Parker head shot


I am an Associate Professor at SUNY Plattsburgh. I study the evolution and molecular basis of aging using Drosophila and social insects. I teach Cell Biology (Bio 401), Communicating Biology (Bio 380), General Genetics (Bio 305) and Biology of Aging (Bio 339). I also supervise undergraduate research projects on aging and stress using invertebrate models.

Website updated: August, 2016.


I was on Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman!

I shot a segment with Sara Cahan for the season 7 episode "Are there more than two Sexes?" for the Science Channel. It is available online from the Science Channel (via youtube) for $2 unless it covered by your cable subscription>. A poor quality free version is up on Youtube, but my mother tells me I sound like a cartoon character on that one!

Genetics with Lab (Bio 305) with PBL.

I decided to try a new Problem Based Learning (PBL) lab for the second half of the semester. This will make us consistent with Prof. Elwess's fall semester version of the class and allow us to ask some interesting questions about Wolbachia. The new lab will start with fruit flies infected with an endosymbiont that we will remove with an antibiotic treatment. Students will then have to come up with their own questions and and experiments to answer those questions addressing the difference between the infected and cured flies.


Come see some of our most popular and interesting professors and local experts share their science with the general public at 30 City Hall Place in downtown Plattsburgh. The public is invited to attend the free talks at 5:30pm on the first and third Monday of the month over the next semester. I organize this series for the nonprofit 30City.

The Spring schedule:

Monday, Feb. 6, 5:30pm, Dr. Joel Parker, ¡°Darwin and Death: Why Evolution Does Not Save Us from Aging¡±

Monday, Feb. 20, 5:30 pm, Dr. Don Slish, ¡°Psychedelics: Not your Father¡¯s Hallucinations¡±

Monday, March 6, 5:30 pm, Dr. Karina Ckless, ¡°Wine and Antioxidants: Facts and ¡°Alternative Facts¡±

Monday, March 20, 5:30 pm, Herb Carpenter, ¡°Astronomy & Cosmology at 30 City¡±

Monday, March 27th, 5:30 pm, Dr. Curt Gervich, ¡° 'Power Up Plattsburgh!' A Plattsburgh-based app to encourage energy conservation."

Monday, April 3, 5:30 pm, Prof. Kathleen Lavoie, ¡°Danger and Research in a Mexican Sulfur Cave¡±

Monday, April 17, 5:30 pm, Jeff Cochran: ¡°How the Sioux Holy Man Black Elk taught the Science of Electromagnetism¡±

Monday, May 1, 5:30 pm, Dr. Richard Durant: ¡°Dementia Caregiver Support in the North Country¡±