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Andrew David
Assistant Professor
Director of Freshmen Biology
Department of Biology
153 Science Center
Clarkson University
PO Box 5805
Potsdam, NY 13699


Voice:  315-268-4355


2015.Ph.D.Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University (Zoology)
2011. M.S. Department of Biology, Hofstra University, (Biology)
2009. B.S. Department of Biology, St. Johns University, (Biology)

Courses Currently Taught:
BY 140 Inheritance, Evolution and Diversity
BY 160 Cell & Molecular Biology
BY 304 Introductory Zoology
BY 324 Parasitology
BY 405 Undergraduate Research in Bioscience
BY 455 Biological Oceanography (*new course - anticipated Spring 2018)

Teaching Interests:
Currently, my educational research is geared towards developing freshman Biology courses which emphasizes only the major concepts and themes (‘depth over breadth’) and are complemented by a series of problem-solving exercises per theme/concept. This approach stems from my view that the lectern is becoming obsolete, especially with the rise of digital learning platforms.   As such, there is a pressing need to move from fact-based learning to pure critical thinking. For example, in my sophomore/junior level Parasitology course, all exams are open-book/open-note and there is no final exam but a final project where students are required to develop a unique host-parasite model that has not been described in nature thus far. Through these exercises, students learn that anyone can memorize facts but truly great science is based on creativity that acts within the framework of the scientific method.

Research Interests:
Over the past few years my collaborations have involved researchers from the USA (Hofstra University), South Africa (Stellenbosch University) and the United Kingdom (Plymouth Marine Laboratory). My research is interdisciplinary and integrates population genetics, oceanographic modelling, field ecology, taxonomy and physiological experimentation.

Biological Invasions
I am interested in understanding how anthropogenic influences such as human-mediated introductions and climate change are altering the genetic landscape of marine organisms. The focal taxa that I work with are spioniform polychaete worms that act as parasites of commercially reared shellfish such as oysters and abalone along with invasive gastropods.  As shipping density continues to increase due to globalization, organisms are being moved across vastly different biogeographic regions at an alarming rate, which is leading to increased incidences of invasion events. While marine invasions are an important environmental issue that has to be addressed, I am interested in a more sinister effect that involve spatially separated populations circumventing natural barriers. This is important to consider from ecological point of view because sustained long term effects of this type of movement could result in genetic homogenization and subsequent reduction in the evolutionary potential of a species. My colleagues and I have coined the term ‘cryptic dispersal’ to describe this phenomenon and my future work is centered around exploring this in more detail.

Population Genetics & Big Data
As the price of gene sequences continue to drop and the number of genetic studies continue to increase, public databases such as NCBI, EMBL and DRYAD are growing at an impressive rate. The results are tens of thousands of genetic sequences available to researchers. Unfortunately, these genetic banks are rarely exploited in the field of population genetics yet preliminary studies in my lab have found that using these databases may offer novel insights into the population genetic of invasive species – whose patterns of connectivity may shift and change as a response to a series of factors such genetic drift, vector variability and even hybridization. My undergraduate students and I are particularly interested in the replication of these studies using both original and ‘new’ gene sequences to gain better insights into invasion patterns.

Peer-Reviewed Publications (*undergraduate student co-author) 

LAST 5 YEARS (2012 – 2017):
9. David A.A., *Lewis A., *Yhann A., *Zhou H., *Verra S. (accepted) Genetic confirmation of the invasive snail, Viviparus georgianus (Gastropoda: Viviparidae) in the Adirondacks with quantification of trematode prevalence in the species. American Malacological Bulletin

8. David A.A., Loveday B.R. (2017). The role of cryptic dispersal in shaping connectivity patterns of marine populations in a changing world. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. DOI: 10.1017/S0025315417000236

7. David A.A. (2017) A student centered framework for teaching undergraduate Parasitology. Trends in Parasitology.

6. David A.A., Matthee C.A., Loveday B.R., Simon C.A. (2016). Predicting the dispersal potential of an invasive polychaete pest along a complex coastal biome. Integrative and Comparative Biology 56: 600 – 610.
5. David A.A., Williams, J.D. (2016) The influence of hypo-osmotic stress on the regenerative capacity of the invasive polychaete, Marenzelleria viridis (Annelida: Spionidae) from its native range. Marine Ecology 37: 821-830

4. David A.A., Simon C.A. (2014) The effect of temperature on larval development of two non-indigenous poecilogonous polychaetes (Annelida: Spionidae) with implications for life history, establishment and range expansion. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 461: 20-30.

3. David A.A., Matthee C.A., Simon C.A. (2014) Poecilogony in Polydora hoplura (Polycheata: Spionidae) from commercially important molluscs in South Africa. Marine Biology 161: 887-898.

2. David A.A., Williams J.D. (2012). Morphology and natural history of the cryptogenic sponge associate, Polydora colonia (Polychaeta: Spionidae). Journal of Natural History 46: 1509-1528.

1. David A.A., Williams J.D. (2012). Asexual reproduction and anterior regeneration under high and low temperatures in the sponge associate Polydora colonia (Polychaeta: Spionidae). Invertebrate Reproduction and Development 56: 215-224.

Undergraduate Research Students
Susie Verra (’17), DNA Barcoding of invasive gastropods in the Adirondacks
Thomas Ian Pickett (’18), Can genomic sequence repositories be used to elucidate broad scale phylogeographic patterns? A case study of the globally invasive mollusc, Mytilus galloprovincialis.
Kendall Gardner (’18), Genetic connectivity of zebra mussels in Europe and the Great Lakes: further insights from mtDNA