Meet an Antarctic Scientist!
Dr. Richard E. Lee, Jr. is a distinguished professor of zoology from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. The National Science Foundation has funded his travels to Antarctica to research a unique Antarctic fly. As an extreme entomologist (a scientist who studies insects) he hopes to learn how this insect survives the cold harsh Antarctic environment. Potentially, this information may help doctors preserve human transplant organs.
With each visit to Antarctica, Dr. Lee has had the foresight to include a public school educator as part of his research team. This educator helps to conduct the research, leads the educational outreach program, and publishes articles regarding science and learning. Grant money is allotted to aid the school district in providing a substitute teacher during the 5-6 week leave in Antarctica. This year Dr. Lee has invited first grade teacher Natalie Harr on his team.
Dr. Lee’s research focuses on physiological and ecological mechanisms of cold tolerance, dormancy, and the winter ecology of temperate and polar insects. His field research includes work on Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic and seven field seasons on the Antarctic Peninsula. He has published four books and more than 240 refereed journal articles, reviews and book chapters. More than 100 of these papers are co-authored with undergraduate and/or graduate students. He has received more than $3 million in research grants from NSF, NIH, USDA, and private foundations. He has served on the editorial boards of American Entomologist, Environmental Entomology, Cryobiology and CryoLetters.
Dr. Lee is also active in providing professional development opportunities for teachers, receiving more than $3 million in grants to support these activities. For 17 years, he co-directed an environmental science program for Ohio elementary teachers (>1,400 alumni) taught at a Miami University's Field Station in Wyoming. Currently, he is co-director of the MAT program in the Biological Sciences at Miami University.
After receiving his B.A. in Biology from the College of Wooster (1973), he earned a M.S. (1976) and Ph.D. (1979) in zoology from the University of Minnesota. For three years he did postdoctoral research at the University of Houston before joining the faculty of Miami University in 1982, where he is Distinguished Professor of Zoology. His honors include several teaching awards and the Benjamin Harrison Medallion from Miami University and election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.