Dr. Misha Blizard joined Hastings College in 2021 to teach ecology, evolution and botany. She has always enjoyed the process of science — of being inquisitive about the world and delving into books, experiments and observations to try to answer those questions. She jumped into advanced biological courses and research labs as a college freshman with the assistance of a few incredible organizations and supportive professors. Through the process of elimination, she realized that’s what interested her most was how organisms interact with one another, both between species (as predators, competitors and mutualists) and also within species (as rivals for mates and resources and as allies cooperating to survive and reproduce). These complex webs of interactions surround and incorporate every single organism, whether living for minutes or centuries, whether microscopic or thousands of pounds, whether in a deep-sea vent or a tropical rainforest. And these interactions have momentous effects, shaping the evolution of new species and the extinction of others.
After college, she continued her studies at the University of Chicago, focusing on the behavioral ecology of a North American shorebird species (spotted sandpipers) to better understand the evolution of unique mating systems and behaviors. While completing her Ph.D. research, undergraduate teaching became her passion, so the transition to liberal arts colleges was a natural metamorphosis. As the world changes, it is increasingly important to understand how organisms interact with one another and with us — as we are also part of that web that connects all life.
- Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution, The University of Chicago
- M.S. in Ecology & Evolution, The University of Chicago
- B.S. in Biology Honors, The University of Texas at Austin