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Kelle Dhein

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Sols Graduate Programs
Grad Service Assistant
Graduate Assistant/Associate, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4601
Student Information:
Graduate Student
Biology (Biology and Society)
Liberal Arts & Sciences

Biography

I research biological information, or the way biologists have used and continue to use information-like concepts to gather knowledge about the living world. Information has had a formal mathematical definition since Claude Shannon’s work in the late 1940’s, but researchers have conceived of information many different ways before and since, and biologists seem to utilize many of those conceptions in their work. I am especially interested in how biologists use intentional or semantic conceptions of information in the field of animal behavior. My current research focuses on the informational concepts used in eusocial insect behavior research. More generally, my interests lie at the intersection of philosophy, biology, cognitive science, and anything involving the word “information”. 

Education

2015-2020

Arizona State University - School of Life Sciences - Center for Biology & Society

  • Ph.D., History and Philosophy of Science
  • Graduate Certificate in Complex Adaptive Systems Science
  • Graduate Certificate in Nonfiction Writing and Publishing

2010-2014

Arizona State University - Barrett, The Honors College

· B.A., Philosophy

· B.A., Anthropology

· Minor, Linguistics

Honors Thesis: Empathizing with Fictional Characters

Research Interests

I research biological information, or the way biologists have used and continue to use information-like concepts. I am especially interested in how biologists use intentionality or semanticity in their explanations of organism level phenomena. I pursue my research using both historical and philosophical perspectives.

In my historical research, I look at how social insect researchers have used information-like concepts to explain social insect behavior. I ask questions about how researchers have used information-like concepts, how those concepts have changed, and whether certain concepts of information tend to lead to certain results. I want to learn how ethological practice constrained researchers’ philosophical commitments about information and how researchers’ philosophical commitments about information constrained their ethological practice.

In my philosophical research, I engage with debates in philosophy of biology surrounding biological information. In general, I am interested in building an account of how biologists use intentional conceptions of information in their work. 

Research Group

For the computational aspects of my research, I work with Dr. Manfred Laubichler's computational history and philosophy of science lab

Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 494Special Topics
HPS 591Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HON 497Honors Colloquium
HPS 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
HPS 591Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HON 497Honors Colloquium
HPS 498Pro-Seminar
BIO 498Pro-Seminar
HPS 591Seminar
BIO 591Seminar
Presentations

2016 Spring and 2017 Fall

Biology 591: The Embryo Project Writing Seminar

Co-Instructor

 

2015 Fall

Biology 201: Human Anatomy/Physiology

Lead Instructor of two lab sections

Honors / Awards

2017: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Graduate Excellence Award

2016 - 2019: Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow

2015: Winner of Issues in Science & Technology Magazine’s Science Fiction Contest

2014: Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University

2014: Moeur Award for Academic Excellence

2013: 1st Place in Arizona State University’s Annual Philosophy Essay Contest

2012: 1st Place in Douglas G. Arner Academic Freedom Essay Contest

Editorships

Summer 2015: Assistant Editor for Dr. Paul Cassell’s Book, Religion, Emergence, and the Origins of Meaning: Beyond Durkheim and Rappaport

Summer 2017: Editor for the Embryo Project Encyclopedia

Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History

Advisor/ Committee Chair: Beckett Sterner Dissertation Committee: Jane Maienschein, Manfred Laubichler, Stephen Pratt, and Colin Allen.

Service

2017-Present: Volunteer for School of Life Sciences Prison Biology Project- Teaching introductory college-level biology to prisoners in Florence, Arizona.