Academic/Scientific CV

Research Interests:

  • Effects of sociality and environmental pressures on the evolution and plasticity of arthropod brain structures (ants, bees, termites, beetles, wasps, spiders)
  • Human safe pesticide development, using erythritol
  • Behavior and diversity of native bees
  • Insect thermoregulation

Academic Positions:

 PhD student, 2016-present, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Advisor – Sean O’Donnell, PhD

Teaching Assistant, Sept 2016-present, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
– Biology 207 – Applications in Biology I, 2016, 2017
– Biology 208 – Applications in Biology II, 2017, 2018

Undergraduate Researcher, 2014-2016, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
– Independent Biology Honors Thesis (Professor Regina Clinton) – Effects of the Emerald Ash Borer on Nations Road Research Reserve, 2015-2016
– Department of Biology Researcher (Jennifer Apple, PhD) – Survey of Native Bees in the Geneseo Area, 2015-2016
– Department of Biology Researcher (Jennifer Apple, PhD) – Determination of Colony Structure in Formica pergandei using Microsatellite Markers to Estimate Worker Relatedness, 2014-2015

Undergraduate Laboratory Instructor, 2013-2015, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
– Biology 116 – General Biology Laboratory; received Biology Leadership Award in the spring of 2016 for excellence in teaching

Supplemental Instructor, 2014, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
– Biology 119 – General Biology: Diversity, Physiology, Ecology

Undergraduate Laboratory Assistant, 2013, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
– Biology 116 – General Biology Laboratory; position held in the spring of freshman year

Education:

  • Drexel University, Biology PhD program, 2016-present
  • SUNY Geneseo, B.S. Biological Sciences, summa cum laude, 2012-2016
  • New College, Oxford (England), Study abroad, summer 2015

Additional Training:

  • Bee Course, Summer 2017, Southwestern Research Station, Portal, AZ
  • PROFESS program courses, 2017-present, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
    • GRAD 580 – Foundations in Teaching and Learning of STEM Undergraduates, 2017
    • GRAD 512 – Advanced Undergraduate STEM Pedagogical Techniques, 2018
    • GRAD 513 – Improving STEM Education through Research, 2017
    • GRAD 514 – Quality Assessment Practices, 2017
  • The Center for the Integration of Teaching, Research, and Learning Network (Workshops), 2017 – present
    • Changing Science Writing and Communication Skills for the Modern Professional
    • Improving Student Science Writing through Creative Assignments Incorporating Diverse Audiences and Media
    • From Scientific Writing to Scientific Authoring: Teaching Peer Review and Revision Strategies
    • Designing Group-based Writing Assignments for Problem-based Learning Courses
    • Problem-Based Learning in STEM Courses
    • Level-Up: Designing a Game-Based Learning Environment
    • The Status of Women in Science

Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships:

Graduate

  • Three Rivers Evolution Event Travel Award, 2017, American Society of Naturalists and TREE, Pittsburgh, PA
  • American Museum of Natural History Bee Course Tuition Scholarship, 2017, AMNH
  • Drexel Department of Biology Travel Award, 2017, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Drexel College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Fellowship, 2016-present, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Undergraduate

  • Biology Leadership Award, 2016, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Student Travel Grant, 2015, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Natalie Selser Freed Memorial Scholarship, 2015,  SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Bill & Stacy Edgar Annual Geneseo Scholarship, 2015,  SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Student Research Grant, 2014, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Promotional Products Education Foundation Scholarship, 2014 + 2015, Promotional Products Association International, Irving, TX
  • Student Association Merit Scholarship for Leadership, 2014,  SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Model A Ford Club of America Youth Scholarship, 2012 – 2016, Model A Ford Club of America, La Habra, CA
  • SUNY Geneseo Edgar Fellows Award, 2012 – 2016,  SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • SUNY Geneseo Scholar in Residence Award, 2012 – 2015,  SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY

Honors:

Graduate

  • American Society of Naturalists (ASN) Best Lightning Talk Award, 2017, TREE, Pittsburgh, PA
  • College of the Arts and Sciences TA Excellence Award Winner, 2017, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Undergraduate

  • Graduated summa cum laude, 2016, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • SUNY Chancellor’s Award, 2016, SUNY-wide, Albany, NY
  • Member of the Edgar Fellows Honors college, 2012-2016, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Inducted to Phi Beta Kappa, 2015, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Inducted to Sigma Tau Delta, 2015, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Greek Woman of the Year, 2015, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Inducted to Tri-Beta, 2014, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Inducted to National Order of Omega, 2014, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Inducted to Golden Key, 2014, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Inducted to Phi Eta Sigma, 2014, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • President’s List, Fall 2012, 2014; Spring 2016, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • Dean’s List, Fall 2013, 2015; Spring 2013, 2015, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY
  • GOLD Leadership Awards from 2012-2016, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY: Global Engagement, Leadership through Community Engagement, Personal Leadership Model, Digital Literacy, Leadership in Sustainability, Diversity and Cultural Competency, Career and Professional Development, Practicing Leadership, Life Skills, Volunteerism and Service

Peer-Reviewed Papers:

  • O’Donnell S, Bulova S, Barrett M, Fiocca K. In revision. Size constraints and sensory adaptation in brain architecture (paper wasps- Vespidae: Epiponini). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
  • O’Donnell S, Bulova S, DeLeon S, Barrett M, Fiocca K (2017). Caste differences in the mushroom bodies of swarm-founding paper wasps: implications for brain plasticity and brain evolution (Vespidae, Epiponini). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 71:116. (here)

Research Presentations:

Caste differences in the mushroom bodies of swarm-founding paper wasps: implications for brain plasticity and brain evolution (Vespidae, Epiponini). Meghan Barrett, Dr. Sean O’Donnell, Three Rivers Evolution Event, September 2017, Pittsburgh, PA.

