Ryan Fisher

Ryan Fisher

Professional Details

Title: Professor
Office: MH-404
Phone: None
Email: ryan.fisher@salemstate.edu

Spring Courses

Cat. # Term Course # Title
1051 01 BIO407 Directed Study in Biology
1052 01 BIO408 Research in Biology
3289 L22 BIO105 Biological Systems
3364 02 BIO415 Biology Seminar
3413 S1 BIO121 Diversity of Life
3782 02 BIO407 Directed Study in Biology
4055 06 BIO408 Research in Biology

Professional Biography

September 2010 - present

Associate Professor - Tenured, Biology Department - Salem State University, Salem, MA

I teach introductory courses for non-majors (lecture and labs - BIO121 Diversity of Life and BIO122 World of Cells) and act as the Introductory Biology Co-ordinator. I also teach the majors introductory course, BIO131 Introduction to Organisms. My specialty is the upper level Invertebrate Zoology course (BIO310 - lecture and lab).

September 2005 to September 2010

Assistant Professor - Tenure Track, Biology Department - Salem State University, Salem, MA

Past Adjunct Part-Time Positions

Simmons College - Boston, MA

I have taught a 300 level marine biology course (lecture and lab) in spring 2005, as well as general biology courses for non-majors and microbiology courses for biology majors.

September to December 2004

Simmons College - Boston, MA

I taught a lab component of a General Biology course.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

I am teaching a Biological Principles course, both lecture and lab, again with the main focus on the cell.

July 2004

Adjunct Instructor, Maths & Science Division, Middlesex Community College, Bedford, Massachusetts

Taught a month-long intensive General Biology I course. An introductory course focusing on the cell. This course includes both lectures and lab.

September  - December 2003

Part-Time Visiting Lecturer - University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

I taught a Biology of Cells Recitation course and instructed a Biology of Cells laboratory section within the Biology Department of the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth.



March 1999 - August 2002

PhD. Research, Estuarine Biology and Ecology Group, School of Marine Biology & Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

I was awarded an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and James Cook Postgraduate Research Award for Overseas Students. My PhD project title was "Infaunal Marine Nematodes of Tropical Australian Pioneer Seagrass Meadows." This study described and investigated the phylum response at the species, population and community level to seasonal cycles in this dynamic tropical habitat. The influence of reduced winter temperatures, canopy dieback, the ecological role of nematode tail-shape and, partitioning of resources between congeneric species were four main areas of focus. During the course of my doctorate I conducted numerous guest lectures and organised and ran laboratory sessions for senior year benthic and mangrove ecology courses. My doctoral research has thus far resulted in three peer-reviewed papers in international scholarly journals.

August 1999 - August 2002

Senior Tutor, Marine Invertebrates, School of Marine Biology & Aquaculture,

James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

Acted as senior tutor in an undergraduate marine invertebrate course (Marine Invertebrate Biology). Assisted in laboratory practicals, ran student tutorials, assisted in field trips and marking practical books. Mentored undergraduate students.

June 2000 - August 2002

Masters student co-supervision, Estuarine Biology and Ecology Group, School of Marine Biology & Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

Co-supervised a Masters student in the group studying the influence of anthropogenic pollutants on marine nematode communities within mangrove habitats. This student has now successfully upgraded their degree to a doctorate.

Professional Interests

I am interested in meiobenthic ecology, particularly nematodes and nematode-ciliate symbioses. I am also interested in the use of meiobenthic nematode community analysis as a tool in detecting anthropogenic disturbances. I am currently exploring the interactions between marine nematode assemblages and the Eastern Mudsnail Ilyanassa obsoleta.

I am also interested in the pedagogy of science, particularly how to draw in the non-majors biology student to the exciting world of the study of life.


I am the Introductory Biology Co-ordinator, specifically covering the non-majors labs (BIO121 and BIO122).

I also am a member of the Darwin Festival Committee and the University Wide Assessment Committee.

Selected Publications

Contributing author in: Scully, Tara. A., 2012. Discovering Biology in the Lab - An Introductory Lab Manual - 2nd edition.

Contributing author in: Scully, Tara. A., 2009. Discovering Biology in the Lab - An Introductory Lab Manual.

Pederson. J, R. Bullock, J. Carlton, J. Dijkstra, N. Dobroski, P. Dyrynda,

R. Fisher, L. Harris, N. Hobbs, G. Lambert, E. Lazo-Wazem, A. Mathieson,

M.P. Miglietta, J. Smith, J. Smith III and M. Tyrrell. 2005. Marine

Invaders in the North East - Rapid Assessment Survey of Non-native and

native Marine Species of Floating Dock Communities - Report of the August

3-9, 2003 Survey. MIT Sea Grant College Program, Cambridge, Massachusetts,


Fisher, R. (2003). Ciliate Hitchhikers - nematode ecto-commensals from tropical Australian sea grass meadows, Journal of The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 83: 445-446.

Fisher, R. (2003). Spatial and temporal variations in nematode assemblages in tropical seagrass sediments, Hydrobiologia 493: 43-63.

Fisher, R., & M.J., Sheaves, (2003). Community Structure and Spatial Variability of Marine Nematodes in Tropical Australian Pioneer Seagrass Meadows, Hydrobiologia 495: 143-158.

Sheaves, M.J., Fisher, R., & Sheaves, J., 2000. Monitoring of the Ecological Condition of Mangrove Forests and Intertidal Meiofauna adjacent to the Ross Island Barracks. A report to Maunsell Australia (an AECOM company). Environmental Consultants, Townsville, Australia.

Sheaves, M.J., Aumend, J.F., Fisher, R., Johnston, R., & Sheaves, J., 1999. A Biological and Ecological Assessment of the Condition of Mangrove and Invertebrate Communities in Areas Adjacent to the Ross Island Barracks (Ten Terminal Regiment), Townsville. A report to Maunsell Australia (an AECOM company) Environmental Consultants, Townsville, Australia.

Selected Presentations

February 2009. 30th Darwin Festival, Salem State College, Salem MA. "Voyage on the HMS Beagle - not quite your Caribbean cruise!"

April 2006. New England Estuarine Research Society (NEERS) Spring 2006 Meeting, Hull, MA. Delivered a paper: "Estuarine Monitoring using the Meiobenthos - Revisiting a case study from Mangrove Sediments in Tropical Australia with a view for use in Salem Sound, MA."

Personal Interests

I enjoy the outdoors and numerous sports and have great fun playing with my kids!