Education

May 2018  —  Ph.D., Dept. of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Advised by Dr. Lauren V. Riters.

March 2018  —  Delta Certificate in Teaching and Learning, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

2009-2013  —  B.Sc., Molecular Environmental Biology, University of California, Berkeley.

Academic positions

Dec 2019 – present –Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Healey Lab. University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Aug 2018 – Dec 2019 — Postdoctoral Research Associate. Healey Lab. University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Publications

Stevenson, S.A., Piepenburg, A., Spool, J.A., Angyal, C.A., Hahn, A.H., Zhao, C., Riters, L.V. (2020). Endogenous opioids facilitate intrinsically-rewarded birdsong. Scientific Reports. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67684-1.

Hahn, A.H., Spool, J.A., Angyal, C.S., Stevenson, S.A., Riters, L.V. (2019). Conditioned place preferences induced by hearing song outside the breeding season relate to neural dopamine D1 and cannabinoid CB1 receptor gene expression in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Behavioural Brain Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2019.111970.

Riters, L.V., Spool, J.A., Merullo, D.P., Hahn, A.H. (2019). Song practice as a rewarding form of play in songbirds. Behavioural Processes. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2017.10.002.

Riters, L.V., Kelm-Nelson, C.A., Spool, J.A. (2019). Why do birds flock? A role for opioids in the reinforcement of gregarious social interactions. Frontiers in Physiology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00421.

Spool, J.A., Merullo, D.P., Zhao, C., Riters, L.V. (2019). Seasonal changes of co-localized mu opioid receptors and dopamine D1 receptors in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and subregions of the medial preoptic area in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Hormones and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2018.11.003.

Spool, J.A., Jay, M.D., Riters, L.V. (2018). Nest cavity exploration may stimulate breeding physiology and alter mRNA in the medial preoptic area of female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Journal of Experimental Biology. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.174441.

Merullo, D.P., Spool, J.A., Zhao, C., Riters, L.V. (2018). Co-localization patterns of neurotensin receptor 1 and tyrosine hydroxylase in brain regions involved in motivation and social behavior in male European starlings. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy 89: 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchemneu.2018.01.002.

Spool, J.A., Riters, L.V. (2017). Associations between environmental resources and the “wanting” and “liking” of male song in female songbirds. Integrative and Comparative Biology 57(4): 835-845. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icx117.

Spool, J.A., Riters, L.V., Piper, W.H. (2017). Territorial defence strategies relate to recent reproductive success in common loons (Gavia immer). Journal of Avian Biology 48(10): 1281-1286. https://doi.org/10.1111/jav.01389.

Hahn, A.H., Merullo, D.P., Spool, J.A., Angyal, C.A., Stevenson, S.A., Riters, L.V. (2017). Song-associated reward correlates with endocannabinoid-related gene expression in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Neuroscience 346: 255-266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.01.028.

Spool, J.A., Stevenson, S.A., Angyal, C.S., Riters, L.V. (2016). Independent contributions of testosterone and a nesting territory to sexually-motivated behaviors and mRNA expression in the medial preoptic area of male European starlings. Hormones and Behavior 86: 36-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2016.09.004.

Under review

Spool, J.A., Macedo-Lima, M., Scarpa, G., Morohashi, Y., Yazaki-Sugiyama, Y., Remage-Healey, L. Core mammalian-typical features of cortex in avian association pallium.

Research grants and awards

2019  —  Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), Postdoctoral Fellowship, $185,582.

2017  —  Campus-wide teaching award: Innovation in Teaching.

2016  —  Lowell E. and Ruth Chase Noland Memorial Fund and the John and Virginia Emlen Award Fund, $1,650.

2015-2017  —  John Jefferson Davis Travel Award, total $2,400.

2015  —  NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable mention.

Conferences and presentations

Spool, J.A., Macedo-Lima, M., Scarpa, G., Morohashi, Y., Yazaki-Sugiyama, Y., Remage-Healey, L. (Oct., 2019). Genetic and physiological segregation of excitatory vs inhibitory cell types in songbird auditory cortex. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience 2019, Chicago, IL.

Spool, J.A., Scarpa, G., Morohashi, Y., Yazaki-Sugiyama, Y., Remage-Healey, L. (Jun., 2019). Genetic segregation of, and aromatase colocalization in, excitatory vs inhibitory cell types in songbird auditory cortex. Poster presented at the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology 2019, Bloomington, IN.

Spool, J.A., Merullo, D.P., Zhao, C., Riters, L.V. (Oct., 2018).  Co-localization of mu-opioid receptors and dopamine D1 receptors across seasonal states in the medial preoptic area and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in male European starlings. Poster presentation at the Bird Song and Animal Communication annual meeting 2018. Millbrook, NY.

Spool, J.A. (Jan. 2018). Nest cavity exploration may stimulate breeding physiology and alter mRNA expression in the medial preoptic area of female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Aubrey Gorbman Best Student Oral Presentation session at Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2018, San Francisco, CA.

Spool, J.A. (Nov. 2017). Nest cavity exploration stimulates breeding physiology and alters preoptic mRNA expression in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Invited talk at MidBrains Midwest Regional Neuroscience Conference 2017, St. Paul, MN.

Spool, J.A., Jay, M.D., Riters, L.V. (2017). Nest cavity exploration stimulates breeding physiology and alters preoptic mRNA expression in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Poster presented at Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology 2017, Long Beach, CA.

