am a biology professor at RIT with a Ph. D. in Genetics. I teach courses
in Genetics, Genetic Engineering, Vertebrate Evolution, and Evolution and Creationism.
I have a special interest in Dinosaurs and in the relationship between
science and popular culture, especially science and religion. I am also
very interested in the history and philosophy of biology and have made
a intensive study of Darwin's life and work. Currently I am writing a book about Galapagos reptiles.
In 1989 I had the opportunity to visit
the Galapagos on what I thought would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
At the end, however, I knew that I had to come back and I also knew
that I wanted to introduce my students to these enchanted islands. Almost
every year since then I have organized and led a field course in the
Galapagos. I have taken both my daughter (then age 21) and my son (then
age 16) on past trips. In addition to my RIT trips, I have led trips
for Galapagos Holidays and for Blyth Travel, both in Toronto, and for
the Toronto Zoo. 2009 marked my twenty-second trip to the Galapagos.
In addition to my Galapagos visits, I have traveled
extensively through Ecuador. On the visit with my son, we travelled
deep into the virgin rain forest and then returned to Quito by car,
traveling from the Amazon basin up the east side of the Andes. At the
end of Galapagos '95, some of my students stayed on with me in South
America and we hiked the Inca Trail in the Peruvian Andes and visited
Machu Picchu. After the 2004 trip I returned to the rain forest with several of the Galapagos students.
My regular visits to the Galapagos have led me to study
Spanish, and while I'm not yet fluent, I can get around pretty well.
I have also become very interested in Andean culture, history, art,
and music and have sampled traditional Andean cuisine, like cuy - roasted
guinea pig. I have read widely about the Incas, Columbus, and the early
history of Spanish discovery and conquest in South America.