Aaron Krochmal

  • Associate Professor and 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, Alexander D., Aaron R. Krochmal, and Timothy C. Roth. "Contribution to the special issue on reptile cognition: Context-specific cue use in the Eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) and its effects on decision making." Behaviour 1.aop (2021): 1-20.

Krochmal, Aaron R., Timothy C. Roth II, and Nathaniel T. Simmons. "My way is the highway: the role of plasticity in learning complex migration routes." Animal Behaviour 174 (2021): 161-167.

Krochmal, Aaron R., Timothy C. Roth, and Nathaniel T. Simmons. "The geomagnetic field does not appear to influence navigation in Eastern painted turtles." Ethology 127.3 (2021): 246-252.

Roth, T. C., Rosier, M., Krochmal, A. R., & Clark, L. (2020). A multi‐trait, field‐based examination of personality in a semi‐aquatic turtle. Ethology126(8), 851-857.

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  https://t.co/j4uvVGorcg

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. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.1904

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2018.09.016

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. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1448-1 

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.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acv.12357/full

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  http://www.jove.com/video/54790/using-pharmacological-manipulation-high-precision-radio-telemetry-to     

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) http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/283/1824/20152548 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:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420889.2015.1052922

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:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.05.008

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420889.2015.1052922

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:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.11.048; Cover article and cover photo. Featured in Berkeley Science Review.