Jessica Bolker

Phone: (603) 862-0071
Office: Biological Sciences, Rudman Hall Rm 216, Durham, NH 03824
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Jessica Bolker

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.

Faculty Award Winner

Award Type:  College Excellence in Teaching
Year:  2009


  • Ph.D., Zoology, University of California - Berkeley
  • B.S., Biology, Yale University

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 714/814: Model Organism Research
  • BIOL 901: Intro Graduate Seminar
  • BIOL 902: Scientific Writing
  • BIOL 950: Scientific Communication
  • GEN 799H: Honors Senior Thesis
  • MEFB 410: Marine Immersion
  • ZOOL 529: Developmental Biology
  • ZOOL 690: Evolution

Selected Publications

Bolker, J. A. (2017). Animal Models in Translational Research: Rosetta Stone or Stumbling Block?. BIOESSAYS, 39(12). doi:10.1002/bies.201700089

O'Malley, M. A., Travisano, M., Velicer, G. J., & Bolker, J. A. (2015). HOW DO MICROBIAL POPULATIONS AND COMMUNITIES FUNCTION AS MODEL SYSTEMS?. QUARTERLY REVIEW OF BIOLOGY, 90(3), 269-293. doi:10.1086/682588

Bolker, J., & Brauckmann, S. (2015). From experimental zoology to big data: Observation and integration in the study of animal development. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL ZOOLOGY PART A-ECOLOGICAL AND INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY, 323(5), 277-291. doi:10.1002/jez.1924

Bolker, J. A. (2014). Model species in evo-devo: a philosophical perspective. EVOLUTION & DEVELOPMENT, 16(1), 49-56. doi:10.1111/ede.12056

Bolker, J. (2012). There's more to life than rats and flies. NATURE, 491(7422), 31-33. doi:10.1038/491031a

Meredith, D. C., & Bolker, J. A. (2012). Rounding off the cow: Challenges and successes in an interdisciplinary physics course for life science students. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, 80(10), 913-922. doi:10.1119/1.4733357

Bolker, J. A. (2009). EXEMPLARY AND SURROGATE MODELS two modes of representation in biology. PERSPECTIVES IN BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, 52(4), 485-499. Retrieved from

Martinez, G. M., & Bolker, J. A. (2003). Embryonic and larval staging of summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus). JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY, 255(2), 162-176. doi:10.1002/jmor.10053

BOLKER, J. A. (1995). MODEL SYSTEMS IN DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY. BIOESSAYS, 17(5), 451-455. doi:10.1002/bies.950170513