Michael McAloon

Michael McAloon

Titles: Science
Degrees: BS, University of Connecticut
MS, Georgia Southern University
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School: 860-945-7830
Biography:

After graduating with a major in pathobiology from the University of Connecticut, Michael spent several months in southern India studying parasitic diseases of elephants with The Elephant Welfare Association of Kerala. This research led him to publish the first report of the elephant tapeworm life cycle. Michael then earned his Master of Science in Biology from Georgia Southern University (home of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Tick Collection), concentrating his studies on medical entomology. While at Georgia Southern, he was awarded a full research assistantship from The Nature Conservancy. After discovering his love for teaching, Michael taught environmental and general biology while completing his research. His accomplishments were acknowledged with several awards while at Georgia Southern, including The Academic Excellence Award and the Georgia Entomological Society Scholarship. Michael described a new species of soil mite collected from a rare habitat in Georgia, named to honor his friend and distinguished naturalist, Dr. George A. Rogers.

Returning to Connecticut, Michael was employed at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in the West Nile Virus surveillance program. He was then admitted into the graduate program in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, majoring in entomology, with his research focusing on the evolutionary history of chigger mites that transmit diseases to humans in Southeast Asia. He was awarded several grants—one from the National Science Foundation to conduct research at Fudan University in Shanghai, one from Connecticut’s Center for Conservation and Biodiversity to digitize collections at the Natural History Museums in London and Paris, and Harvard University’s Ernst Mayr Award to work at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. Michael has also served as editor and reviewer for several scientific journals. Most recently, he has led an initiative to expand Taft’s partnership with the New York Botanical Garden to include students and faculty to conduct research and experiential learning at the Amazon Conservatory for Tropical Studies in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru. At Taft, Michael teaches Honors Biology and Honors Inquiry in Applied Biology where he enjoys blending his experiences from teaching and field research to enhance each student’s learning experience.