Jordan, Rebecca C.
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 2001
Professional Summary/CV [.PDF]
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick; Rutgers
Areas of Interest
Learning, Behavior, Habitat Variation and the Evolution of Behavior.
Environmental Education, Evolution, Animal Behavior.
Memberships and Professional Service
Ecological Society of America; Animal Behavior Society; American Society for Ichthyologists and Herpetologists; American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists; NJ Commission for Environmental Education; Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education; National Science Teachers Association; North American Association for Environmental Education.
Grants, Honors, and Awards
National Science Foundation Alternative Learning Technologies (Collaborative Proposal) with Georgia Institute of Technologies, "Learning About Complex Systems in Middle School by Constructing Structure-Behavior-Function Models," 2006; United States Department of Agriculture, Citizen Participation in Science grant, 2005; National Science Foundation ROLE-ISE, Transfer of Scientific Abilities grant 2005.
Academic Interests and Plans
I have designed an interdisciplinary research program that seeks to understand the means by which we can quantitatively assess and predict patterns of behavior. More specifically, I address questions of the proximate cues that direct behavior. I work with several species of fish at one end of the spectrum and with humans on the other end. While the nature of the questions that I address differ depending on the subject (fish or humans), the methods I use are very similar and it is this similarity in approach that makes my research unique. With respect to fishes, my research focuses on behavior, sexual selection, and how habitat variation can affect the evolution of behavior. I am studying how visual factors guide mate choice and affect life history in a group of Lake Malawi cichlids. I am also interested in how variation in the light environment affects life history. With respect to humans, I am particularly interested in the link between learning and behavior. My goal is to identify the key predictors that affect learner outcome and ultimately behavioral change in environmental education and citizen science programs. As a scientist and educator, I feel it important to provide students and community members with the tools that enable scientific understanding and the active participation in the stewardship of natural resources.