Academics > Faculty

Neuroscience Faculty

Mike Baker
Neuroscience Administrative Coordinator
Professor of Psychology
B.A., Coe College
M.S., Ph.D., Iowa State University
Email:mbaker@coe.edu

  • Research and academic interests:
    • Research interests: Behavioral psychopharmacology including consequences of prenatal and postnatal exposure to drugs of abuse such as cocaine and amphetamine, mechanisms of reward and addiction, and sex differences in responses to drugs of abuse using the domestic chick model.
    • Academic interests: Behavioral Neuroscience, Learning, Psychopharmacology, and Statistics
  • Classes taught at Coe:
    • Behavioral Neuroscience, Drugs & Behavior, Learning & Behavior, Biopsychology, Statistical Methods & Data Analysis, Seminar in Psychology (previous topics: Addiction; Learning & Behavior Therapy), Advanced Experimental Psychology.
  • Special programs involved with at Coe:
    • Faculty Advisor: Psychology Club and Psi Chi
    • Coordinates trips to student research conferences
  • Personal interests:
    • Salsa dancing
  • Favorite Coe memory?  Favorite Coe Tradition?
    • I really enjoy taking students to research conferences so they have the opportunity to talk to people from outside of Coe about their research.  I particularly enjoy encouraging them to actively engage others in conversation about their projects.  They often start out a bit apprehensive, but I promise them they will enjoy the experience more if they come out of their shell and sell what they have to say.  And of course, in the end, they always admit that it’s true.
  • Year you started teaching at Coe:
    • 1999
  • Why have you chosen to teach at Coe?
    • I have been at both small colleges and large universities as a student and as a member of the faculty.  Small colleges like Coe provide a much more personal experience for students and faculty, alike.  When I decided on an academic career, I hoped that I would be able to find a college and colleagues like those I had known as a student at Coe.  Having the opportunity to be a member of the Coe College faculty is one of the best things to ever happen to me.  Like the faculty who helped me along the way, my goal is to help students achieve their own success.

Representative student/faculty research projects:

  • Effects of Prenatal Methamphetamine on a Spatial Learning Task in Female Domestic Fowl Chicks.  Brian Cerny, Lacy Flanagan, Ashley Grothe, Tauni Kirby, Danielle Lissner, Kaitlin McClimon, Josh McQuillen. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Michael Baker.
  • Prenatal Methamphetamine Exposure During E7-E9 Impaired Detour Learning Performance in 6-day-old Male Domestic Fowl Chicks.  Steven Beckwith, Sarah Belaire,  Brett Biermann,  Audrey Decker, Marie Hunt,  & Crystal Robinson. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Michael Baker.
  • Cocaine Conditioned Place Preference in 15-day-old Domestic Fowl Cockerels. Michelle Davids, Rachel Daly, Tara Strang, Benjamin Tallman, Austin Beer, & Whitney Dunn.

Randy Christensen
Associate Professor of Biology
B.S., Brigham Young University
Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Email: rchriste@coe.edu

  • Research and academic interests:
    • Specializes in growth factors involved in limb development, regeneration and wound healing.
  • Classes taught at Coe:
    • Developmental Biology, Genetics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Organismal and Ecological Biology
  • Special programs involved with at Coe:
    • May Term: Advanced Research Lab
  • Personal interests:
    • Fencing
  • Year you started teaching at Coe.
    • 2006

Representative student/faculty research projects:

  • The Search for Sonic Hedgehog.  Kiah Price.  Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Randolph Christensen.
  • Ras GTP in Regenerating Axolotl Limbs.  Jonathan Roger.  Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Randolph Christensen.
  • Sequencing Wnt7a in Abystoma mexicanum. Clarissa Thomas. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Randolph Christensen.

