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My three main areas of scholarly interests are: 1. Ant Research; 2. Tropical Biology; 3. Human Anatomy and Physiology. My research primarily involves field work on the natural history of ants. The following summarizes my philosophy:

"Naturalists are opportunists. they love not merely the subject, but the whole idea of the subject. Their primary aim is to learn as much as possible about all aspects of the species that give them aesthetic pleasure. Organisms are their totems, to be venerated and put to the service of science" (Journey to the Ants 1994 by Holldobler and Wilson).

I believe it is essential for a naturalist to gain a world view. As a result, I have offered travel courses, studied ants in Australia, and observed wildlife in other countries. These experiences broaden my perspective and that of my students. They also provide first-hand accounts to enliven and augment lectures, even in classes where they might not seem germane. For example, my travels have given me insight into the physiological problems associated with altitude sickness, heat stroke, and diseases such as malaria, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness, and elephantiasis that I discuss in my anatomy and physiology classes.

I believe it is important to disseminate scientific knowledge to a broad-based constituency. As a result, I publish not only in scientific journals read by a few professionals, but also magazines that reach the general public. The public must be educated because they ultimately fund our university positions, our research and vote on an increasing number of scientific and technological issues.

Professor Profile: John Richard Conway III, Ph.D.

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio


  • B.S. (Zoology) Ohio State University
  • M.A. (Zoology) University of Colorado
  • Ph.D. (Biology) University of Colorado


  • Wife: Sharon (Software engineer and Database Specialist)
  • Son: John (Commercial Airline Pilot)
  • Dog: "Darwin," a Sheltie
  • Cat: "Kiki"

Favorite Pastimes:

  • Trailering throughout the U.S.
  • Driving our Mustang convertible
  • Watching beautiful sunsets (my favorite time of the day)
  • Working out
  • Listening to music and singing
  • Observing wildlife in its natural habitat

Most Recent Thrills:

Work Out regimen (Daily):

  • Abdominal exercises
  • Stretch exercises
  • Free weights-alternate different muscles every other day
  • Weight machines-alternate different muscles every other day
  • Aerobic-alternate stationary cycling, jogging, swimming, racquetball, tennis, basketball

Teaching Experience:

  • University of Scranton (1985-present)
    • Human Structure & Function, General Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Tropical Biology (Jamaica, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama), Biodiversity, Race to Save the Planet (telecommunications course)
  • United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs (1991)
    • Introductory Biology, Senior Biology Seminar
  • Elmhurst College, Chicago (1978-1985)
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology, Developmental Biology, Human Biology, General Biology, Tropical Biology (Virgin Islands, Yucatan, and Hawaii)
  • Marycrest College, Davenport, Iowa (1976-1978)
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology, Vertebrate Zoology, Evolution, Environment & Man, Botany, Biology Seminars
  • University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (1972-1975)
    • General Biology
  • Regis College, Denver (1972)
    • Evolution


  • U.S. and Australian Honey Ants (Myrmecocystus mexicanus, Camponotus inflatus, Melophorus bagoti):)
    • Scientific journals:
      • Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science, Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, The Southwestern Naturalist, New Scientist (London), The American Biology Teacher, Australian Entomological Magazine, Journal of the Australian Entomological Society, American Entomologist, Natural History.
    • Popular publications:
      • Science Digest, National Wildlife, Learning Magazine, National Geographic World, Ranger Rick, Your Big Backyard, Huisgenoot (S. Africa), The Living Museum, Earthwatch Magazine, GEO (Australia), Science and Children, Biology Digest, Highlights for Children, World Book Encyclopedia, The Food Insects Newsletter.
  • Western thatching ant (Formica obscuripes)
    • Scientific journals:
      • Great Basin Naturalist, Pan-Pacific Entomologist, Biology Digest
  • Tropical Biology
    • Journal of College Science Teaching, Biology Digest, Bios.
  • Human anatomy and physiology
    • Journal of College Science Teaching, World Book Encyclopedia, American Biology Teacher, Biology Digest, Bios


