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Catherine Schaeff

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Department of Biology

  • Dr. Schaeff's main research interests are conservation biology, molecular ecology and behavior. She uses molecular DNA techniques in conjunction with behavioral data to investigate gene flow patterns within and between populations (e.g., right whales and gray whales), determine mating strategies (e.g., penguins, right whales), and understand the evolutionary significance of various behaviors (e.g., fostering). She is also conducting a number of studies on fluctuating asymmetry to determine whether morphological asymmetry is a useful tool for assessing population health in endangered species (right whales, manatees, Sable Island ponies) and recently began studying mate choice in gays and lesbians.
  • Degrees

    PhD, Conservation Biology and Population Genetics, Queen’s University, Canada
    MS, Behavioral Ecology, University of Ottawa, Canada
    BSc (H), BSc (H), Animal Behaviour, University of Toronto, Canada
  • DOWNLOAD CV (PDF)
  • OFFICE

  • CAS - Dean's Office
  • Battelle Tompkins - 206
  • CONTACT INFO

  • (202) 885-2175 (Office)
  • (202) 885-2182 (Fax)
  • Send email Profile UserID
  • FOR THE MEDIA

  • To request an interview for a
    news story, call AU Communications
    at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Teaching

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Executive Experience

  • (2000-Present) Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, American University
  • (1993-99) Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, American University

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • (2000) Senate Research Award, American University
  • (2000) CAS Mellon Research Award, American University
  • (1997) Pittsburgh Zoo Conservation Fund
  • (1997) Senate Research Award, American University
  • (1995) CAS Mellon Research Award, American University
  • (1995) Senate Research Award, American University
  • (1994) Senate Research Award, American University

Selected Publications

  • Goerlitz, D, Belson M., Urban, J., CM Schaeff. In press. Genetic population structure of Eastern North Pacific gray whales ( Eschrichtius robustus ) on winter breeding grounds in Baja California. Canadian Journal of Zoology.
  • Best, PB, CM Schaeff, D Reeb, PJ Palsboll. In press. Composition and possible function of social groupings of southern right whales in South African waters. Journal of  Behaviour.
  • Best, PB, D Reeb, MB Rew, PJ Palsboll, CM Schaeff. In press. Biopsying southern right whales; their reactions and effects on reproduction. In press. Journal of Wildlife Management.
  • Steeves T, J Darling, CM Schaeff & R Fleischer. 2001 Population structure of gray whales that summer in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia based on sighting and molecular data. Conservation Genetics 2:379-384.

AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Genetics, conservation, animal behavior, behavioral ecology, marine mammals, evolution of human mate choice, marine mammal conservation

Additional Information: Cathy Schaeff's main research interests are conservation biology, molecular ecology, and behavior. She uses molecular DNA techniques in conjunction with behavioral data to investigate gene flow patterns within and between populations (e.g., right whales and gray whales), determine mating strategies (e.g., penguins, right whales), and understand the evolutionary significance of various behaviors (e.g., fostering). She is also conducting a number of studies on fluctuating asymmetry to determine whether morphological asymmetry is a useful tool for assessing population health in endangered species (right whales, manatees, Sable Island ponies) and recently began studying mate choice in gays and lesbians.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.

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