Biological Sciences Faculty

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Dr. Shawn T. Dash Dr. Shawn T. Dash Associate Professor, PhD, Biological Sciences Location:Dupont Hall104 Phone:757-727-5031 Expertise:Entomology, Biodiversity, Conservation Biology, Taxonomy, Evolution, Science Education, Ecology, Zoology

Dr. Dash is originally from Baltimore, Maryland where even at the youngest ages spent time exploring the natural world around him. Devoting many hours to become familiar with the flora and fauna of the Maryland and surrounding areas via collections (rock, pine cone, insect, bird nest, skull, foot print, etc), field trips and books, Dr. Dash’s passion followed him through middle and high school. After high school he attended the University of Delaware (where he double majored in entomology and wildlife ecology with a minor in biological sciences) which provided opportunities to develop as a scientist. Though starting with the desire to become an ornithologist; while at Delaware he conducted research on cucumber beetle mating behaviors, helped in studies on hive beetles, box turtles, and other wildlife studies. He became part of the UD reference collection laboratory lead by Dr. Charles Bartlett, with Dr. Bartlett’s guidance Dr. Dash became interested in fauntistics and began studies on ant biodiversity and forest fragmentation. This passion for ecology and taxonomy lead Dr. Dash to Louisiana State University where he conducted his Master studies focused on the first formal survey of the ants of this state with notes on ecology from ants of the southeastern United States. In addition to the important baseline data set, Dr. Dash produced a guide to pest ants and leading courses for pest control operators and wildlife officials in ant identification. During these workshops Dr. Dash became interested in aspects of invasion and urban ecology. Completing a PhD at the University of Texas at El Paso in evolutionary biology focused on the systematics of an understudied Neotropical ant genus (Hypoponera). Dr. Dash is continuing his work on ants, soil invertebrates in the context of evolution and ecology. During his time at LSU Dr. Dash developed a strong interest and obsession for science education. Dr. Dash has given numerous outreach programs on insect ecology for audiences from elementary to college level programs.  He continues this focus in his research and strives to be a strong figure and mentor to his students involving them in original research with the hopes of inspiring them to pursue studies in organismal biology. A number of Dr. Dash’s mentees have gone on to publish papers, present talks and earn their own graduate degrees.  After teaching at community college, research university, and private liberal arts institutions Dr. Dash is bringing his passion for learning and hunger for understanding of biodiversity to Hampton University.