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Fonner named assistant professor of biology


Fonner named assistant professor of biology

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College announces the addition of Christopher Fonner, Ph.D., as assistant professor of biology.

Fonner has been a teaching assistant at Duquesne University since 2009. He managed laboratory and lecture courses in biology. His lab experiments involved higher-order thinking and allowed students to apply research skills to real-world problems. He has specialized in studying the impact of stressors on animal behavior and physiology in amphibians, especially as it relates to disease susceptibility. Fonner said his specialization has numerous opportunities for undergraduate research, such as how disease affects mating and how other steroid hormones affect pathogenic infection.

“The Biology Department is happy to welcome Dr. Fonner to Thiel College. We are looking forward to his innovative teaching techniques for the classes he will be teaching, which include anatomy and physiology,” Assistant Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Biology Sarah Swerdlow, Ph.D., said. “Also his research focuses on the stress response and utilizes salamanders as a model system. This provides a great new area of research for our students.”

Fonner got his doctorate of philosophy in biology from Duquesne University in May 2015 and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Gannon University in 2009. He won first-place for his poster presentation at Duquesne University’s Graduate Student Research Symposium in 2014. Fonner also won a Travel Award from the North American Society for Comparative Endocrinology in 2011.

First-year students arrive at Thiel College Aug. 21 for orientation and Opening Convocation. Classes for all students start Aug. 24.

About Thiel College

Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016 and remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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