Bonnie B. Bowers

Bonnie B. Bowers

I earned my Ph.D. in life sciences (ethology) from the University of Tennessee. Because my background is interdisciplinary, my research interests are diverse, including behavior/learning in snakes and non-pharmacological treatments such as negative air ions for seasonal affective disorder in humans.

All of my courses feature experiential activities such as collecting and analyzing real data or designing interventions based on class material that address real-world problems. I especially enjoy mentoring students in conducting research and analyzing data. I involve students in my own research as well as oversee their own research projects. In my Research Practicum class, students apply their research knowledge from previous courses to a project that interests them. I love to see how invested they become in collecting and analyzing their own data. Each student presents her findings in a research poster that is displayed in the department for the next year. I also enjoy introducing students to the wonder of snakes in my Short Term Seminar!

Areas of Expertise

  • Snake behavior and learning
  • Non-pharmacological treatments for seasonal affective disorder

Courses Taught

  • PSY 205 & 205L: Research Design & Laboratory for Research Design
  • PSY 208: Research Statistics
  • PSY 210: Research Practicum
  • PSY 215: Motivation & Emotion
  • PSY 281: Professional Development in Psychology
  • BIO/PSY 317: Biological Psychology
  • Short Term Seminar: Snakes: Science, Society, & Superstition
  • First-Year Seminar: The Creative Brain
  • PSY 290, PSY 390, PSY 399, and PSY 490: I oversee multiple independent studies, internships, and/or honors theses each year.


  • B.A., Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Publications & Articles

  • Bowers, B.B., Flory, R., Ametepe, J., Staley. L., Patrick, A., & Carrington, H. (2017). Controlled trial evaluation of exposure duration to negative air ions for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder. Psychiatry Research, 259, 7-14.
  • Waters, R. M., Bowers, B. B., & Burghardt, G. M. (2017). Personality and individuality in reptile behavior. In Personality of Nonhuman Animals, L. Vonk and A. Weiss (Eds.). Springer Nature.
  • Flory, R., Ametepe, J., & Bowers, B. (2010) A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of bright light and high-density negative air ions for treatment of seasonal affective disorder, Psychiatry Research, 177, 101-108.


  • I have published papers in various journals including Behaviour, Journal of Comparative Psychology, Developmental Psychobiology, Journal of Avian Biology, and Psychiatry Research as well as book chapters on eating disorders, human-reptile interactions, and reptile personality.