Our Team

Dr. Howard Thomas

Expertise: Mammalogy, Parasitology, Ecology, and Evolution

Profession:  Professor of Vertebrate Biology, General Biology, and Ecology at Fitchburg State University

Extra Curricular Activities:  Father of two, Traveling, Hiking, Racquetball, being bitten by Eptesicus fuscus

Degrees:  Ph.D., Biology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, 1982.  Dissertation: "Systematics and zoogeography of Blarina brevicauda , Peromyscus maniculatus , Clethrionomys gapperi , and Microtus pennsylvanicus on the islands and adjacent mainland areas of  the Canadian Maritimes.

M.S., Biology, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, 1974.  Thesis:  " An Investigation of the Attachment and early development of a natural population of Codium fragile tomentosoides ".

B.S., Biology and Secondary Education, State University of New York at Geneseo, NY, 1972.

Dr. Thomas' Grants and Publications


Dr. Christopher Cratsley

Expertise:   Animal Behavior, Specialty in Fireflies

Profession:   Professor of Life Science, General Biology, Animal Behavior, and Secondary Education at Fitchburg State University

Extra Curricular Activities:  Father of two children, Hiking, Skiing

Degrees:  Ph.D. in Biology, Tufts University, May 2000

Thesis: Sexual selection on male courtship signals and nuptial gifts in Photinus fireflies.

Advisor:  Dr. Sara M. Lewis                                                                               

Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Brown University, May 1991

Certification in Biology and General Science through Teacher Education Program

Dr. Cratsley's Grants and Publications


Dr. Jacques Veilleux

Expertise:  Mammalogy, Ecology, and Evolution

Profession:   Assistant Professor of Biology at Franklin Pierce College

Degree:  Ph.D. Vertebrate Ecology, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN

2001    Advisor:  Dr. John O. Whitaker, Jr. (Cornell University)

Dissertation topic.  Natural History and Roosting Ecology of the Eastern Pipistrelle, Pipistrellus subflavus , in Indiana.

B.S.     Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA

1996    Major:  Biology

Extra Curricular Activities:  Hiking, Bird Watching, Fishing, Reading, Mountain Biking

Dr. Jacques Veilleux's Grants and Publications


Dr. Paul R. Moosman Jr.

Expertise: Mammalogy, Herpetology, Ecology

Profession: Post Doctoral Research Associate, Fitchburg State University, Massachusetts

Degree: Ph.D. Biology, Auburn University

Dissertation:  Roosting behavior and habitat dynamics of male Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis) following a large scale natural disturbance

M.S. Biology/Applied Ecology, 2001.Eastern Kentucky University

Thesis:  Bat communities of fragmented and intact woodlands in central Kentucky

B.S. Biology, 1998,Virginia Military Institute

Extra Curricular Activities: Rock climbing, Racquetball, Cooking, Visual Arts, Hunting and Fishing

Dr. Paul Moosman's Grants, Research, and Publications


Adam Page

Year:  Senior

Major:  Biology

Minor:  Chemistry

High School Attended:   Athol High School

Extra-curricular Activities:   Biology Club

Particular Area of Research within the Grant:   Food Habits of Eptesicus fuscus , Echolocation calls, Fecal Analysis for bats within Pisgah State Park

Reason for Participating in Grant:   My primary reason for participating in the grant is to get real scientific research experience. It is a great opportunity to get experience that is impossible to get in the classroom and will help a lot in the future.

Future Goals:   Work my way through school and get into Veterinary Medicine.


Jonathan T. Paula

Year:   Senior

Major:   Biology

High School:   Quabbin Regional High School

Extra Curricular Activities:   Gardening, Landscaping, Biology club, Member of N.O.F.A., New England Organic Farming Association.

Reason for participating in grant:   After attending separate seminars by Dr. Cratsley and Dr. Thomas I became very interested in the laboratory and experimental design aspects of the grant.  Although the grant does not encompass my chosen field of study the experience should be easily transferred to other areas of research.  I was also drawn to the grant by the use of technology and equipment we use.  I hope that a better understanding of this equipment will help me in the years to come.

Future Goals:   It is my hope that upon graduating from Fitchburg State University I will be able to pursue a Masters degree in the area of plant biology. 


Stephanie Poisson

Year:  Senior

Major:  Biology

High School:   Saint Bernard's Central Catholic High School, Fitchburg

Extra Curricular Activities:   Dance (Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, etc.)

Reason for participating in grant:   I've always been interested in field work, but never really knew if it would be the right job for me. This job will give me the opportunity to see what working in the field is really like, give me experience in the field and see if it would be the right job for me. The topic's for the grant are really interesting and this is one job that will look great on me resume. So far I have learned so much about bats and fireflies and I'm having a great time at work!

Future Goals:   I have been thinking about applying to med school after I'm done with my bachelor's degree. If that doesn't work out I would at least like to be a nurse practioner to be able to contribute to the much needed heath care in the community. Since working in the field, I am considering changing my mind after seeing all the work possibilities. Either way, I would still like to continue with school to get a Doctrine.  


Matthew R. Zanghi

Year:  Junior

Major(s):  Biology

Minor(s):  Chemistry

High School attended:  Fitchburg High School (graduated third in class w/special honors 2003)

Extra-curricular activities:  F.S.C. Biology Club

Awards:  Dean's List for last two semesters

Particular area of research within the grant:  The Ecology of Firefly Signaling

Reason for participating in grant:  My primary reason for participating in this grant is to gain valuable experience in field research and also to become published in a scientific journal.

Future goals:  My future goal after graduating from Fitchburg State University is to attend medical school to become a cardiologist.


Gina Basinsky

Year: Senior

Major(s): Biology, Environmental Science Concentration

Minor(s): English

High School attended: Wachusett Regional High School

Extra-curricular activities: painting, books, naps

Awards: deans list both semesters this past year, travelling art show award (in high school)

Particular area of research within the grant : the Ecology of Firefly Signaling

Reason for participating in grant: for its valuable experience, to gain experience working in the field, as well as on a team.

Future goals: probably some more school and then some more school- and who knows after that, however, i am very interested in preservation and research.


Tiffany L. Floria

Year:  Graduate

Major(s):   Biology

Minor(s):   Secondary Education

High School attended:   Monty Tech

Extra-curricular activities:   Married Mom of three children, Tutor of Life Sciences for F.S.C., Biology Club

Awards:   Dean's List

Particular area of research within the grant : firefly predation – i.e. Predators including Photuris , defense mechanisms including lucibufagin , flashing patterns, etc. Also, the feeding behaviors of local species of bats and their selection for specific prey.

Reason for participating in grant:   To explore and be involved in true scientific research. For the ability to apply the scientific method and gain experience with tools and processes involved with research.

Future goals:   I hope to become involved with research concerning animal behavior, perhaps expanding on current topic with the Grant. Teaching a “lab-based” classroom at the high-school level, to truly introduce the process of science to young people, and to be able to allow students to explore the world of questions science has to offer.


Ryan Friesen

Year: Graduate

Major:  Biology


Jason Holt

Expertise: Guano Analyst

Degree: Bachelor of Science, Biology, Fitchburg State University, 2004   

Extra Curricular Activities: Fishing, Hiking, Hockey, Racquetball, and all other sports

Reason for participating in grant: To gain valuable first hand experience conducting and supervising field and laboratory research. In addition, the grant is a great opportunity to boost my chances of getting accepted into a Ph.D program in animal behavior or mammalogy. 

Future Goals: To obtain a Ph.D in animal behavior or mammalogy. Also, work for a Fish & Wildlife Service or become a proffesor.