David Lo
Assistant Professor of Biology
B.A., Concordia College
Ph.D., University of North Dakota
Email: dlo@coe.edu

  • Research and academic interests:
    • My main research focus is to understand inflammatory processes in the brain and how these processes lead to neurodegenerative disease. I am also interested in the use of dietary flavonoids to counteract brain inflammation and ameliorate diseases of the brain. I have another interest to study stress neurobiology, particularly the neuroinflammatory consequences of stress.
  • Classes taught at Coe:
    • Cellular and Molecular Biology, Introduction to Biology lab, Organic Evolution, Organismal and Ecological Biology lecture and lab, Integrated Human Anatomy lecture and lab
  • Personal interests:
    • Cooking, photography, and playing sports
  • Year you started teaching at Coe:
    • 2013
  • Why have you chosen to teach at Coe?
    • My liberal arts experience at Concordia College, particularly my interaction with professors, galvanized my desire to teach at school like Coe College. The admiration and respect I had for my professors inspired me to take my love of science and teaching and direct it into a career as a professor. My ultimate career goal is to be recognized as an outstanding professor. I want my dedication to student learning and the rapport I establish with my students to have a positive impact on their lives. I perceive a small liberal arts college like Coe College to be the ideal place where students teach and inspire me to be the best professor I can be.

Thomas B. Moye
Professor of Psychology
B.A., University of California-Riverside
M.A., Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder
Email: tmoye@coe.edu

  • Research and academic interest:
    • Trained in the areas of experimental psychology and behavioral neuroscience.
    • Research focuses on perceptual factors that influence our visual judgments of causality. In particular, how Pavlovian conditioning processes influence our judgments about cause and effect.
  • Classes taught at Coe:
    • Biopsychology, Research Methods in Psychology, Introductory Psychology Seminar in Psychology Advanced Experimental Psychology. In addition, he occasionally teaches in the areas of Psychopharmacology and Developmental Psychology.
  • Special programs involved with at Coe:
    • Reviewer for the scientific journal, Psychological Record.
  • Personal interests:
    • Astronomy
    • History of Science
    • Cooking
  • Favorite Coe memory?  Favorite Coe Tradition?
    • My favorite Coe memory also involves my favorite Coe tradition. I remember clearly the Psychology Department’s first Research Symposium back in 1990. We had maybe 8 students give oral presentations of their research projects to members of the Coe community. Since this first event, the Annual Psychology Research Symposium has grown to become one of the highlights of many of our student’s academic careers at Coe.
  • Year you started teaching at Coe:
    • 1989
  • Why have you chosen to teach at Coe?
    • I left a position at a large state university in Northern California to come to Coe in 1989. This was perhaps the best decision I have ever made. I didn’t enjoy the large scale, impersonal approach to education that was part of the university experience, so when I was offered a position at Coe, I jumped at it!

Representative student/faculty research projects:

  • Overexpectation in Classical Conditioning.  Glenn Kurpiel & Michael Westin.  Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Thomas Moye.
  • Unblocking in a Human Causal Judgment Task.  Ashley Martin &  Emma Thompson.  Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Thomas Moye.
  • Blocking and Human Causal Judgment.  Bryan Clark & Nicole Wood. Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Thomas Moye.

Paul Storer
Assistant Professor of Biology
B.S., Allegheny College
M.S., Duquesne University
Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago
Email: pstorer@coe.edu

