Sean O'Donnell, Ph.D.
Professor of Biodiversity Earth & Environmental Science (BEES) and Biology
Drexel University Papadakis Integrated Science Building, room 324, 3245 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19104 USA
139 peer-reviewed research publications
GoogleScholar metrics (15 July 2021) 5500 citations
H-index 40, i-10 index 97
Research Gate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sean_Odonnell4
Total Researchgate Interest 95th percentile
Research summaryResearch in the O'Donnell lab addresses questions at multiple levels of biological organization (individuals, social groups, and ecological assemblages) and across levels of causation (genetics, organismal and social physiology, nervous system development and plasticity, and the evolution of brains and behavior).
Much of our work involves a strong field component with extensive international travel. Recent field research sites include Arizona, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Israel, Peru and Taiwan.
The lab works with a diverse array of study organisms: social insects (army ants, seed-harvesting ants, paper wasps, termites), social spiders, wood roaches, desert-dwelling solitary bees and social isopods, and Neotropical birds.
Teaching: Tropical Field Studies course in Ecuador
Postponed due to covid pandemic health concerns. Next offering being planned.
Previous course intinerary from 2019
This unique field study course gives students hands-on experience in the ecology of tropical rain forests. Tropical Field Studies will explore the physical and biological factors that result in the formation of these forests, and their impressively high biodiversity. We will be based in a global biodiversity hot-spot in eastern Ecuador (Amazon basin), and at two higher-elevation cloud forest lodges in the Andes mountains. Students will explore some of the key animal and plant players in diverse ecosystems and their complex interactions. We will also consider the effect of human impacts on these forests, and how development processes affect local communities. Teaching methods will include faculty and guest lectures by local experts, immersive hands-on field teaching modules, and group field projects.
O'Donnell lab news
Sean's talk (2021: An Ant Odyssey) was part of Drexel's TEDx event on June 26th.
Katie Fiocca is in the Drexel alumni newletter for her first-place graduate research poster on body size and social behavior in wasps
Trailer for BBC series Perfect Planet (Sean helped film fire ants for the "Weather" episode)
Karmi Oxman was awarded a Stein Fellowship to support field research in Israel
Meghan Barrett was awarded a PEO Scholar Award, and an Animal Behavior Society Research Grant
Sean was a panelist for a public discussion of the film, 'Serengeti Rules', sponsered by the Philly Environmental Film Festival & Academy of Natural Sciences
Ginny Caponera was awarded a grant from the American Arachnological Society.
Sean gave an Invited keynote talk in the Young Scientist's Symposium on Climate Change, Institute of Science and Technology (IST), Austria (remote, via Zoom)
Meghan and Katie will collaborate on paper wasp research funded by the Bob & Louise Jeanne award from the NAS/IUSSI
See my Youtube video postings! Search for MrEciton
Web page designed and produced by Sean O'Donnell