Academics Allison Turner - Natural Sciences Laboratory Coordinator
Contact Allison Turner; 802-451-7584
As a laboratory coordinator at Marlboro, Allison Turner teaches a diverse array of laboratory courses in biology, biochemistry and botany. Although she studied environmental science as an undergraduate, her graduate work was in the field of pharmacognosy, a branch of pharmacology that deals with drugs in their natural state and with medicinal plants. “I really like the students at Marlboro," says Allison. “They put a great deal of effort in their own learning process; it’s very inspiring to be around. It means it’s easier for me to teach and also means I can learn from them at the same time.”
“The thing I try to impart to my science students over the course of four years is an understanding the scientific method, and what it means to ‘know’ something is true,” says Allison. “We don’t really know that anything is true. But understanding how you find things out, how you think rationally, how you agree that you have enough evidence—it’s important to me that that come across in my interactions with students.”
Allison’s doctoral dissertation and subsequent research has focused on the medicinal properties of the use of cranberries for urinary tract infections. She received a grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine for her graduate work, and has published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and the Journal of Natural Products. Allison is planning to conduct research on polycystic kidney disease, using human cell cultures and working in collaboration with the Vermont Genetic Network. She and Marlboro students and faculty will examine the impact of foods and medicines on the progression of this common genetic disorder.
In addition to teaching, Allison is actively involved in the college’s town meeting and performs emergency medicine and firefighting for the town of Marlboro. “My roots are here: I was born here, my father taught here and my mother was a student here,” she says.
B.S., University of California, Berkeley, 1983; Certificate, herbal medicine, California School of Herbal Studies, 1989, 1990, 1991; M.S., Marlboro College, 1999; PhD, University of Illinois, Chicago, 2006; Marlboro College 2003-