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Nanda Cortes started her research group this spring and taught Principles of Biology: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She will also continue to teach an Ithaca Seminar and an ICC course on Evolutionary Biology. Her main research is in population genetics/genomics and evolution of neotropical birds, especially those with populations on islands. She is also interested in diversity and inclusion, and is involved in the Diversity Committee of the American Ornithological Society (AOS). As an Assistant Professor, Nanda intends to work on creating a link between Ithaca College and different Mexican institutions such as UNAM or
INECOL. She knows from personal experience that working with people from other cultures can strengthen the quality of research, enhance students’ networks,
and the students can learn about other cultures and perspectives.

Laura Bechtler is the Animal Care Technician for the Biology and Psychology departments. She cares for and monitors the health and wellness of all of our animals on campus as well as cleaning, feeding, and performing all of the husbandry duties they require. She is also a member of our IACUC Committee. In addition, Laura was a zookeeper for 8 years before working for IC. Her passion is to give the most enriching life to any animal under her care whether it be an
18 ft tall giraffe or a tiny little hamster. 

Greg Hornbrook is the Greenhouse Manager. He propagates and maintains plants as well as cares for various animals, particularly the aquatic animals and invertebrates, that are used for teaching or with research. He studied conservation biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he developed a deep passion for life, plants and animals alike. His interests also include living sustainably and practicing restorative ecology for the conservation of endemic species.