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About Randall J. Mitchell

Raised in the Central Valley of California on a walnut ranch near the Sierras, I grew up loving science, the outdoors, backpacking, and insects. In High School I was told that ‘they know everything about biology,’ so I was amazed in College when I learned how wrong that statement was. As H.E. Evans says, “We live on a ‘little known planet.” And when I found out that you can do science outdoors, there was no doubt about what I would do. I have been fortunate to have done research (and enjoyed the outdoors) in many wonderful places, including Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, California’s deserts and mountains and scrub, Adelaide Australia, New Mexico’s mountains and deserts, Wisconsin’s wetlands, and the wonderful Cuyahoga Valley. With my family (wife Karen and daughters Ellen and Natalie) I continue to revel in nature and biology, with frequent hiking, biking, orienteering, and gardening.
Research Interests:
My main research interest is in the evolutionary ecology of plant pollinator interactions, focusing on how plant mating patterns and success are affected by pollinator behavior and abundance. This work utilizes a broad array of field, genetic, statistical, histological, horticultural, imaging, and modeling approaches, drawing from many disciplines in and out of biology. Some of my projects have direct or indirect implications for conservation efforts and management of endangered or invasive species. My current projects focus on mating systems in a native wildflower (in collaboration with Jeff Karron at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee), and on grassland pollination. I also act as director of the Bath Nature Preserve.


Present Professor, Department of Biology, The University of Akron

Curriculum Vitae


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Contact Information

Phone: 330-972-5122
Office: ASEC E513


Articles (6)

Research Works (1)