  • Hello You (Netherlands) (Inca Trail in Peru)
  • Biology Digest
    • Namibia
    • Nepal
    • Africa-Mountain gorilla and Kilimanjaro
    • Micronesia
    • Belizean barrier reef
    • Rainforests of Belize & Guatemala
    • Southwestern Research Station in Arizona
    • Patagonia
    • Panama
    • Costa Rica
    • Easter Island
    • Ecuador
    • Tasmania and Kangaroo Island
    • South Africa & Swaziland

Photographic Exhibits:

  • Tusla Zoological Park, Illinois State Museum, Elmhurst Public Library, World of Insects at Cincinnati Zoo, Everhart Museum, Garden of the Gods Visitor Center in Colorado Springs

Biological Stations:

  • Ohio State Stone Lab on Lake Erie, Duke Marine Lab, Bermuda Biological Station, Southwestern Research Station in Arizona, Hofstra Marine Station in Jamaica, Asa Wright Nature Center on Trinidad, Bahamian Field Station on San Salvador Island, Barro Colorado (Panama), and Las Cruces Biological Station, La Selva, Palo Verde (Costa Rica)


  • Photography, adventure travel, hiking, racquetball, tennis, snorkeling and scuba diving, physical fitness


  • Most of the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Virgin Islands), England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Caribbean Islands, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands, Honduras, Peru, French Polynesia, New Zealand (North & South Islands), Australia (including Tasmania & Kangaroo Islands), Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia (Bali, Lombok, Raja Ampat), Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland), Brazil, Argentina, Chile & Easter Island, Micronesia (Palau & Yap), Fiji

Personal Foibles:

  • Compulsion to clean cars and to empty wastebaskets

Personal Philosophy of creedo:


  • "This is an essay I wrote when I was very young that still conveys my feelings quite well." (Web | Download)


  • March to your own drummer!
  • Have a passion!
  • The major human drives that make the world go round involve the pursuit of health, happiness, sex, power, knowledge, wealth, fame, and religion.
  • Travel is one of the best educational experiences.
  • Moderation in all things (except exercise).
  • Focus on improving yourself and taking care of your family before trying to influence others.
  • Science and logic have been the major forces in human progress.
  • Biology is religion. To understand the meaning of life you must study it.
  • Life operates through random chaotic chance. It has no meaning or morality, these are human artifacts.
  • Believe in yourself, but keep your ego in check.
  • Overpopulation is the main problem and threat to the environment and to the existence and quality of life of the human species.
  • The amount of desirable and livable land in the world is very limited.
  • Institutions persist but expend employees in the process.
  • Work is play and play can be work.
  • Work defines a person's self esteem and worth.
  • Pro-choice
  • Pro-euthanasia
  • Americans are too materialistic and driven by money.
  • Life is a mental and physical adventure.
  • The world is my home.
  • Frugality is a virtue.
  • It's hip to be square.


  • To continue to learn throughout life.
  • To develop both mind and body.
  • To pursue health, happiness, and knowledge.
  • To leave something for posterity Not only children, but an intellectual or artistic legacy.
  • To seek and experience the most beautiful and exotic places and cultures in the world and learn from them and incorporate their best aspects into my life
  • To be professional.
  • To seek a balance between the two types of knowledge: intellectual and common sense.
  • To strike a balance in life between work, play, career, and family.
  • To do something I enjoy.
  • To live life and not postpone dreams.
  • To invest in life experiences as well as tangible possessions and assets.
  • To avoid financial and personal debt.
  • To diversify my investments.


  • TTB (tend to business) or TCB (take care of business). Translation-keep working and do your job to the best of your ability.
  • JYE (Justify your existence). With over 7 billion people on earth, every person should be a productive member of society to justify his/her existence.
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