Spool, J.A., Angyal, C.S., Stevenson, S.A., Riters, L.V. (2016). Cannabinoid and dopamine D1 receptor mRNA in the medial preoptic nucleus relate to song-associated conditioned place preference in female European starlings. Poster presented at Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology 2016, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Spool, J.A., Stevenson, S.A., Angyal, C.S., Riters, L.V. (2015). Independent contributions of testosterone and a nesting site to sexually-motivated behaviors and mRNA expression in male European starlings. Poster presented at Society for Neuroscience 2015, Chicago, IL.

Teaching and professional development

Summer 2018 — Instructor, Neurobiology.

Fall 2017 —  Teaching Assistant, Neuroscience.

Spring 2017 —  Bias and diversity workshop.

2016-2017 —  Teaching Assistant, Zoology 151: Introductory Biology lab.

Fall 2016 —  Improv to Improve Teaching and Communication.

Spring 2016 —  Broader Impacts: Public Education, Engagement and Outreach for Animal Research.

Spring 2013 —  Instructor, Current Issues in Urban Education Seminar. UC Berkeley.

Science communication and outreach

2019-present — Massachusetts Young Birders Club, co-founder. Created structure and received grant funding for a Young Birders Club in Massachusetts, currently in recruitment stages.

2019-present — Education subcommittee, Hampshire Bird Club. Providing support for events and organizations that educate and facilitate love and knowledge of birds; diversifying the birding community in Western Massachusetts.

2018-present —  Skype a Scientist. One hour Skype sessions with K-12 classrooms during Fall and Spring semesters to generate connections and dialogue about scientific careers, answer questions about my life and path to science, and share my research.

2019  — Pipettes and Paintbrushes. Collaborated with a local artist to visualize my current research project. Art is scheduled to be showcased for three days on campus in late April 2019, and will be on exhibit at March for Science 2019 in Amherst, MA.

March 2018  —  Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering Workshop. Funded to participate in a nationwide workshop to give scientists tools to engage representatives and the public on science policy issues. Washington D.C.

2016-2017  —  Teen Science Cafés. Informal meetings between students in middle or high school and scientists from UW Madison.

2014-2017  —  Wisconsin Science festival, Darwin Day, UW Science Expeditions. Participated in three annually recurring public outreach events facilitating a hands-on Zoology “Eat or be Eaten” themed station for all ages.

2014-2015  —  Chatting with Scientists. This nine-part video series aimed to dispel common misconceptions about the personalities of scientists by presenting informal interviews with graduate students in several different scientific disciplines on the University of Wisconsin, Madison campus. Directed and edited by Jeremy Spool. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1CaL48atS6LhtKc2bqwGvA.

2014-2015  —  Young Science Scholars. Partnered with two elementary school teachers in the Madison Metropolitan School district to enhance and teach inquiry-based science once a week during the school year.

Mentoring

2020-present  —  Britt Mardis. Morphology of identified projection and interneuron cell-types in avian pallium.

2019-present  —  Nick Ambrosio. Optogenetic inactivation of secondary auditory cortex in awake behaving Zebra finches during an auditory learning task.

2019-2020  —  Postdoc/PhD candidate mentoring dinners. A monthly mentoring group for dissertating graduate students to discuss postdoctoral positions, alternative career options, and finishing the PhD.

2019  —  Violet Ivan. Anterograde projections of secondary auditory cortex in Zebra finches.

2018-present  —  Alexis Payette. Neural correlates of pair cooperation defense strategies in California mice.

2018-present  —  Lisa Howser. Neural correlates of pair cooperation defense strategies in California mice.

2017-2018  —  BioHouse. I serve as a mentor and seminar teaching assistant for a group of first year undergraduates living in a biology-themed dormitory.

2017-2018  —  Alice Piepenburg. The effect of nest cavity exploration on cannabinoid-related mRNA in “social behavior network” nuclei of female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). The role of opioid agonists in modulating context-dependent vocal communication.

2016  —  Natalie Rucks. Changing seasons may alter cells co-expressing dopamine D1 receptors and mu-opioid receptors in the starling hippocampus. Biology 152 independent project.

2015-2016  —  Melannie Jay. Effects of environmental breeding cues on gene expression in brain regions involved in sexual motivation in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Madison Metropolitan School District Scientific Research Internship.

University service

2018-2020  —  Postdoc union representative.

2018-2019 —  Organizing committee member, Center for Neuroendocrine Studies Symposium.

2017-present  —  Co-founder, Zoology Introductions for New Graduate students (ZING).

2016-2017  —  President, Zoology graduate student organization.

2015-2016  —  Outreach chair, Zoology graduate student organization.

Other research experience

2013-2014  —  Specimen preparation, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Berkeley, CA. Dissected and prepared skeletons and skins for the museum collection.

Fall 2013  —  Research volunteer, Bentley lab. Berkeley, CA. Performed double-immunolabeling for GnRH and GnIH peptides in the European starling brain and quantified labeled cells.

Summer 2013  —  Field assistant, Lacey lab. Arnold, CA. Followed the nesting behavior of adult Dark-eyed Juncos. Mist-netted, banded, measured, and bled adults and chicks.

Spring 2013  —  Senior independent project: Bird habituation to human foot traffic along a gradient. Berkeley, CA. Compared tameness of several species in areas with high vs. low human population and foot traffic.

2012-2013  —  Research Assistant, Full lab. Berkeley, CA. High speed video analysis of lizard climbing behavior. Examined reflexes in use of tail morphology to arrest falls.

Spring 2012  —  Field assistant, Heron Island and Moreton Bay Research Station. Queensland, AUS. Collected lab and field data on predator defense mechanisms of a spaghetti worm and on the foraging behavior of reef urchins.