Leigha M. Lynch, Ph.D.
Paleontologist, Anatomist, Geneticist
I am an Assistant Professor in the Anatomy department at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. Prior to joining the faculty at Midwestern, I was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. I earned my Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences (OSU-CHS). My dissertation research focused on understanding how the skeletal limb morphology of North American pine martens, Martes, evolved and whether their morphology reflected an adaptation to biome or climate. Prior to this, I earned a Master's degree in geosciences from East Tennessee State University (ETSU), where I studied the cranial morphology of pantherine felids in order to determine the phylogenetic placement of the extinct North American lion, Panthera atrox.
I have taught a variety of courses and at a wide range of ages and education levels. During my time as a masters student, I had the privilege of teaching as part of a NSF GK-12 program, where I taught the science curriculum for pre-k and kindergarten students for 2 years. At ETSU I was an adjunct professor for a year. There I taught online courses in weather and climate and a lecture course focused on the evolution of life through time. While at OSU-CHS I taught gross anatomy to first year medical students for 4 years. During this time I tutored students in and out of lab, created review videos, and designed and administered exams. I have since continued to expand my teaching experience in gross anatomy at Washington University, where I lectured, prepared and teach over prosections, and designed and administered exams. Currently, I teach gross anatomy at Midwestern University for the graduate in biomedical sciences and occupational therapy programs.
Inter- and intraspecific skeletal and brain variation in carnivorans, with particular focus on the family Mustelidae
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences
Understanding the evolution of adaptations of the skeleton and brain to extrinsic factors such as biome, climate, and anthropogenic events
Genetic variation within living and extinct carnivorans using Next Generation sequencing techniques appropriate for modern and degraded DNA
Developing more effective ancient DNA sequencing protocols and determining the accuracy of results obtained using sequences from degraded DNA
Eastern Tennessee State University
M.S. in Geosciences
Bowling Green State University
B.S. in Geology