Faculty Bio

John H. Long, Jr.

Professor of Biology and Cognitive Science on the John Guy Vassar Chair

Research Interests

A vertebrate physiologist specializing in biomechanics, John has expanded his research program to examine the locomotor evolution of early vertebrates. New techniques include robotics, cognitive science, physics-based computer simulation, and evolutionary analysis. This cross-disciplinary approach has been made possible by collaborators at Vassar, Lafayette College, Shriners Hospital for Children, University of California, University of North Carolina, Nekton Research, and Duke University. Also essential have been research grants provided by the National Science Foundation and the Office for Naval Research. Foremost, John has benefited from the enthusiasm, brilliance, and creativity of Vassar undergraduates, some of whom have presented the lab's research at international scientific meetings and in scientific publications.

Teaching Interests

In the Biology Department, John teaches courses in animal physiology, animal diversity, introductory biology, biomechanics, and evolutionary theory. In the Cognitive Science Program, he teaches course in Perception & Action and Mind-Brain Architecture. In the Neuroscience and Behavior Program, John teaches introduction to neuroscience & behavior. In the Environmental Studies Program, he has taught a course on whales & whaling.

John is particularly keen on teaching individual students in independent studies and senior theses. These customized, one-on-one courses function as hands-on research apprenticeships.

Selected Publications

* Student author