top of page



Doctor of Philosophy - Entomology

Summer 2016 (Expected)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey                                                                                            

New Brunswick, NJ          


Dissertation:       Physiological Color Change in Response to Mating-Associated Behaviors in Mature Argia apicalis Males Operating as Camouflage During Copulation and Oviposition (Odonata: Coenagrionidae)


PhD Committee:       Michael May, PhD (advisor & chair), Jessica Ware, PhD, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, PhD,  John Abbott, PhD

Graduate Certificate of Science - Tropical Ecology & Zoology

Spring 2006

James Cook University

Townsville, Qld, Australia  


Advisor:       Richard Rowe, PhD

Bachelor of Science - Marine Biology

Spring 2004


University of Rhode Island

Kingston, RI

Please reload



Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey                                                                                                                                                                     New Brunswick, NJ

PhD Research                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fall 2010 – present

  • Designed and constructed a large in situ netted enclosure in order to study the mating behavior of Argia apicalis in a natural environment
  • Performed a photographic mark-recapture survey to determine the frequency of mating-associated physiological color change exhibited by male Argia apicalis
  • Tested camouflage efficacy via the creation of a mechanical binary choice device that mimicked natural damselfly movements


James Cook University                                                                                                                                                                                                      Townsville, Qld, Australia

Independent Study                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spring 2006

  • Determined the species distribution and population size of lynx spiders (Oxyopidae)


University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography                                                                                                           Kingston, RI

Undergraduate Senior Project                                                                                                                                                                      Spring 2004

  • Performed habitat and risk assessments to aid the Northern Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) conservation efforts in Rhode Island, by analyzing current environmental, scavenger and human risk factors, and cross referencing them against Rhode Island USGS reports to determine ideal nesting locations
  • Wrote a report on the feasibility of introducing a new breeding population into RI’s Narrow River, and presented it at the 2004 Annual Rhode Island Natural History Survey Conference

Laboratory Technician                                                                                                                                                                Fall 2003 – Spring 2004

  • Identified genera, sex, and instar of Atlantic zooplankton (mainly Copepoda) as part of a multi-year effort to determine the abundance and spatial distribution of zooplankton on Georges Bank
  • Participated in a two week URI GSO/NOAA specimen collection trip on Georges Bank during January 2004 in extremely cold and rough open water conditions


James Cook University                                                                                                                                                        Townsville, Qld, Australia

Independent Study                                                                                                                                                                                   Spring 2002

  • Observed and recorded aggressive and territorial behavioral patterns exhibited by green tree weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina
  • Generated an ethogram for aggressive behaviors in order to analyze interactions between, and within, the colony




Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey                                                                                                                              New Brunswick, NJ

Biological Research Laboratory                                                                                                                               ​                       Spring 2014 – Fall 2015

  • Fostered a supportive, discussion-based environment that encouraged students to openly participate, ask, and answer questions without concern for judgement
  • Aided students’ in learning the basics of hypothesis-based science by using real-life examples and situations as metaphors with which they could relate
  • Created diagrams, images, and charts that helped students to understand concepts and not simply memorize answers
  • Working in small groups, trained students to perform, fully comprehend, and understand the importance of several molecular biology techniques, including DNA isolation and purification, polymerase chain reactions, gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequence analysis

Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II                                                                                                                                                     Fall 2011 – Fall 2013

  • Generated laboratory lessons, exercises, and hand-on activities that encouraged small group learning, and provided students with the opportunity to ask and answer their own questions and teach one another
  • Used videos, diagrams, models, and interactive discussion to engage students and help them to identify and understand the functions and interactions associated with the different parts of the human body
  • Utilized dissection of different organisms, along with hand-drawn, color-coded coloring pages and diagrams, to teach comparative anatomy and illustrate differences between human and other organismal anatomy
  • Created handouts, online learning resources, quizzes, and practical exams that required students to integrate knowledge from different parts of the course  

General Biology I and II                                                                                                                                                                Fall 2010 – Spring 2011

  • Used hands-on, in-class activities to teach students basic cellular biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, and taxonomy


University of New England                                                                                                                                                                Portland, ME

Introductory Anatomy and Physiology                                                                                                                                                               Fall 2009

  • Prepared and taught a detailed curriculum using a mix of hands-on group activities, coupled with thought-provoking homework assignments, and comprehensive exams.




University of New England, College of Health Professions                                                                                                                Portland, ME

Staff Assistant                                                                                                                                                                       March 2007 – March 2010

  • Generated and maintained numerous Access databases on faculty salaries, contracts, and tenure appointment status and schedules
  • Coordinated laboratory space and access for all faculty and students
  • Monitored and maintained laboratory equipment inventories


Katahdin Analytical                                                                                                                                                                      Scarborough, ME

Analytical Chemist                                                                                                                                                               October 2006 – March 2007

  • Tested soil and water samples to determine the absence/presence of specific chemicals, ions, and other organic compounds
  • Validated data and generated reports on a routine basis
  • Verified the accuracy of the laboratory operating procedures




Whispell, A.M., May, M.L. and Bauman, M. (in preparation). Physiological Color Change in Response to Mating-Associated Behaviors in Mature Argia apicalis Males (Odonata: Coenagrionidae).


Whispell, A.M., May, M.L. and Schultz, T.D. (in preparation). Mating-Associated Physiological Color Change Acts as Camouflage for Argia apicalis Males (Odonata: Coenagrionidae).




Whispell, A.M. November 2015. Physiological Color Change in Response to Mating-Associated Behaviours in Mature Argia apicalis Males (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Oral presentation. International Congress of Odonatology semiannual meeting, La Plata, Argentina.


Whispell, A.M. June 2015. Mating-Associated Physiological Color Change in Argia apicalis (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Oral presentation.  Dragonfly Society of the Americas annual meeting, State College PA.


Whispell, A.M. November 2014. Copulation-Associated Color Change in Argia apicalis (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Oral presentation.  Entomological Society of America (ESA) annual meeting, Portland, OR


Whispell, A.M. 2004. Foundation of a New Breeding Population of Diamondback Terrapins, Malaclemys terrapin terrapin on the Narrow River, in Nararagansett, Rhode Island. Oral presentation.  Annual Rhode Island Natural History Survey Conference, Providence, Rhode Island.




November 2014. TMP’s, SysEB Section: Behavior and Life History. Entomological Society of America (ESA) annual meeting, Portland, OR.




  • Rutgers University, Department of Entomology Headlee Graduate Research Fellowship                                                                                                               Spring 2016

  • Graduate Entomology Student Association Travel Award                                                                                                                                                                       Fall 2015

  • Rutgers University Teaching Assistant and Graduate Assistant Professional Development Fund Award                                                                                    Summer 2015

  • Rutgers University Graduate School Travel Award                                                                                                                                                 Fall 2014 and Summer 2015




  • Entomological Society of America (EntSoc)   -   Member

    • Systematics, Evolution, and Biodiversity (SysEB) Section Representative on the EntSoc Student Affairs Committee

    • SysEB Representative judge for the EntSoc STEP Teaching Award   -   Member

  • Dragonfly Society of the Americas   -   Member

  • Word Dragonfly Association   -    Member




  • Open water diving certification

  • Talented biological illustrator, (macro-) photographer, and graphic designer

  • Specific training and expertise with Hummer X Sputtering System and Hitachi S510 Scanning Electron Microscope


bottom of page