Introduction to Social Spider Brains. Meghan Barrett, Dr. Sean O’Donnell, Social Insects in the North-East Regions meeting, December 2016, Washington, DC.

Effects of the Emerald Ash Borer on Nations Road Research Reserve. Meghan Barrett, Professor Regina Clinton, Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement, and Talent Day, May 2016, SUNY Geneseo, NY.

An Examination of Scientific Rhetoric. Meghan Barrett, Dr. Melanie Blood, Geneseo Recognizing Excellent, Achievement, and Talent Day, May 2016, SUNY Geneseo, NY.

Posters:

The Pest Relief: Does erythritol act as an insecticide for ants? Cheyenne McNair, Meghan Barrett, Dr. Sean O’Donnell. STAR Scholars Summer Showcase, August 2017, Philadelphia, PA.

Survey of Native Pollinators in the Geneseo Area. Meghan Barrett, Ryan Carpenter, Dr. Jennifer Apple, Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement, and Talent Day, May 2016, Geneseo, NY.

Determination of Colony Structure in Formica pergandei using Microsatellite Markers to Estimate Worker Relatedness. Meghan Barrett, Dr. Jennifer Apple, COPLAC Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Conference, October 2015, Mahwah, NJ.

Determination of Colony Structure in Formica pergandei using Microsatellite Markers to Estimate Worker Relatedness. Meghan Barrett, Dr. Jennifer Apple, Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement, and Talent Day, May 2015, Geneseo, NY.

Determination of Colony Structure in Formica pergandei using Microsatellite Markers to Estimate Worker Relatedness. Meghan Barrett, Dr. Jennifer Apple, Northeast Natural History Conference, April 2015, Springfield, MA.

Affiliations:

Outreach:

  • STAR (Students Tackling Advance Research) Program, Research Mentor for Cheyenne McNair
  • Research Mentor for O’Donnell lab undergraduates including: Annette Kang, Sumaiya Zahid, Natalie Carroll, Kelsey Cappabianco, and Michaela Schuster
  • Drexel TA Task Force, 2017 – present
    • speak to incoming TAs, run TA training sessions, give feedback on teaching practice, support interdepartmental TA work
  • Drexel Biology Graduate Student Association Treasurer, 2017 – present
  • Pennsylvania Evolution Group organizer, 2017 – present
  • Senior advisor and writer for Bioliterary, 2017 – present
  • Middle school Kentucky science fair project mentor, 2017 – present
  • Volunteer Interviewer for the DrEAMS program (students looks to apply to the DUCOM Early Assurance Program), 2017
  • Science communication
    • Creator of Bee Bytes, 2017-present
    • Writer for Buzz, Hoot, Roar2017-present
    • Writer for The Female Scientist2017-present
    • Neuwrite/Philly member, 2016-present
    • Science and Literature Question Crafter for Literacy Volunteers of Rochester ‘The Brain Game’ and SUNY Geneseo’s ‘Brain Drain’, 2011-present
      • past categories have included: AP Biology, What’s all the Buzz About, Ecology Basics
    • Upcoming podcast guest for Superwomen in ScienceJanuary 2018
    • Why my science is awesome video collaborator, Fall 2017
    • Profiled for Go Beyond, 2017
    • Founding member of Neuwrite/Edu at SUNY Geneseo, 2015-2016
    • Experimental Ambiguity, a play about cloning ethics, original published in Gandy Dancer Magazine and performed by the Young, Open and Honest Players of Penfield in 2012 and expanded version performed as an Educational Theater Workshop at SUNY Geneseo in 2016
    • Biological poetry published in Palaver Magazine, The Trumpeter, Mind Murals Magazine, Five:2:One Magazine, The Waggle, Crab Fat Magazine, Gandy Dancer Magazine, Firefly Magazine, Frankenstein’s Review, UnLost Magazine, all the sins, Eyedrum Periodically, and The Slag Review

Other Relevant Skills:

  • Competent with several statistical, simulation, and imaging programs: R, Image J, Q Capture, Matlab, Reconstruct, USDA Forest Vegetation Simulator
  • North American bee identification, to genera; North American ant identification, to species
  • Animal husbandry: Formica spp, Tetramorium species E, Camponotus spp, Tenebrio molitor, Tribolium castaneum, Drosophilia melanogaster
  • Brain dissections and histology: ants, spiders, wasps, beetles, termites
  • Molecular techniques: DNA extraction, primer design, PCR, gel electrophoresis, microsatellite and DNA sequence analysis
  • Intermediate competence in written and spoken Spanish
  • Nature photography published in: The Waggle, Bombus Press
  • Creative writing, journalism (see above ‘Science Communication’ under Outreach as well)
    • Assistant Poetry Editor, Storm Cellar Quarterly, 2016-present
    • Graduated SUNY Geneseo with second major in English/Creative Writing and an Honors Thesis: An Examination of Scientific Rhetoric in Drama, Dr. Melanie Blood, 2016
    • Phi Beta Kappa Writing Internship, 2016
    • App Creator and Storyteller with Liber Primus Games, The Burning Trees of Ormen Mau, 2016
    • Chapter contributor for Esyld’s Awakening, Collaborative Writing Challenge 2015-16
    • Staff Writer and Assistant Section Editor for The Lamron, 2012-2015, SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY