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Ph.D., 1999, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque


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Sustainability Studies Earthworm Toxicology Lab




Sharon Pochron runs the Sustainability Studies Earthworm Ecotoxicology Lab where she and her students investigate the role of environmental toxins, like acid rain, Roundup, and fertilizer on earthworm biomass and survivorship. Based in the Life Sciences Greenhouse, this research involves undergraduates at every level: from planning, to data collection and analysis, cumulating in publication.

Her ecotoxicology students take part in the EarthStock Keynote events and URECA. Many of her students have papers in review in scientific journals. Pochron congratulates winners of the annual Earthworm Ecotoxicology Laboratory Award for their high-quality and dedicated research. Anna Flores won this award in 2013, and Kerri Mahoney won it in 2014. Pochron also congratulates her student Joy Pawirosetiko, who was named URECA Researcher of the month in May 2014.

Pochron received her Bachelors from Franklin and Marshall College in both anthropology and biology. She received her Doctorate from University of New Mexico in anthropology and biology. She specialized in baboon foraging behavior and statistics.

As a post-doc for Patricia Wright, Pochron published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers involving the behavioral ecology of lemurs, tarsiers and baboons. She also studied the levels of heavy metal concentrations in local sea life with Jeffrey Levinton. In her increasingly rare spare time, Pochron writes about science and animals for Highlights, Student Science, and Muse Magazine.

Pochron teaches courses involving biology and anthropology, including conservation genetics, demography, epidemiology and ecology.




Flores A, Carvajal G, Holeman K, Kennard M, Linton T, Mahoney K, Pawirosetiko J, Pena V, Sgueglia J, Smalley A, Sperber S, Swierski E, Pochron, S (in prep) The effect of simulated acid rain on earthworm biomass. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Science.

Levinton JS, Pochron ST. (2008) Changes in mercury content in seven species of fish over a 30-year period in the New York Finger Lakes. Environmental Science and Technology

Levinton JS, Pochron ST, Kane MW. (2006) Superfund dredging restoration results in widespread regional reduction in cadmium in blue crabs. Environmental Science and Technology

King SJ, Arrigo-Nelson SJ, Pochron ST, Semprebon GM, Godfrey LR, Wright PC, Jernvall J. (2005) Dental senescence in a long-lived primate links infant survival to rainfall. Proceedings of the National Academies of Science 102:16579-16583.

Pochron ST, Morelli TL, Terranova P, Scirbona J, Wright PC. (2005) Sex differences in scent marking in Propithecus edwardsi of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology. 66:97-110.

Wright PC, Razafindratsita T, Pochron ST, Jernvall J. (2005) The key to Madagascar frugivores. In: Tropical Fruits and Frugivores: The Search for Strong Interactors, (Dew JL, Boubli H. eds.). New York, NY, Springer.

Pochron ST, Wright PC. (2005) Dance of the sexes: a lemur needs some unusual traits to survive in Madagascar’s unpredictable environment. Natural History. 6:34-39.

Pochron ST, Morelli TL, Terranova P, Scirbona J, Cohen J, Rakotonirina G, Ratsimbazafy R, Rakotosoa R, Wright PC. (2005) Patterns of male scent marking in Propithecus edwardsi of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology. 65:103-115.

Pochron ST. (2005) Does relative economic value of food elicit purposeful encounter in the yellow baboons (Papio hamadryas cynocephalus) of Ruaha National Park, Tanzania? Primates. 46:71-74.

Pochron ST, Wright PC. (2005) Testes size and body weight in the Milne-Edwards’ sifaka of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar, relative to other strepsirhine primates. Folia Primatologica. 76:37-41.

Pochron ST, Tucker WT, Wright PC. (2004) Demography, life history and social structure in Propithecus diadema edwardsi from 1986 to 2000 of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 125:61-72.

Pochron ST, Fitzgerald J, Gilbert CC, Lawrence DM, Grgas M, Rakotonirina G, Ratsimbazafy R, Rakotosoa R, Wright PC. (2003) Patterns of female dominance in (Propithecus diadema edwardsi) of Ranomafana National Park. American Journal of Primatology. 61:173-185.

Pochron ST, Wright PC. (2003) Variability in adult group compositions of a prosimian primate Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 54:285-293.

Wright PC, Pochron ST, Haring D, Simons E. (2003) Can we predict seasonal behavior and social organization from sexual dimorphism and testes measurements? In: The Tarsiers: Past, Present and Future, (Wright PC, Simons EL, Gursky S. eds.) Rutgers NJ, Rutgers University Press. pp. 260-275.

Pochron ST, Wright PC. (2002) Dynamics of testes size compensates for variation in male body-size. Evolutionary Ecology Research. 4:1-9.

Pochron ST, Wright PC, Schaentzler E, Ippolito M, Rakotonirina G, Ratsimbazafy R, Rakotosoa R. (2002) Effect of season and age on the gonadosomatic index of Milne-Edward’s sifakas (Propithecus diadema edwardsi) in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology. 23(2):355-364.

Pochron ST. (2001) Can concurrent speed and directness of travel indicate locational knowledge in the free-ranging yellow baboons (Papio h. cynocephalus) of Ruaha National Park, Tanzania? International Journal of Primatology. 22(5):773-785.


Worm Lab Research Discovers Crumb Rubber Contains Heavy Metals

Chemosphere, a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on environmental contaminants, has published a paper from the Sustainability Studies Earthworm Ecotoxicology Lab: Pochron, S., Fiorenza, A., Sperl, C., Ledda, B., Patterson, C., Tucker, C., … & Panico, N. (2017)....

Students to Study Human Use Patterns at Ashley Schiff Park Preserve

When Margaret Conover asked the Sustainability Studies Program if we could quantify use-patterns in the Ashley Schiff Park Preserve, two Environment and Human Impact students enthusiastically said yes! With the help of Dr. Sharon Pochron, students Alexandra VanLoo and...

Worms and Lemurs: The Mariah Donohue Story

After suffering through calculus and chemistry as an undeclared sophomore, I jumped at the opportunity to study abroad in Madagascar with Dr. Patricia Wright, the world’s foremost expert on the finest animals to vertically cling and leap across the rainforest...

Sustainability Studies Program earthworm research recap, 2014 edition!

During my first semester with the Sustainability Studies Earthworm Ecotoxicology lab, back in January 2012, I had seven brave students working with me. We wanted to examine the effect of acid rain on earthworm health, so we designed and ran the research—and made a lot...

Ecosystems and Human Impact Alumni Spotlight: Kerri Mahoney

Kerri is pictured here with Dr. Stanley, president of Stony Brook, and her research mentor, Dr. Sharon Pochron. Kerri graduated with honors in May of 2014. She conducted research with several other undergraduate students where they tested the effects of acid rain...

Sustainability Studies Student featured in “Pathways” Publication:

Gabriella Carvajal who is an Eco-Systems and Human Impact Major, has written an essay in Pathways:  The Official Publication of the NYS Outdoor Education Association, on her work with the Marine Meadows Program, which among their many initiatives restores eel grass to...

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