- PhD in Comparative Biology, Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, expected graduation: 2018.
- BS, cum laude, Marine Biology & Zoology (Minor, Botany & Scientific Diving), Humboldt State University, 2014.
Research InterestsResearch Interests
An alumna of Humboldt State University, Allison has worked on numerous projects in diverse disciplines, including the olfaction of toxic newts, description of Cretaceous fungi and Devonian plants, and ecology of predatory marine snails. She is drawn to ‘understudied’ systems and questions.
As a PhD candidate with John G. Maisey at the AMNH, Allison studies the evolution and systematics of fossil Chondrichthyes from North America. Exceptionally preserved fossil cartilage provides new and exciting opportunities for chondrichthyan paleontology. Using high resolution CT and synchrotron scanning elucidates internal anatomical features of fossils without damaging valuable specimens. New fossils from the Mississippian (320 Ma) Fayetteville Shale of Arkansas are providing valuable insight into the ‘stem group’ of chondrichthyans, and this assemblage serves as a window into post-extinction diversification, as it falls right after the end-Devonian mass extinction. Allison studies the morphology and anatomy of these stem cartilaginous fishes to better understand the chondrichthyan Tree of Life, and uses the paleoenvironment and community dynamics of the Fayetteville Shale to draw conclusions about the diversification of early sharks.
Stemming from her undergraduate work on newt olfaction, she is also working with Dr. Melanie Stiassny to characterize the unique olfactory mechanisms of Claroteid catfishes (family Auchenoglanidinae) from the Congo River Basin. Allison has long been interested in histological laboratory techniques, and this work combines serial sectioning, histological staining, and soft tissue CT scanning.
Bronson, A.W., A.A. Klymiuk, R.A. Stockey, and A.M.F. Tomescu. 2013. A perithecial sordariomycete (Ascomycota, Diaporthales) from the Early Cretaceous of Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Canada). International Journal of Plant Sciences 174: 278-292. DOI: 10.1086/668227 Mycobank: 800815, 800816
Teaching ExperienceTeaching Experience
- Mentor: NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates – American Museum of Natural History (2015) (With John Maisey). Co-mentored an undergraduate student for 10 weeks; taught CT scanning procedures, 3D reconstruction techniques, anatomical segmentation; aided student in preparation of a short manuscript and 15 minute scientific presentation; student focused on the internal structure of the shark cranium and gill arches.
- Instructor: Systematics – NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates – American Museum of Natural History (2015). Lectured on systematics and tree-thinking for a small group of undergraduate students, developed and implemented hands-on activities for exploring tree building and character scoring.
- Instructor: Professional Development – NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates – American Museum of Natural History (2015). Led professional development workshops covering photo editing, public speaking, abstract writing; coordinated group excursions to local scientific institutions.
- Lab Assistant: BOT 105 – General Botany (June - July 2012 and 2014) – Humboldt State University. Lab setup, writing and administering quizzes, grading, assisting with teaching during labs.
- Lab Assistant: BOT 356 – Phycology (January – May 2014) – Humboldt State University. Lab setup, assisting with teaching during labs, leading review sessions, leading field trips and collecting trips.
- Instructor: BOT 198 – General Botany Supplemental Instruction (January 2011 – May 2013); Humboldt State University. Review of lecture material, administering practice exams, facilitating weekend review sessions.
- Tutor: BOT 105 – General Botany (August 2012 – December 2012) – Humboldt State University. Tutoring students one-on-one and in groups.