Toshi Tsunekage joined the Kenyon Faculty in 2019. Tsunekage received his PhD from the University of Missouri - St. Louis, where he studied oxidative stress in avian embryos. Tsunekage works with Professor Iris Levin and students on the evolutionary ecology and behavioral ecology of barn swallows near campus. While completing his PhD, Tsunekage discovered a love for teaching, particularly working with introductory biology students. When not teaching or helping out with field work, Tsunekage can be found cycling all around Knox and neighboring counties.

Areas of Expertise

Evolutionary ecology, ornithology

Education

2013 — Doctor of Philosophy from Univ of Missouri- St. Louis

2004 — Bachelor of Science from Skidmore College

Courses Recently Taught

This is the first laboratory course a student takes and is a prerequisite for all upper-division laboratory courses. Students are introduced to the processes of investigative biology and scientific writing. It is not designed to accompany any particular core lecture course. Laboratories cover topics presented in the core lecture courses, BIOL 115 and 116, and introduce a variety of techniques and topics, including field sampling, microscopy, PCR, gel electrophoresis, enzyme biochemistry, physiology, evolution and population biology. The course emphasizes the development of inquiry skills through active involvement in experimental design, data collection and management, statistical analysis, integration of results with information reported in the literature, and writing in a format appropriate for publication. The year culminates in six-week student-designed investigations that reinforce the research skills developed during the year. Evaluation is based on laboratory notebooks, lab performance, and scientific papers, as well as oral and written presentations summarizing the independent project. Enrollment is limited to 16 students in each section. Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added to BIOL 110Y for the spring semester. Prerequisite: completion or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 115 or equivalent. Required for the major.

This is the first laboratory course a student takes and is a prerequisite for all upper-division laboratory courses. Students are introduced to the processes of investigative biology and scientific writing. It is not designed to accompany any particular core lecture course. Laboratories cover topics presented in the core lecture courses, BIOL 115 and 116, and introduce a variety of techniques and topics, including field sampling, microscopy, PCR, gel electrophoresis, enzyme biochemistry, physiology, evolution and population biology. The course emphasizes the development of inquiry skills through active involvement in experimental design, data collection, statistical analysis, integration of results with information reported in the literature and writing in a format appropriate for publication. The year culminates in six-week student-designed investigations that reinforce the research skills developed during the year. Evaluation is based on short reports, quizzes, lab performance and scientific papers, as well as oral and written presentations based on the independent project. Enrollment is limited to 16 students in each section. Prerequisite: completion or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 115 or equivalent. Required for the major.

Energy flow is a unifying principle across a range of living systems, from cells to ecosystems. With energy flow as a major theme, this course covers macromolecules, cells, respiration and photosynthesis, physiology and homeostasis, population and community interactions, and ecosystems. Throughout the course, the diversity of life is explored. The course also introduces students to the process of scientific thinking through discussion of research methodology and approaches. This course is required for the major and as such, Biology majors should take this class prior to the junior year. No prerequisite. Offered every year. Required for the major although AP or IB credit can be applied against this course.

How is information generated, transmitted, stored and maintained in biological systems? The endeavor to understand the flow of biological information represents a fundamental undertaking of the life sciences. This course examines the mechanisms of heredity, the replication and expression of genetic information and the function of genes in the process of evolution, with an emphasis on the tools of genetics and molecular biology to address research questions in these areas. This course is required for the major and as such, Biology majors should take this class prior to the junior year. Prerequisite: BIOL 115, permission of instructor, or equivalent. Offered every year. Required for the major.

Ecology is the study of the distribution and abundance of organisms and the structure and dynamics of the biosphere. Topics will include physiological ecology, population ecology, competition, predator-prey systems, mutualism, succession, energy and nutrient dynamics, and the ecology of communities, ecosystems and the biosphere. We also will explore the influence of humans on natural systems. Students will use theoretical models and primary literature to supplement the text, lectures and discussions. Co-enrollment in BIOL 229 is highly recommended. This counts toward the upper-level environmental biology requirement for the biology major and as an elective for the environmental studies major. Prerequisite: BIOL 115 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

This course examines techniques for studying ecological principles in the field and laboratory, with primary emphasis on terrestrial systems. Students will learn experimental design, sampling protocols and quantitative methods including spatial analysis with geographic information systems. Topics may include limits to distribution, interactions with the physical environment, population dynamics, species interactions, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Studies will include physically demanding fieldwork in local habitats in varying weather conditions. Prerequisite: BIOL 109Y-110Y, BIOL 115, and completion or concurrent enrollment in BIOL 228 or permission of instructor. This counts toward the upper-level laboratory requirement for the biology major and as an elective for the environmental studies major.