Past Featured Alumni
Dr. O’Mara graduated with undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Biology and completed the Honors College at GVSU in 2001. He then worked as the field director for the Semliki Chimpanzee Project in Uganda where he re-started research efforts after a civil war induced hiatus. After brief stints teaching university students primate ecology in Costa Rica and high schoolers in Michigan how to make TV shows, he earned M.A. (2005) and Ph.D. (2012) degrees in Biological Anthropology at Arizona State University. His work on the development and ecology of lemurs in Madagascar earned him grants from the National Science Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation, among others, and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists awarded him the Sherwood Washburn student prize. Teague has earned postdoctoral fellowships from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and the European Union’s Marie Skodowska-Curie fellowship for his work on social learning, cooperation, and physiology in bats. Teague’s research in primates and bats focuses on how animals learn to be part of a social group as they develop, how males and females differ in their development, why certain animals have long juvenile periods, and what these questions tell us about development and learning in humans. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Research Institute for Ornithology in Radolfzell, Germany where he teaches and conducts research, but also spends some time thinking about how lucky he is to study amazing animals in some great places around the world.
Lisa Rose Starner
Starner's writings and her foraging skills have been featured in local publications including Rapid Growth Media, Solace Magazine, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, Shore Magazine, and in The Rapidian. Her first book, Grand Rapids Food: A Culinary Revolution, is now available by The History Press (Charleston, SC) and Starner has completed two additional books, Midwest Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Burdock to Wild Peach, and Midwest Medicinal Plants: identify, Harvest, and Use 109 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness, through Timber Press. With a background in anthropology and professional focus on community health, Starner has gathered her food, farming and wild plant knowledge from many people and places along a very delicious journey. Growing up in Michigan only a handful of few minutes from the magical dunes and shoreline of the Big Lake, Starner first learned the art and pleasure of eating while a university student in Nice, France. After university, her edible journey took her to work in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley and to volunteer at Alice Waters’s Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California. It was at the Edible Schoolyard where Starner witnessed the power of growing gardens with children and the impact it can have on their health, the environment and the future of our global food system. Starner returned to Michigan from the Bay Area in 2001 and has since been an activist in her local food community writing, teaching and getting her own hands dirty in the soil to help grow the local food movement with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan.