EDUCATION University of Maryland, College Park PhD, Neuroscience & Cognitive Science, May 2014 “Anatomical and physiological characterization of the turtle brain stem auditory circuit” University of Oklahoma Bachelor of Science, Zoology, cum laude, May 2008
RESEARCH July 2015-March 2017: University of Oklahoma, Dept. of Biology Dr. Michael Markham Development & Sexual Dimorphism in Electrocytes of Weakly Electric Fish August 2008-June 2015: University of Maryland, Dept of Biology, Dr. Catherine E. Carr September 2006-August 2008: University of Oklahoma Neural Control of Movement, Dr. Ari Berkowitz (Honors Thesis) October 2005-August 2006: University of Oklahoma. Zebrafish Development and Genetics Lab. Summer 2005: Summer Research Student, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Dept of Arthritis and Immunology. Genetic underpinnings of lupus. Summer 2004: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Sir Alexander Fleming Scholar Dept of Arthritis and Immunology. Genetic underpinnings of lupus
FUNDING Pre-doctoral Fellow, Center for Comparative and Evolutionary Biology of Hearing, 2011-14 Capita Foundation travel award, summer 2012 Howard J. Brinkley Travel Award, Dept of Biology, summer 2012 Eugenie Clark Summer Research Fellowship, Dept of Biology, UMD, 2011 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (U. Oklahoma, Honors College), spring 2008
HONORS Outstanding Teaching Assistant, Honorable Mention, Dept. of Biology, UMD, 2009 Outstanding Graduating Senior, Dept. of Zoology, U. Oklahoma, 2008 National Merit Scholar
MEMBERSHIPS Society for Neuroscience Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology International Society for Neuroethology J.B. Johnston Club for Evolutionary Neuroscience SERVICE Student Representative to Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) Executive Committee, UMD 2012-14 Student Representative to NACS Internal and External Review, UMD Student Representative to Department of Biology Faculty Search Committee, UMD. Fall 2012-Spring 2013 Fundraising Coordinator, JB Johnston Club fundraiser, 2012-present Member, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Outreach Committee, UMD 2011-14 Member, Dean’s Graduate Student Advisory Council, UMD. 2011-13 Member, Department of Zoology, U. Oklahoma Student Advisory Committee 2007-08 Volunteer, Family Science Night, Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, 2007, 2008 Volunteer, Brain Awareness Week 2006, 2007
REVIEWER Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências Journal of Comparative Physiology A Journal of Herpetology Proceedings of the Royal Society B Royal Society Open Science
MENTORING High School: J. Sargeant (Summer 2009). Montgomery-Blair STEM Magnet Program. Female, underrepresented minority. N. Stares (Winter 2012). The Field School
Undergraduates: A Johny (Winter 2013- Summer 2015). Female, underrepresented minority Supervised honors thesis, graduated with high honors C. O'Brien (Winter 2015-Summer 2015). Female A. Nahar (Summer 2016-present)
Outreach Brain Awareness Week, Science Museum Oklahoma Electric Fish Road Show Family Science Night, Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, 2007, 2008 ScienceFest Oklahoma, 2016 (targets 4th and 5th grade) Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Outreach Committee, UMD 2011-14 Maryland Day 2013, 2014 People to People, speaker, 2013 PGCPS 3rd grade, 2011, 2012 DCPS, 9th & 10th grade 2013 Women in Science Day, 2016 (Tulsa, OK)
ARTICLES Willis, K.L., & Carr, C.E. (accepted). A circuit for detection of intramural time differences in the nucleus laminaris of turtles. Journal of Experimental Biology Willis, K.L., Christensen-Dalsgaard, J., Ketten, D., & Carr, C.E. (2013). Middle ear cavity morphology is consistent with an aquatic origin for Testudines. Public Library of Science ONE
Mui, JW, Willis, KL, Hao, Z-Z, Berkowitz, A (2012). Distributions of active spinal cord neurons during swimming and scratching motor patterns. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology. doi:10.1007/s00359-012-0758-6
Christensen-Dalsgaard, J, Brandt, C, Willis, KL, Christensen, CB,Ketten, D, Edds-Walton, P, Fay, RR, Madsen, PT, Carr, CE (2012). Specialization for underwater hearing by the tympanic middle ear of the turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.0290
REVIEWS & CHAPTERS Carr, C. E., Christensen-Dalsgaard, J., Edds-Walton, P., Koppl, C., Tang, Y., Young, B. A., & Willis, K. L. (2017). Evolutionary Trends in Hearing in Nonmammalian Vertebrates. In: Evolution of Nervous Systems (pp. 291–308). Elsevier
Willis, KL, Christensen-Dalsgaard, J, Carr, CE Auditory Brainstem Processing in Amphibians and Reptiles: Roles of Coupled Ears. (2014) In: Insights from Comparative Hearing Research, ed. Koppl C, Manley GM, Popper AN, Fay RR, Springer New York.
