Expected 2018 — Ph.D., Dept. of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Advised by Dr. Lauren V. Riters.
Expected 2018 — Delta Certificate in Teaching and Learning, University of Wisconsin,
2009-2013 — B.Sc., Molecular Environmental Biology, University of California, Berkeley.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Riters, L.V., Spool, J.A., Merullo, D.P., Hahn, A.H. (in press). Song practice as a rewarding form of play in songbirds. Behavioural Processes.
Merullo, D.P., Spool, J.A., Zhao, C., Riters, L.V. (Accepted article). 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.
Under review or in preparation
Spool, J.A., Jay, M.D., Riters, L.V. (under review at Journal of Experimental Biology). Nest cavity exploration stimulates breeding physiology and alters mRNA in the medial preoptic area of female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).
Spool, J.A., Ledin, D.A. (in preparation). Exploring elementary school teacher partnerships with university scientists: self-efficacy and partnership roles.
Spool, J.A., Merullo, D.P., Zhao, C., Riters, L.V. (in preparation). 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).
Research grants and awards
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. (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
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
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.
2017-present — BioHouse. I serve as a mentor and seminar teaching assistant for a group of first year undergraduates living in a biology-themed dormitory.
2017-present — 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.
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.