Chris Distel, Ph.D.
   Assistant Professor of Biology
   Trull School of Sciences and   Mathematics


    Office: Moody 110        Phone: 830-792-7470       Office Hours by appointment




Recent Activities


Undergraduate Research Funding


Student Research

Students who design and execute their own experiments gain functional insight into scientific processes and biological phenomena that is often difficult or impossible to gain in the classroom.  And it's really FUN!  Below are some successful student researchers with whom I have collaborated, their project titles, and their publications. 

Schreiner students
currently involved in faculty-mentored research in my lab:
Jake Crawley
Cynthia Owsley
Lee Vaughan

Joey Castiglione
Courtney Neleigh
Kayla Rohrbach
Claire Ferguson
Jasmyn Rosser
Elliot Frey
Drucilla Meier
Lexi Smith
Amy Alvarez
Katie Schmidt
Malcolm Castro
Beth Fawcett
Caitlin Magargee
Victor Garcia
Michaela Porterfield

Field Biology & Conservation Lab Alumni:
Stefaney Baker, Caitlin Ishmael, Allyson Morris, Michael Redman, Jasmine Jones, Braden Barnett

Former Field Biology & Conservation Lab members:
Ben Enslow, Tayler Hobberlin, Laryssa Dandeneau, Adam Hulisz, Jocelynn Machis, Natasha Pepin, Michael Stewart, Jana DeJesus, Lizeth DeLaTorre, Jenny Navarrete, Helena Steen, Kiani Cosper, Derek Draper, Soledad Diaz, Evan Klaff, Kelsi Schneider, Courtney Van Ness, Shelby Spenrath, TJ Forster

Some action shots in the field:

Beth Fawcett, Ben Enslow, and Tayler Hobberlin build cattle tank lids.

If you're a student interested in getting involved with research or conducting your own project, please contact me!  Some of my interests are listed here, but I'm also open to other ideas.
    -Species and Ecosystem Conservation
    -Population and Community Ecology
    -Environmental Contaminants
    -Invasive Species
    -Water Rights & Use Issues
    -Environmental Education like the Schreiner Youth Ecologist Program, our signature outreach program for 5th-8th graders!

Schreiner students pursuing environmental careers should check out the $5,000 Udall Scholarship!

Ben Bulen (Miami University) –2009– Project title: “Effects of competitors and an
insecticide on two tadpole species: can exposure concentration affect competitive

Bulen, B.J., and C.A. Distel. 2011.  Carbaryl concentration gradients in realistic environments and their influence on our understanding of the tadpole food web.  Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 60:343-350.

Nick Webber (Miami University) –2008– Project title: “Interactions between aquatic and terrestrial exposure to the insecticide carbaryl on American toads”

Webber, N.R., M.D. Boone, and C.A. Distel. 2010. Interactions between aquatic and terrestrial exposure to the insecticide carbaryl on American toads. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 29(10):2323-2327.

Jamie Cook (Eastern Kentucky University) –2003– Project title: “Trap selection of male red-eared sliders”

Other Research

Through my graduate training in Kentucky and Ohio, as well as volunteer work for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, I have been fortunate enough to observe and research numerous species in the field.  A few examples are freshwater turtles, frogs & toads, salamanders, songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, a variety of mammals, snakes, and federally-endangered Running Buffalo Clover.  I also have medical research experience from the Cleveland Clinic, where we studied novel cancer immunotherapies using mice as model patients.


Distel, C.A., and M.D. Boone. 2011. Insecticide has asymmetric effects on two tadpole species despite priority effects. Ecotoxicology 20(4):875-884.

Distel, C.A., and M.D. Boone. 2011. Pesticide has asymmetric effects on two tadpole species across density gradient. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 30(3):650-658.

Schussler, E., F.E. Rowland, C.A. Distel, J.M. Bauman, M.L. Keppler, Y. Kawarasaki, M.R. McCarthy, A.M. Glover, and H.S. Salem. 2011. Promoting the development of graduate student teaching philosophy statements. Journal of College Science Teaching 40(3): 32-35.

Distel, C.A., and M.D. Boone. 2010. Effects of aquatic exposure to the insecticide carbaryl are species-specific across life stages and mediated by heterospecific competitors in anurans. Functional Ecology 24(6):1342-1352.

Distel, C.A., and M.D. Boone. 2009. Effects of aquatic exposure to the insecticide carbaryl and density on aquatic and terrestrial growth and survival in American toads. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28(9):1963-1969.

Cohen, P.A., G.K. Koski, B.J. Czerniecki, K.D. Bunting, X.-Y. Fu, Z. Wang, W.-J. Zhang, C.S. Carter, M. Awad, C.A. Distel, H. Nagem, C.C. Paustian, T.D. Johnson, J.F. Tisdale, and S. Shu. 2008. STAT3- and STAT5-dependent pathways competitively regulate the pandifferentiation of CD34(pos) cells into tumor-competent dendritic cells. Blood 112:1832-1843.

Distel, C.A. 2005. Chelydra serpentina serpentina (Common snapping turtle): Flatulence. Herpetological Review 36:310.

Distel, C.A. 2004. Swimming in the black-crowned night-heron. The Ohio Cardinal 28(1):38-40.


American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists – Gaige Award (2009) “Effects of an insecticide on competition in anurans: a mechanism of amphibian population declines?”

Amphibian Specialist Group (IUCN) – Seed Grant (2008-2009) “Effects of sublethal insecticide exposure on competition in pond-breeding anurans: do contaminants lead to competitive exclusion?”

The Kentucky Society of Natural History (2003-2004) “Ecology of lentic turtle communities in Madison County, Kentucky”