Willis, KL. Underwater Hearing in Turtles (2016) Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life.
CONFERENCE ORAL PRESENTATIONS Willis, KL, J.S. Chrabaszcz. (2016) Exploring Statistical Methods for Measuring and Classifying Neurons. JB Johnston Club
Willis, KL, CE Carr. Sound Localization in Turtles. (2016). Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology
Willis, KL. Underwater Hearing in Turtle. (2013) Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life. Invited
Willis, KL, J Christensen-Dalsgaard, CE Carr. (2012) Specialization for Underwater Hearing in the Testudines. Gordon Research Seminar on the Auditory System
Willis, KL, CA McCormick, CE Carr. (2011) JB Johnston Club. Anatomy of turtle middle ear cavities and hindbrain auditory circuits.
Willis, KL, CE Carr. (2011). Middle Ear Cavity Morphology Across Testudines. Eastern Auditory Retreat
CONFERENCE POSTER PRESENTATIONS Willis, KL, CE Carr (2013) Physiological and anatomical characterization of the auditory brain stem in turtles. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
Willis, KL, CE Carr. (2013) Anatomy of turtle hindbrain auditory circuit. Gordon Research Conference on Neuroethology
Willis, KL, CA McCormick, CE Carr. (2012) Hindbrain Auditory Circuits of Turtles. International Conference of Neuroethology.
Willis, KL, CE Carr. Middle Ear Cavity Morphology Across Testudines. (2012). Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
Willis, KL, CA McCormick, CE Carr. (2011) The organization of the hindbrain auditory nuclei of turtles follows the sauropsid pattern. Society for Neuroscience
Willis, KL, K Potter, J Christensen-Dalsgaard, and CE Carr. (2011). Allometry of the Middle Ear in Trachemys scripta elegans. Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Willis, KL, K Potter, andCE Carr. (2011) Allometry of the Middle Ear Cavity in Trachemys scripta elegans. Society for Comparative and Integrative Biology
Christensen-Dalsgaard, J, CE. Carr, PT Madsen, C Brandt, KL Willis, D Ketten, P Edds-Walton, RR Fay. (2010) Underwater hearing in the red-eared slider turtle, Trachemysscripta elegans.. International Society for Neuroethology Congress.
Christensen-Dalsgaard, J,CE Carr, PT Madsen, C Brandt, KL Willis, D Ketten, P Edds-Walton, RR Fay. (2010) Specialisation for underwater hearing in the red-eared slider turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Mui, JW, KL Willis, and A Berkowitz. (2009) Regional distribution of active spinal cord neurons during fictive forward swimming and three forms of fictive scratching. 2009 Cellular and Network Functions in the Spinal Cord conference at University of Wisconsin, Madison
Willis KL and A Berkowitz. (2008) Distributions of Spinal Cord Neurons Activated During Fictive Forward Swimming and Each Form of Fictive Scratching. Society for Neuroscience