Faculty Profiles

faculty photo imageSarah Schaack

Associate Professor of Biology
Biology Department
Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences

I started at Reed in 2011 after attending a small liberal arts college for undergraduate, finishing my PhD at Indiana University, and doing a couple of post-docs. My training is in evolutionary genetics and genomics, and my specific area of expertise is mobile DNA. At Reed, I teach a variety of courses on these topics and work with students individually who are interested in learning about how mutations occur, and how they affect organisms. In addition to regular courses, I organize workshops to introduce students to problems and tools in bioinformatics and genomics — a frontier in the field of biology right now that lends itself to the intense learning environment provided by the workshop format. In terms of doing science, the major themes of research in the lab that I spearhead provide lots of opportunities for students to do research, often for the first time. That's not the whole story though, since often students come to me with their own research passions and a strong desire to develop their own ideas. These collaborations are also very rich and rewarding — I enjoy learning as much as my students do.

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