Welcome to Dr. Rycroft's website. On this site, you will find information for your class through the links on the left. These connect to all of the materials that you will need for class and a calendar with the class plans. Below is a bit more information about me and all of my contact information!

Video of the month!

In this section, I will post a science-based video each month or so. You can see the archive of prior videos here.


Personal Information

My name is Nathan Rycroft and, from 2009 until 2015, I worked in Dr. Jelle Atema's laboratory at Boston University. I have been teaching AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, and Biology at Westwood High School starting in the fall of 2015 and Marine Biology starting in the fall of 2017.

My dissertation research involved olfactory recognition, local adaptation, and genetic population structure in the American lobster (Homarus americanus). The American lobster is one of most important commercial species in New England with annual landings worth nearly $450 million. The goal of my research was to determine whether the lobster population in the Northwest Atlantic is genetically structured and if geographically distinct populations show signs of genetic adaptation to their local environments.

In addition to my scientific research at BU, I was also fortunate to teach courses in ecology, evolution, animal behavior, and physiology. In 2014, I was honored as the Teaching Fellow of the Year in the Department of Biology.

Prior to my graduate career, I received my Bachelors Degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. At ODU, I double majored in Marine Biology and Oceanography. During my undergraduate tenure, I completed research under Dr. John McConaugha in the Oceanography department. My research utilized protein and lipid analyses to determine changes in the quality of eggs in relation to the carapace size of berried female Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus). While at ODU, I earned the distinction as the top undergraduate student in the physical sciences.

I have also had significant experience developing and implementing curricula for both the high school and college levels.

Curricular Vita
Click here to see my CV

Contact Information

    Westwood High School
    220 Nahatan St
    Westwood MA, 02090

Email address: 

Recent and Upcoming Publications

Benestan, L., Moore J-S, Sutherland BJG, et al. (2017) Sex matters in massive parallel sequencing: Evidence for biases in genetic parameter estimation and investigation of sex determination systemsMolecular Ecology. 26:6767–6783.

Rycroft, N., Seliga, A.M., Lubinski, T.J., Stefanik, D. Jennings, A.R., Mills, J., LaBonty, M., Kamath, A., Hasan, N., Yalonestrakaya, A., Reilley-Luther, J., Basu, R.L. (2016) Urban ecology: Inquirybased andexperiential laboratory exercises for urban ecosystems. Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education.

Rycroft, N., Radcliffe, K., Atema, J. (2013). A photographic method for lobster morphometry aimed at site discrimination. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Vol. 70(11): 1658-166

Rycroft, N. Seliga, A.M., Sanxardis Mantis, P. (2013) BI315 Systems Physiology Laboratory Manual. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, Boston, MA.

Rycroft, N., Seliga A.M. (2013). Urban Ecology: A Field Ecology Laboratory for Urban High School and Undergraduate Biology Courses. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching. Proceedings of the Association  for Biology Laboratory Education. Vol. 34, 488-493.

Blom, J., Seliga, A.M., Khoo, X., Walker, M., Rycroft, N. (2013). Outbreak!: Scenario-Based Instruction in Microbiology. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching. Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education. Vol. 34, 5-25

Spilios, K., Rycroft, N., Seliga, A.M. (2013). A Bridge to Knowledge: A TA Training Course. Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching. Proceedings of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education. Vol. 34, 383-389.

Rycroft, N., Radcliffe, K., McDougal, E., Halverson, J., Gerlach, G., Deppermann, J., Atema, J. (2012). No Olfactory Recognition of Shell Disease in American Lobster, Homarus americanus. Journal of Shellfish Research. Vol.31, Issue 2, pg(s) 527-532