Assistant Professor & Biology in Belize Study Abroad Program Director

Biography

I have been teaching at the University of West Georgia since 2013 and bring with me a passion for teaching a variety of biology courses on campus and abroad, and getting students engaged in field research and experiential learning. I was inspired to develop a study abroad program in Biology at UWG by my own experiences studying in London, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, and at marine field stations in Oregon, California, and New Hampshire. To get a flavor for the Tropical Biology Study Abroad course to Belize I teach in Maymester, which emphasizes biodiversity, natural resources and culture, click here

My research focuses on marine invertebrate ecology, with an overarching theme of understanding natural processes that influence biodiversity observed in nature. Three projects are currently underway in my lab: the first utilizes ecological surveys to asses native and non-native mussel species in Mobile Bay, Alabama, the second evaluates invertebrate fouling community biodiversity on mangrove roots in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and the third determines gene flow and biogeographical patterns of the hooked mussel, Ischadium recurvum, along the North American coastline (an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Frank Fontanella, UWG Biology). Research conducted by my lab group has recently been featured in a short film produced by the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Florida (click here), highlighting work surveying native and non-native mussel distribution and abundance in the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida.

Additionally, I have an ongoing collaboration with Naomi Stuesser (UWG Ingram Library) and Jessica Renard (UWG Office for Education Abroad) to understand how students best learn while taking part in a short term faculty led study abroad program to Belize.

 

 

Education / Degrees

  • B.S., Biology, Philosophy minor, University of Scranton, 2008
  • Ph.D., Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of New Hampshire, 2013
  • Courses Taught
  • Course Sections and Syllabi

    Summer 2018 Sections

    • BIOL-4985 (Field Study Tropical Bio-Beliz) Section: 01S

    Spring 2018 Sections

    • BIOL-2022 (Human Anatomy & Physiology II) Section: 02
    • BIOL-4985 (Marine Biology) Section: 01
    • BIOL-5985 (Marine Biology - Graduate) Section: 01

    Fall 2017 Sections

    • BIOL-2021 (Human Anatomy & Physiology I) Section: 91
    • BIOL-2021L (Human Anatomy & Physiol I Lab) Section: 93
    • BIOL-4441 (Animal Behavior) Section: 01W
    • BIOL-4986 (Marine Biology Internship) Section: 01
    • BIOL-4986 (Exercise Science Techniques) Section: 04
    • BIOL-4986 (Marine Conservation Education) Section: 05
    • BIOL-5441 (Animal Behavior) Section: 01

    Summer 2017 Sections

    • BIOL-4985 (Field StudyTropical Bio-Belize) Section: 01S
    • BIOL-5985 (Field Study Trop. Bio-Belize) Section: 01S

    Spring 2017 Sections

    Fall 2016 Sections

    • BIOL-2021 (Human Anatomy & Physiology I) Section: 91
    • BIOL-2021L (Human Anatomy & Physiol I Lab) Section: 91
    • BIOL-4441 (Animal Behavior) Section: 01W
    • BIOL-4986 (Orthopedic Surgery Internship) Section: 06
    • BIOL-5441 (Animal Behavior) Section: 01
    • BIOL-6999 (Thesis) Section: 01

    Spring 2016 Sections

    • BIOL-2022 (Human Anatomy & Physiology II) Section: 02
    • BIOL-2022 (Human Anatomy & Physiology II) Section: 91
    • BIOL-2022L (Human Anat & Physiol II Lab) Section: 91

    Fall 2015 Sections

    • BIOL-2021 (Human Anatomy & Physiology I) Section: 02
    • BIOL-2021 (Human Anatomy & Physiology I) Section: 91
    • BIOL-2021L (Human Anatomy & Physiol I Lab) Section: 91

    Spring 2015 Sections

    • BIOL-2022 (Human Anatomy & Physiology II) Section: 02
    • BIOL-2022L (Human Anat & Physiol II Lab) Section: 03
  • Publication List

    Fontanella FM, Garner YL, Starnes J, Whitaker M. 2018. Evidence for panmixia despite barriers to gene flow in the hooked mussel, Ischadium recurvum (Mytilidae; Brachidontinae) along the North American coastline, Mitochondrial DNA Part A, DOI: 10.1080/24701 [View Publication]

    Barney R, Garner YL, Stuesser N. 2018. Impacts of a field-based, interdisciplinary study abroad program in Belize on student learning at the University of West Georgia. Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 76, No. 1, Article 78. [View Publication]

    Sparks JT Jr., Garner YL. 2018. Survey of native and non-native bivalve species in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 76, No. 1, Article 116. [View Publication]

    Garner, YL, Litvaitis, MK. 2016. Effects of artificial epibionts on byssogenesis, attachment strength and movement in two size classes of the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis. Invertebrate Biology. doi:10.1111/ivb.12144 [View Publication]

    Garner, YL, Litvaitis, MK. 2013a. Effects of injured conspecifics and predators on byssogenesis, attachment strength and movement in the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 448, 136-140. [View Publication]

    Garner, YL, Litvaitis, MK. 2013b. Effects of wave exposure, temperature and epibiont fouling on byssal thread production and growth in the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, in the Gulf of Maine. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 446, [View Publication]

    McIntyre CM, Pappal AL, Bryant J, Carlton JT, Cute K, Dijkstra J, Erickson R, Garner Y, Gittenberger A, Grady SP,Haram L, Harris L, Hobbs NV, Lambert CC, Lambert G, Lambert WJ, Marques AC, Mathieson AC, McCuller M, Mickiewicz M,Pederson J, Rock-Blake R [View Publication]

  • Other Information

    Marine Biology Club Faculty Advisor

    "Like" us on Facebook: UWG Marine Biology Club Facebook Page

    Join our club on OrgSync: UWG Marine Biology Club OrgSync Page

    Tropical Biology in Belize Study Abroad Program Director

    Visit our UWG Tropical Biology in Belize program page.

    Get a taste of the May 2017 Tropical Biology in Belize course through our highlights video.

    For more information about our on-site partners in Belize, Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Education Center, click here.