Instructor of Biology and Co-Chair of Pre-Health Professions; Biology; Pre-Medical;
McGlothlin-Street Hall, 208
Prof. McConnell has been a member of the E&H Biology faculty since 1993. In addition to teaching General Biology, Organismal Biology, and Tropical Biology, he is also Co-Chair of the Pre-Health Professions Committee. He has also taught courses in Rainforest Ecology and in Tropical Herpetology at La Suerte Biological Station in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. His interests lie in herpetology, primarily on the salamanders on the Appalachian Mountains and on the snakes of Costa Rica. His book, “A Field Guide to the Snakes of Costa Rica”, should be published in 2011. He has contributed articles to Herpetological Review, as well as writing and editing numerous sections of biology textbooks. He has received several scholarships and fellowships during his tenure at E&H.
Research: Prof. McConnell’s M.Sc. thesis was “The Life History of the Weller’s Salamander on Unaka Mountain in Northeast Tennessee”. He is currently completing “A Field Guide to the Snakes of Costa Rica”, and is working on projects concerning the spread of Chagas disease in the Southeastern US.
Student Research: His students participate in short-term research projects in Costa Rica on a variety of topics ranging from leaf-cutter ant carrying capacity to pH differences in poison dart frogs of the genus Dendrobates to predation of frog eggs by the Northern Cat-eyed Snake Leptodeira septentrionalis at La Suerte Biological Station in Costa Rica. Past student research has focused on macroinvertebrate larvae in an impacted stream in Glade Spring, VA.
Upcoming Research: Prof. McConnell’s future research concerns differences in populations of the highly venomous snake known as terciopelo or fer-de-lance (Bothrops asper) on the eastern and western slopes of Costa Rica.
B.S. English and Biology, East Tennessee State University; M.Sc. Biological Sciences, East Tennessee State University; additional studies at Virginia Tech and Austin Peay State University