Josh Pultorak

Tiny Earth Partner Instructor
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Josh acts as a mentor to dozens of undergraduate researchers involved in the global Tiny Earth initiative aimed at addressing the world’s antibiotic crisis. Research projects examine environmental influences on antibiotic activity in bacteria collected in Wisconsin soils. His PhD research (recently featured in National Geographic) primarily explored mechanisms of monogamy in California mice, specifically investigating how intersexual ultrasonic communication, hormones and the social environment interact to regulate pair bonding and mate fidelity. Secondary research efforts included biomedical applications, seeking to understand the neuropathology of Parkinsonism as it relates to vocal deficits in a PINK1 gene knock-out rat model of disease. More recently, Josh’s research interests have dovetailed with his teaching passion, examining ‘threshold concept’ models of learning as well as positive impacts of active learning pedagogy in undergraduate biology education, particularly within CUREs (course-based undergraduate research experiences).