Joseph Matanoski Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Biological Sciences | Fine School of the Sciences


  • Ph. D. Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Science, University of Maryland, College Park (2004)
  • B.S. Biology, University of Maryland, College Park (1993)

Professional Experience

  • Stevenson University Associate Professor of Biology 2006-present
  • New Mexico State University, Alamogordo Instructor of Biology 2005-2006
  • Washington College Adjunct Faculty 2000-2005


My research interests are in behavioral ecology, animal behavior, and computer modeling. Behavioral ecology is the study of how the environment affects the behavior of animals and how behavior increases the adaptation of an animal to its surroundings. My research includes field studies of animals in their natural environment and laboratory experiments. I also develop and use computer models to simulate behavior and determine its effect on an animal’s interactions with its environment. These studies are based on developing a numerical representation of the behavior of a species that simulates their response to environmental conditions (e.g. changes in foraging behavior during droughts).

Currently, I am using eBird, an extensive online database of observations of global bird abundance and distribution, to answer various questions about bird behavior, for example, the effect of global climate change on bird migration. I am also conducting field studies in Central Maryland to determine the effect of browsing on ecosystems by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). This field research involves characterizing the rate of browsing by deer as well as other factors, such as plant biomass and seed production, and correlating the data with the local abundance of deer. I am continuing the development of a numerical computer model that simulates the swimming behavior of the sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha). The model can be used to determine biological processes that lead to jellyfish aggregations in marine and estuarine systems.


  • BIO 113L General Biology I: Cell Biology and Genetics Laboratory
  • BIO 115 General Biology III: Ecology and Evolution
  • BIO 115L General Biology III: Ecology and Evolution Laboratory
  • ENV 255 Techniques in Environmental Science
  • ENV 270 Animal Behavior
  • ENV 375 Environmental Ethics

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