Jessica A. Bolker, Ph.D.

Jessica A. Bolker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor/Graduate Program Coordinator

Research Areas

Measure of a species

Illustration by Phil Disley; published in Nature


Philosophy of science, particularly epistemological questions around the use of models, and other topics connected to evolutionary developmental biology.  Areas of particular interest include model choice, criteria, and implications; homology; modularity; and the role of fiction in the teaching and practice of science.


Flounder Larvae


Previous work: Sturgeon embryology and morphogenesis, echinoderm evo-devo, flatfish pigmentation development.


Sturgeon Embryo Stages

Additional projects: Fictional species in scientific research and teaching; integrating physics into biology education (and vice versa).

Selected Publications


University of California, Berkeley, CA, Ph.D. in Zoology, 1993
Yale University, New Haven, CT, B.S. magna cum laude in Biology, 1986

Teaching Responsibilities


Developmental Biology (ZOOL 529)

Evolution (ZOOL 690)

Dogs to Dragons: Origins of Species (ZOOL 444)

Marine Immersion (MEFB 410) (offered at Shoals Marine Laboratory)

Biology of Animals (ZOOL 412)

Introductory Biology Laboratory (BIOL 412 lab)

Biomechanics/Biophysics (ZOOL 415/416)*

Introductory Physics (PHYS 401/402) (with D. Meredith, Physics)*

*no longer taught


Writing and Publishing in Science (ZOOL 902)

Scientific Communication (LSA 950)

Professional Distinctions

Invited speaker, International Workshop on Natural Kinds, University of Granada (2011)

Karen Von Damm Leadership Development Award, UNH ADVANCE (2010-2011)

Elected Council, International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (2009-2013)

Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (2009)

Invited Lecturer, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, University of Vienna (2009)

Davis Fellowship, UNH Discovery Program (2005-2008)


Other Roles

Associate Director, Shoals Marine Laboratory (2002-2011)


Member, UNH Committee on Responsible Conduct of Research


Shoals Marine Laboratory Links

Marine Immersion course for incoming UNH students (UNH Magazine article; COLSA Insight article)

Sustainable Engineering at SML

UNH's August 2005 production of The Tempest on Appledore Island (Chronicle of Higher Education article; UNH Magazine article)

Jessica Bolker
Rudman Hall Rm 216
Durham, NH 03824