2010-2016, Doctor of Philosophy, Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City UT
Advisor: M. Denise Dearing, PhD
Dissertation Title: Ecological Physiology of Desert Woodrats (Neotoma lepida) with Respect to Ambient Temperature and Dietary Toxins
2002-2006, Bachelor of Science, Biology, Ithaca College, Ithaca NY
Research Advisor: Bruce Smith, PhD
Ecological physiology, mammalogy, climate change biology, thermal physiology, digestive physiology, science education, public engagement in science
University Appointments & Professional Experience
Assistant Professor. 2019-present. Dept of Biological Sciences, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction CO.
Instructor, 2018-2019. School of Biological Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City UT.
Instructor, 2018-2019. Dept of Zoology, Weber State University , Ogden UT.
Visiting Assistant Professor, 2017-2018. Dept of Zoology, Weber State University, Ogden UT.
Postdoctoral Researcher, 2016-2017. Dept of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City UT.
Instructor, 2017. Dept of Zoology, Weber State University , Ogden UT.
Instructor, 2016. Dept of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City UT.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, 2010-2011; 2013-2015. Dept of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City UT.
Laboratory Manager/Research Associate, 2010. Dept of Chemistry, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley CA.
Research Assistant/Lab Manager, 2006-2009. Dept of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven CT.
Laboratory Technician, 2006. Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester NY.
Laboratory Technician, 2005. Infectious Disease Division, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester NY.
16. Connors P.K., H.C. Lanier, L.P. Erb, J. Varner, L. Dizney, E.A. Flaherty, J.M. Duggan, C.J. Yahnke, and J.D. Hanson. 2021. Connected while distant: Networking CUREs across classrooms to create community and empower students. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 61(3): 934-943. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icab146
15. Hansen, A., P.K. Connors, D. Donnelly-Hermosillo, R. Full, A. Hove, H.C. Lanier, D. Lent, J. Nation, K. Tucker, J. Ward, L. Whitenack, E. Zavaleta. 2021. Biology beyond the classroom: Experiential learning through authentic research, design and community engagement. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 61(3): 926-933. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icab155
14. Hinde, K., C.E.G. Amorim, A.F. Brokaw, N. Burt, M. Casillas, A. Chen, T. Chestnut, P.K. Connors, M. Dasari, C.F. Ditelberg, J. Dietrick, J. Drew, L. Durgavich, B. Easterling, C. Henning, A. Hilborn, E.K. Karlsson, M. Kissel, J. Kobylecky, J. Krell, D.N. Lee, K.M. Lesciotto, K.L. Lewton, J.E. Light, J. Martin, A. Murphy, W. Nickley, A. Nunez-de la Mora, O. Pellicer, V. Pellicer, A.M. Perry, S.G. Schuster, A.C. Stone, B. Tanis, J. Weber, M. Wilson, E. Willcocks, C.N. Anderson. 2021. March Mammal Madness and the Power of Narrative in Science Outreach. eLife. 10: 1-37. doi: 10.7554/eLife.65066
13. Dizney., L., J. Varner, J.M. Duggan, H.C. Lanier, P.K. Connors, L.P. Erb, F.A. Flaherty, C.J. Yahnke, J.D. Hanson. 2021. Squirreling from afar: Adapting Squirrel-Net modules for remote teaching and learning. CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2021.2
12. Duggan, J.M., J. Varner, H.C. Lanier, E.A. Flaherty, L. Dizney, C. Yahnke, P.K. Connors, L.P. Erb, J.D. Hanson. 2020. Squirrels in Space: Using Radio Telemetry to Explore the Space Use and Movement of Sciurid Rodents. CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2020.25
11. Yahnke, C.J., L. Dizney, J. Varner, J. Duggan, H. Lanier, L. Erb, E. Flaherty, P.K. Connors, J. Hanson. 2020. Sorry to Eat and Run? A Lesson for Testing Trade-offs in Squirrel Behavior Using Giving Up Densities (GUDs). CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2020.30
10. Varner, J., H.C. Lanier, J.M. Duggan, L. Dizney, E.A. Flaherty, P.K. Connors, L.P. Erb, C. Yahnke,
J.D. Hanson. 2020. How Many Squirrels Are in the Shrubs? A Lesson Plan for Comparing Methods for Population Estimation. CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2020.6
9. Connors, P.K., J. Varner, L.P. Erb, L. Dizney, H.C. Lanier, J.D. Hanson, C. Yahnke, J.M. Duggan, and E.A. Flaherty. 2020. Squirreling Around for Science: Observing Sciurid Rodents to Investigate Animal Behavior. CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2020.7
8. Dizney, L., P.K. Connors, J.M. Duggan, J. Varner, H.C. Lanier, L.P. Erb, E.A. Flaherty, C. Yahnke, J.D. Hanson. 2020. An Introduction to the Squirrel-Net Teaching Modules. CourseSource. https://doi.org/10.24918/cs.2020.26
7. Flaherty, E.A., J. Varner, J.M. Duggan, P.K. Connors, and members of the Squirrel-Net Consortium. 2019. A CURE for the common course: Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences could benefit wildlife undergraduates. The Wildlife Professional. 13: 32-35.