  • Research and academic interests:
    • Research interests include the role of microglia and olfactory ensheathing cells in the communication between the immune system and nervous system in context with neuroinflammation and brain injury.  Additionally, the role of the endocrine system (notably estrogens and androgens) on the function of these cells is a continuing interest.  My laboratory uses cell culture and molecular biology techniques (including RT-PCR, real time PCR, and western blotting) to investigate these topics.
    • Academic interests: Cell biology, Molecular biology
  • Classes taught at Coe:
    • Cellular and Molecular Biology, Introductory Biology Laboratory, Organismal and Ecological Laboratory, Techniques in Molecular Biology, Current Topics in Molecular Biology, Cell Physiology (+ Lab), Immunology (spring 2012)
  • Special programs involved with at Coe:
    • Faculty Advisor: Pre-Med Club, Cooking Club
    • Supervises student research for the Research Experience for Undergraduates a summer program funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Personal interests
    • Pittsburgh sports
    • Golf
    • military history
  • Favorite Coe memory?  Favorite Coe Tradition?:
    • After two years here, I would have to say that I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with students both from Coe and outside of Coe in my laboratory over the summer months.  There is not much more rewarding here than watching students transform from nervous “rookies” to confident and knowledgeable stalwarts in the molecular biology lab.  I look forward to many more summers of being able to educate and prepare students for their next step beyond Coe.
  • Year you started teaching at Coe:
    • 2009
  • Why have you chosen to teach at Coe?
    • Coe represents a life-long aspiration of mine that originated from my years of being a student at Allegheny College.  That is, Coe represents a small liberal arts institution that stresses importance on faculty-student relationships that not only fosters higher levels of learning in the classroom, but also generates individuals that have a stronger grasp on the world that they are about to go out into.  I feel that the knowledge and relationships gained here at Coe are critical to the success of these students and I am happy to be a part of it.

Representative student/faculty research projects:

  • Influence of Estrogen on the Activation of Microglial Cells.  Donald Anciaux & Kristin Boner.  Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Paul Storer

Benjamin Tallman
Assistant Professor of Psychology
B.A., Coe College
Ph.D., University of Iowa
Email: btallman@coe.edu

  • Research interests:
    • My research interests fall broadly within the area of Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine and examining health related-quality of life variables among individuals dealing with acute or chronic medical concerns. I have a specific interest in Positive Psychology, including how individuals experience posttraumatic growth following traumatic life events such as cancer.
  • Clinical interests:
    • My clinical practice falls within the field of Rehabilitation Psychology and working with individuals who have experienced complex medical conditions including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic/non-traumatic amputation, burns, cancer, and other neurologic conditions. I also enjoy working with patients with chronic pain concerns using various treatment modalities such as cognitive-behavioral interventions, biofeedback, and clinical hypnosis.
  • Classes taught at Coe:
    • Introductory Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Psychological Testing and Measurement; Statistical Methods & Data Analysis; Seminar in Psychology (Rehabilitation Psychology and Principles of Behavioral Medicine); Health Psychology; Advanced Experimental Psychology
  • Personal interests:
    • Fishing; kayaking rivers/streams in Northeast Iowa; anything outdoors; running; Hawkeye football and attending games at Kinnick Stadium; cooking/grilling; gardening/canning veggies; traveling to Brazil with my wife.
  • Favorite Coe memory?  Favorite Coe tradition?
    • At the end of the semester I take advanced students in upper-level psychology courses out for dinner to celebrate the completion of the semester. I have found this to be a great capstone experience for students and myself to share stories about the course, students’ future plans, and other important life events. This is also an opportunity for me to show my appreciation to students who have worked so hard throughout the semester. It’s a great way to end the year!
  • Year you started teaching at Coe:
    • 2014
  • Why have you chosen to teach at Coe?
    • As a Coe graduate I experienced firsthand the powerful impact and multitude of benefits that a liberal arts education can provide. Having the opportunity to come back to Coe to educate and mentor bright and intellectually gifted students is truly rewarding. Coe students go on to do wonderful things in life. For me personally it is extremely gratifying and energizing to work in a rich, student-centered environment where there are numerous opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth.

Associated Neuroscience Faculty: In addition to our core neuroscience faculty whose graduate training and interests are directly related to the field, a number of associated faculty regularly contribute to the neuroscience major by teaching courses that are either required or elective

  • Maria Dean, Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Chemistry Department
  • Wendy Dunn, James Y. Canfield Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Psychology Department
  • Sara Farrell, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Harlo Hadow, Heins-Johnson Professor of Biology
  • Jeffrey Hoover, Professor of Philosophy
  • Michael Leonardo, Associate Professor of Biology and Coordinator of the collateral major in Molecular Biology
  • Kurt Redborg, Professor of Biology
  • Martin St. Clair, Professor of Chemistry
  • Scott Stoudt, Associate Professor of Chemistry