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Welcome Two New CBS Graduate Students!

March 5, 2018

Welcome, Elliott Millinor!

My name is Elliott Millinor and I’m originally from Hickory, North Carolina. I completed my BS Biology and MALS (History and Philosophy of Science) at Lenoir-Rhyne University. My previous research was primarily herpetologically based. Specifically, I studied the endosymbiosis of the alga Oophila amblystomatis in its host organism Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) and the effects light energy has on this relationship by varying the wavelength of light to which inhabited egg masses and larvae were exposed. I conducted a second undergraduate research project examining the brumation habits of Agkistrodon contortrix (Copperheads) with relation to preferred hibernacula based on geographic distribution and available refugia. As a graduate student, my focus shifted to a philosophical critique of biological research by running two parallel projects. The first was a survey of herpetological biodiversity in lotic systems with respect to highway proximity, water quality indices, and monitoring for the presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochtryium dendrobatidis. The second aspect of this research, and the resultant thesis, was situating the nature of conservation biology within the epistemological and methodological frameworks currently obtaining in prevailing theories of philosophy of science with particular attention to the work of scholars such as Popper, Kuhn, Feyerabend, Latour, Shapin, Dear, among others. This constituted a sort of meta-analysis of the ways in which biologists perform their work and the consequences this may have for the practice of science going forward. I also participated in population surveys of Cryptobranchus alleganiensis (Hellbenders) in the New River for several years. My future research plans focus on pluralist ontologies and how views of non-human agency may come to bear on scientific processes in an epistemological context. One particularly interesting approach to this topic is discovering ways of incorporating Indigenous views of biological entities into the current scientific lexicon. I chose ASU because of its deep commitment to interdisciplinarity. The Biology and Society program provided me with an avenue to pursue both my biological and philosophical research interests concurrently.

 Welcome, Cody O'Toole!

Cody O’Toole, originally from Washington (state), did his undergraduate career at ASU. He received a bachelor of science in biochemistry, as well as minors in business and biological sciences. He was a student worker for the Center for Biology and Society for a little over 2 years. From this he got “Laubichler-ed” and “Maienschein-ed”, and is now a master’s student in the Biology and Society program. Cody is currently working with Deryc Painter on the Anthropocene project, and also as the Laubichler lab coordinator. He hasn’t had any previous research besides helping with some data cleaning on Ken Aiello’s project. Future research interests lie with CRISPR policy. He is interested in making a network of those who have influenced the policy since its birth. This may deal with scientists, politicians, etc. Driving questions that he has formed in the early stages of his research are: How and why did these groups influence the policy?

In his free time he goes to music festivals all over the country. He plans on traveling outside of the United States for a bit after his schoolwork is finished.



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