• Position 3

Aaron Krochmal

Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair
  • B.S., Biology, Union College (NY), 1996
  • M.S., Biology, New York University, 1998
  • Ph.D., Ecology, Indiana State University, 2003

I am a broadly-trained, integrative organismal biologist interested in the behavior, physiology, and ecology of reptiles. Specifically, I combine these disciplines to investigate how reptiles perceive, interact with, and navigate their environments. 

  • General Biology I and II
  • Integrative Human Anatomy
  • Integrative Human Physiology
  • General Endocrinology
  • Research Techniques in Herpetology


Selected Honors and Awards 

Washington College Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching Washington College Club Advisor of the Year University of Houston - Downtown, Excellence in Teaching Award


Selected Recent Popular Press Coverage

A sensationalized view of Snapping turtle migration in LiveScience (60 million + views!)

Animal learning, memory, and migration, on National Public Radio’s The Academic Minute

Agribusiness goes hand-in-hand with animal conservation in New Scientist

Students learn about how animals learn in The Chronicle of Higher Education (scroll down)


Selected Recent and Forthcoming Publications

(* - undergraduate coauthor)

Roth, T.C., A.R. Krochmal, and L.D. LaDage.  2019. Reptilian cognition: A more complex picture via integration of neurological mechanisms, behavioral constraints, and evolutionary context. BioEssays. DOI: 10.1002/bies.201900033

Roth, T.C. and A.R. Krochmal. 2018. Of molecules, memories, and migration: M1 acetylcholine receptors facilitate spatial memory formation and recall during migratory navigation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B.

Krochmal, A.R., A.J. Place, T.J. LaDuc, and T.C. Roth. 2018. Phylogenetic patterns in learning and decision making in pit vipers (Viperidae: Crotalinae). Animal Behaviour.  145 (November 2018) 117-123.

Roth, T.C. and A.R. Krochmal. 2018. Testudines Life History. In: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, J. Vonk, T. K. Shackelford (eds.). Springer. 

Roth, T.C., and A.R. Krochmal. “Wild vs. Lab Box 18.2 Where the Wild Things Are: A Naturalistic Approach to Studying Cognition in Chelonians.” Field and Laboratory Methods in Animal Cognition: A Comparative Guide (2018): 414.: Animal Cognition, F. Amici and N. Bueno eds., Cambridge University Press. 

Krochmal, A. R., Roth, T. C. and O’Malley, H*. 2018.  An empirical test of the role of learning in translocation. Anim Conservation.  21 (1), 36–44.

Krochmal, A.R. and Roth, T.C. 2017. From Comfort to Confidence: Modeling Science as a Process of Risk-Taking in the Classroom. In Risk-taking in higher education: The importance of negotiating intellectual challenge in the college classroom. Kelty, R. and Bunten, B, eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Roth, T. C., Krochmal, A. R., Gerwig, IV, W. B*., Rush, S*., Simmons, N. T*., Sullivan, J. D*., and Wachter, K*. 2016. Using Pharmacological Manipulation and High-precision Radio Telemetry to Study Spatial Cognition in Free-ranging Animals. J. Vis. Exp. (117), e54790, doi:10.3791/54790     

Roth, T.C. and A.R. Krochmal. 2016. Pharmacological Evidence is Consistent with a Prominent Role of Spatial Memory in Complex Navigation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B. 383 (1824) Featured cover article

Krochmal, A.R., T.C. Roth, S. Rush* and K. Wachter*. 2015. Outsmarting rapid environmental change: the role of cognition in navigation. Communicative and Integrative Biology. 8:6 e1052922 DOI:

Roth, Timothy C., and A R. Krochmal. Cognition-centered conservation as a means of advancing integrative animal behavior. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 6 (2015): 1-6 DOI:

Roth, T.C., A.R. Krochmal, and Z. Nemeth. 2015. Thinking about change: an integrative approach for examining cognition in a changing world. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 55: 347-353 DOI:

Roth, T.C., and A.R. Krochmal. 2015The role of age-specific learning and experience for turtles navigating a changing landscape. Current Biology 25:333-337. DOI:; Cover article and cover photo. Featured in Berkeley Science Review.