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Audrey J. Ettinger
Chair of Biological Sciences; Associate Professor


A.B., Bryn Mawr College;
Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Research Interests

“My lab studies two distinct neuroscience research questions using the same model organism, the cichlid fish Rocio octofasciata. The cichlid retina, which contains adult stem cells, allows us to ask questions about how stem cells choose their final fate. Cichlid fish also have complex social interactions, and we study their behavior and the underlying brain areas to understand aggression and reproductive behavior. Recently, we have begun using chick neurons to ask whether herbal remedies such as Ginkgo biloba can act to keep neurons healthy in neurodegenerative diseases such as stroke.”


My students challenge me daily to think clearly about science, and their enthusiasm for learning is contagious! I am also inspired by my colleagues’ high standards for teaching, service and scholarship at Cedar Crest. Daily reading of the New York Times and listening to NPR news inspire me to think about the roles that scientists and educators can play in our society. And my children inspire me daily to work toward making the world a better place in which they can live and learn.

On Becoming a Teacher

My father is a medical school professor, and my mother is a recently retired high school science teacher. As a child, I learned how much of an influence a teacher can be on the lives of her students, as well as how much work goes into good teaching. Excellent science faculty in my high school chemistry class and during my undergraduate years helped me to realize that I wanted to be a scientist in an undergraduate setting, where I could teach students in both the classroom and the research lab.