Avila University


Picture of Greg FitchGreg Fitch, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of Biology


My chief professional interest is how the nervous system, especially the brain, produces consciousness and behavior. My chief teaching assignment is Human Anatomy and Physiology, which I teach at Avila every semester. Other courses that I teach include one that compares the functioning of various types of animals from mammals to insects and an interdisciplinary course co-taught with a psychologist about how the brain generates behavior. I've been teaching at Avila since 1997 and, before that, taught for one year at Kansas City Kansas Community College and eleven years at Kansas State University. 

I received a B.S. degree in 1977 from the College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University, with majors in biology and psychology. I earned a Ph.D. degree in 1997 from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, majoring in physiology. Between degrees I managed to spend a fun summer studying neurophysiology at the University of Nottingham in Great Britain. I also co-authored a college-level textbook, Understanding Human Anatomy and Physiology (West Educational Publishing), which was published in 1993.

In addition to research involving educational (pedagogical) methods, I like to approach the question of how the nervous system produces behavior by asking questions about the behavior of simple organisms, chiefly the bean beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. I am also interested in philosophy, including the philosophy of science. Since coming to Avila I have directed a wide variety of student research projects ranging from the effects of myocardial infarction in various regions of the rat brain to egg laying behavior in bean beetles.

When I'm not working, I read, collect 50s and 60s rock-and-roll, play a wide variety of games, participate in a rotisserie baseball league, play the guitar (poorly), spend as much time as possible outdoors, try to not be driven to clinical depression by politicians, and try to have a useful influence on my two sons.