Crowley has initiated NSF-funded collaborative work with a colleague (Dr. Nicholas McLetchie) on sex ratios and population dynamics of a bryophyte population living in a tropical rain forest. He has also begun work with another colleague (Dr. Robin Cooper) on sensory mechanisms, behavior, and social systems in crayfish -- both cave (blind) and surface (visual) species. Dr. Crowley uses a range of approaches in his research, including mathematical modeling, laboratory experiments, semi-field studies (outside in tubs and tanks), and experiments and long-term observations in the field. He especially enjoys collaborating with diverse groups of researchers on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects.
Dr. Crowley teaches introductory ecology to groups of about 70 undergraduate students using an interactive approach that features calling on students in class, within-class discussions, presentations by UK researchers, and student campus-ecology projects. He also teaches a graduate course on conceptual methods in ecology and evolution, in which students work on collaborative research projects, presenting their results orally and in writing at the end of the semester.
At the University of Kentucky, Dr. Crowley has served on the University Senate, and the Academic Council for the Medical Center, on the University Research Committee, as Director of Graduate Studies in Biology, on the Academic Area Advisory Committee for the Biological Sciences, as Director of the Center for Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, and as Director of the T.H. Morgan School of Biological Sciences.
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