Robert Jeffrey Dean (Jeff), Ph.D.
 Title: Professor
 Dept: Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
 Office: SR G69
 Phone: 216-687-2120
 Fax: 216-687-6972
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. SR G69, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught

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Research Keywords:
neuroethology, neurobiology, animal behavior, sensory physiology, motor control, Xenopus, control of arm movements, artificial neural networks
B.A., Cornell University
Ph.D., Cornell University
Brief Bio:
Dr. Dean is a Professor of Biology. He received his B.A. and his Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University, working with Dr. Thomas Eisner and Dr. Bruce Halpern on the behavior and sensory physiology of toads encountering bombardier beetles.  Before coming to Cleveland, he spent nearly twenty years doing research and teaching in Europe, primarily in Germany at the University of Bielefeld where his research focused on how stick insects walk and how this model might be incorporated into artificial walking machines. The control of arm movements was a second interest.
   He has been a faculty member of Cleveland State University since 1998. Here the object of research is the use of the lateral line system in aquatic frogs to find prey.
Research Interests:
My research focuses on the neural control of behavior. At present, we are studying how the African Clawed Toad (Xenopus laevus), which lives in water as an adult, senses water movement and surface waves in order to detect and orient to prey. The adults retain their lateral line organ, a collection of hair cells on the skin like those in fish, that are stimulated by water movement. The central nervous system is able to interpret the pattern of inputs from all over the body in order to determine the direction to the wave source. Neurons in deep layers of the tectum, a part of the midbrain, respond only for specific stimulus directions; together these neurons form a topographic map of the surroundings.  Understanding how the CNS does this is one goal.
  The tectum also processes visual information and has outputs to motor centers. Another question is therefore how the visual and lateral line inputs are integrated to control the turning response. This is being studied in behavioral experiments.
Teaching Areas:
Animal Behavior
Sensory Physiology
Principles of Animal Locomotion
Simple Nervous Systems
Motor Control
Animal Communication
Biological Cybernetics
Artificial Neural Networks
Computing and Statistics for Biologists
Professional Affiliations:
Society for Neuroscience
Neurowissenschaftliche Gesellschaft
European Neuroscience Association
Professional Experience:
Professor of Biology and BGES Graduate Program Director, Cleveland State University, September, 1998-present

Assistant Professor of Biology, Vanderbilt University, January, 1997-August, 1998

Apl-Professor of Zoology, October, 1992-1998
C3-Vertretung/Abteilungsleiter, October, 1995-July, 1996 (locum tenens C3-Professor)
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the Zentrum fuer interdisziplinaere Forschung(Center for interdisciplinary Research) October, 1992-1995
Professor (C2) of Zoology, September, 1987--September, 1992
Privatdozent in Zoology, December, 1986--August, 1987
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (teaching/research), January, 1982--November, 1986
Abteilung fuer Theoretische Biologie und Biologische Kybernetik, Universitaet Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Federal Republic of Germany.

Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland. January, 1980--December, 1981.

Visiting Research Worker, Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland. April, 1979--December, 1979.

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (postdoctoral researcher), Zoologisches Institut, Universitaet zu Koeln, Koeln, Federal Republic of Germany. September, 1976--March, 1979.

Teaching Assistant in Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. September 1973--June, 1975.