Cindy Church received her Ph.D. in yeast genetics and molecular biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She began her academic career as a visiting assistant professor at Oberlin College; she is currently a professor in the Department of Biology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has taught at all undergraduate levels, from introductory biology classes to upper division parasitology and evolution courses. In addition, she teaches an intensive summer marine biology course in Monterey Bay, California and leads a study abroad course to the Galápagos Islands and Ecuadorian Amazon. Dr. Church maintains that teaching and mentoring students are the most rewarding parts of university life.
Dr. Church taught Marine Biology, Parasitology, and Animal Diversity for the 100th Semester at Sea voyage (Fall 2009). On that voyage, she led a service-learning trip to Wamase, Ashanti, Ghana, gave a presentation to the Graduate Zoology Association of American University in Madurai, India, and averted a shipboard panic due to a false bedbug report – just another case of bug misidentification. Cindy welcomes any questions/concerns/testimonials about parasites from students and colleagues throughout the voyage.
Dr. Church’s research in parasitology is both field and laboratory-based. She described a new species of fish tapeworm in the spiral valve of the round stingray from the Gulf of California in Sonora, Mexico. Having the opportunity to conduct field research at a marine biological station is what originally piqued her interest in marine and tropical field biology.
Professor Church is honored to be part of the Fall 2020 voyage and looks forward to teaching Oceanography and Biological Diversity in a global context.