• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/32/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/41839_V14Cover_Lynch_Artwork.2.rev.1520229233.png)"/>


A Look into a First Year at Lake Forest

Kyle Wallis
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Lake Forest College has a multitude of great professors and brings many new professors into the fold given any need for it. Dr. Margot Schwalbe is one such new professor and like many of the freshmen of 2018 is a first-year.. Dr. Schwalbe applied to many colleges looking for those like Lake Forest. Dr. Schwalbe was drawn to small colleges that were more undergraduate oriented as Dr. Schwalbe wanted to work with undergraduates. Dr. Schwalbe has had a long history in biology, starting with a BS and MS in biology at University of Minnesota Duluth with a high focus of her classes being related to animals, earning her PhD at University of Rhode Island and had a postdoctoral fellowship at the Tufts University.


Now, Dr. Schwalbe has completed her first semester. During the interview, comments were made on what Dr. Schwalbe has enjoyed about Lake Forest College and the classes she has taught so far. Some of the things that Dr. Schwalbe stated include the idea that students here are great and that she enjoys seeing students inspired by biology and students at the beginning of their collegiate life. While she enjoys lecturing, she enjoys that in lab she can interact more closely with her students and speak with them. As a professor, Dr. Schwalbe will be doing research at the College. Dr. Schwalbe is continuing her research from Tufts and is bringing her expertise in the sensory system in fish called the lateral line system. The lateral line system that Dr. Schwalbe is researching is a sensory system in fish that allow them to defect the flow of the currents in water. Dr. Schwalbe explained how it is made up of neuromast along the body of the fish. The lateral line system as a whole is capable of detecting flow, but as Dr. Schwalbe explained that different neuromasts detect different things such as the velocity of water flow and the acceleration of the water flow. Dr. Schwalbe’s research is attempting to answer many questions about the lateral line system, including how fish deal with the flow their own swimming generates. This research Dr. Schwalbe has brought from Tufts and would like to bring into the Richter’s Program here at Lake Forest College using three dimensional models to further analyze how the lateral line system works.


Dr. Schwalbe plans to explore the local species of fish and their lateral line systems in the future, using florescent staining to understand their morphology. She enjoys thinking about the big picture and how the different forms relate to function. Dr. Schwalbe also stated she would love to help expose students to research during their time here at Lake Forest College. Dr. Schwalbe enjoys teaching and would love to keep modernizing her classroom and learning environments. Currently she employs the use of clickers in order to achieve this and stated that in large classrooms it is useful as it can help her make sure that she can see where people may need help.


As a former student of Dr. Schwalbe’s biology 120 lab and lecture, I believe she has done a good job so far. I believe Dr. Schwalbe introduced topic to the best of her abilities and has done very well with her lectures. Dr. Schwalbe tries to keep it interesting and relate topics to her own research in order to give students another way to think and connect what may be abstract biological concepts to the real world. I look forward to seeing what else Dr. Schwalbe may bring to the College in the future, and the positive impact she may have on the student’s lives here at Lake Forest College. Welcome to Lake Forest College, Dr. Schwalbe!


Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College.

Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.