6. Hoagstrom C, Xiang L, Lewis-Rogers N, Connors PK, Sessions-Robinson A and Mull J. 2019. An advanced simulation of coevolution using playing cards. The American Biology Teacher. (81) 2: 127-132.
5. Connors PK, Malenke JR and Dearing MD. 2017. Ambient Temperature-mediated Changes in Hepatic Gene Expression of a Mammalian Herbivore (Neotoma lepida). Molecular Ecology. 00: 1-17. doi: 10.1111/mec.14192
4. Kohl KD, Samuni-Blank M, Dearing MD, Karasov W, Kurnath P, Izhaki I, Arad Z, and Lymberakis P. 2016. Effects of Fruit Toxins on Intestinal and Microbial Beta-glucosidase Activities of Seed-predating and Seed-dispersing Rodents (Acomys spp.). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. (89) 3: 198-205. doi: 10.1086/685546
3. Kurnath P, Merz ND and Dearing MD. 2016. Ambient Temperature Influences Tolerance to Plant Secondary Compounds in a Mammalian Herbivore. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (283) 1822. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2387
2. Kurnath P, and Dearing MD. 2013. Warmer Ambient Temperatures Depress Liver Function in a Mammalian Herbivore. Biology Letters. (9) 5. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0562
* Voted as a Board Member Favorite article by Dr. John Speakman, more here
1. Samuni-Blank M, Izhaki I, Dearing MD, Karasov W, Gerchman Y, Kohl KD, Lymberakis P, Kurnath P, and Arad Z. 2013. Physiological and Behavioural Effects of Fruit Toxins on Seed-Predating versus Seed-Dispersing Congeneric Rodents. Journal of Experimental Biology. (216) 3667-3673. doi: 10.1242/jeb.089664
- Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
- American Society of Mammalogists
- Graduate Women in Science
Selected Synergistic Activities & Service
2018-2019, Judge for student presentation at American Society of Mammalogists annual conferences
2017-present, Contributor to March Mammal Madness (see Outreach page)
2017, Reviewer for Behavioral Ecology, Journal of Thermal Biology, Oecologia
2017, Content expert during professional workshop for K-12 teachers run by the Center for Science and Math Education, University of Utah
2017, Participated in "what is a scientist?" outreach program through SICB annual conference in New Orleans, LA
2017, Session chair during annual SICB conference
2014, Science Communication Fellow and Scientist in the Spotlight (also in 2017), Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City UT
2012-present, Judge for the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair, elementary and secondary levels, Salt Lake City UT
2012-2016, Director and seminar coordinator for Graduate and Advanced Lady Scientists (GALS), University of Utah campus group for women in STEM, Salt Lake City UT
2011-2015, Volunteer for FIRST LEGO League Competitions, greater Salt Lake valley UT
2013-2014, Graduate Student Representative, College of Science Admissions Standards and Degree Programs Committee, University of Utah
2012-2013, Graduate Admissions Committee, Department of Biology, University of Utah