Office: Bruce Featherston Life Sciences 216
Tatiana Kuzmenko earned her BS and MS in Evolutional Biology from Moscow State University in Russia. There she did research on the evolution of social behavior in ants and how different species of ants adapt various social structures investing into generalized or specialized foraging strategies, for example. After exploring the evolutionary bases of behavior, Tatiana had an opportunity to dive dipper into the molecular mechanisms governing behavior changes at the Molecular and Computational Biology department, in the University of Southern California where she earned her MS in Molecular Biology. There she explored variations in gene expression inside the brain of ants performing different tasks in the colony as well as between different ant species. That required lots of ant brain surgeries, which is a quite useful life skill. She is certain that from the evolutionary standpoint, social animals, including human, share some general traits in the ways we learn and remember things. Tatiana enjoys learning and teaching about Neurobiology and she implements its concepts into her teaching style: engaging students through excitement and curiosity, the true drivers of learning. Over the past eight years she has been working with the great team of passionate LMU faculty and TAs on her favorite project: research-based General Biology Labs at LMU. Other Tatiana’s interests include medicinal plants, outdoor sports, camping with her family and exploring nature.
Moscow State University: M.S., Evolutionary Biology
University of Southern California: M.S., Molecular Biology
Areas of Expertise (5)
Sample Talks (3)
Memory enhancing Effect of Emotions and How Stress, Drugs and Exercise Alter Mood
Non-major student-friendly Neurobiology seminar on how memory works.
What exercise do to the brain and how much is enough?
The chemistry behind the exercise and brain function.
Emotions Are Essential for Long-term Memory Formation, Demonstrated by Ants
This talk explores parallels in ant and human recognition systems. The pathway the signal has to travel from the sensory organ to the part of the brain that interprets it and forms into memory.
General Biology Labs BIOL111 and BIOL112
General Biology Labs BIOL111 (Fall) and BIOL112 (Spring)
Investigating Los Angeles’ urban roadway network from a biologically-formed perspectivePeerJ
Sophia Deen, Tatiana Kuzmenko, Hossein Asghari, Demian A. Willette
This study assessed foraging networks created by the slime-mold Physarium polycephalum on proportional 3D-printed topographic maps of metropolitan city of Los Angeles, California.
Plant-Derived Drug Discovery in an Introductory Biology Laboratory CourseThe American Biology Teacher
Tatiana Kuzmenko, Ashwarya Sharma, Demian A. Willette
Engaging student exploration of plants through a hands-on Plant-Derived Drug Discovery experiments.