Grascen Shidemantle, Ph.D.
Grascen has long been defined by her love of the natural world. She is originally from Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, a small college town north of Pittsburgh. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Slippery Rock University where she studied the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides (namely, imidacloprid) on amphibian development. Grascen also researched weakly electric fish behavior through a National Science Foundation internship at Indiana University. From there, she went on to pursue a PhD at Binghamton University working in Dr. Jessica Hua’s aquatic ecotoxicology lab. For her dissertation research, Grascen studied the impacts of light pollution on larval amphibians and their wetland communities. She also engaged in a number of research projects investigating the effects of road deicing salt runoff on amphibian physiology. Grascen also served as the outreach project manager for the Hua lab. As the executive director of the Community Science Institute, she is passionate about using scientific knowledge to empower and support the health of her community for the benefit of humans and wildlife.
Grascen is an avid hiker and particularly loves sharing that experience with her dog, Kita. She has hiked many famous locations including the historic Camino de Santiago in Spain and the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, but her favorite trails by far are right here in New York. Grascen also enjoys crochet and practicing yoga. Along with her dog, Kita, she also has two cats, Minerva and Hippie, and many aquarium animals including an axolotl.