ta in lab

I'm Todd Anderson. I was born in Alma, Nebraska (God's Country). I went to Alma High School; had some great teachers there, including (but not limited to) Steve Godeken and Ron Luedke.  I played sports: football, baseball, golf. Alma is near a reservoir (2nd largest in Nebraska when it has water) fed by the Republican River. I spent a lot of time outdoors growing up. I also liked motorcycles: a 125 Harley Davidson (2 cycle), a Honda 185 dirt bike, a Honda 450 Nighthawk, and a Honda Shadow 750.  I still enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, and generally exploring my surroundings.

I graduated from AHS in 1982 (many in the AHS Class of 82 are certified badasses; look it up). I went to Peru State College (oldest college in Nebraska and the "Campus of a Thousand Oaks") on the banks of the Missouri River.  I went there to play football and baseball; I started out as a math major. Fortunately, it turned out to be a good school academically.  Small college athletics is sport in its purest form; no crowds, no media, no scholarships. After a year of both football and baseball, I gave up football. I also switched majors to biology. College baseball (even small college baseball) is a great thing. I met some of my best and closest friends at PSC. I also had some great mentors at Peru State, including Dr. Larry Pappas and Dr. David Pippert.

I graduated from PSC in 1986. A year or so earlier I met this girl who would eventually (8 years later??) become "the CW" (current wife). I was going into Organic Chemistry as she was coming out of General Chemistry. Some years later (1992??) after a long distance relationship and co-habitating in two states, I proposed to her (Brenda) at a PSC Homecoming Football Game (Peru State plays their home games in the Oak Bowl. It's an awesome natural stadium built into a hillside. You should check it out.).

After college I went to grad school at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Lots of great outdoor stuff to do in Tennessee; I regret that I was so busy with graduate studies that I was unable to take full advantage.  People there were generally friendly, but there were a few still fighting the Civil War and were not fond of yankees.  I was fortunate to do my graduate research in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Lab.  I had a great mentor there; Barbara Walton was inspirational.  She had come out of Robert Metcalf's lab at Illinois (Metcalf produced lots of good environmental toxicologists). After Barbara left Oak Ridge, she spent time in the Clinton Whitehouse (Office of Science and Technology Policy) and at EPA in Research Triangle Park. She is now retired, but still a mental heavyweight.

I earned my Ph.D. in 1991 and then went to Iowa State University (Joel Coats' lab) for a postdoc.  Joel is a mentor with very few (if any) peers. He propelled my career and is a great scientist and friend.  After several years as a postdoc at ISU and constant questions about when I was going to get a real job, it didn't look good for staying in academia. I had interviewed for lots of academic jobs (for example, Wichita State University, University of Delaware, UC-Riverside) with no luck, and also expanded my search to industry jobs (for example, Campbell's Soup) also with limited success. Finally, I was able to secure a tenure track faculty position at Clemson University (for more details about my professional history, hit the back button and click on "Biosketch", or "My Vita"). One thing not listed in my biosketch or vita about the Clemson job is that I wasn't their first choice. They had actually offered the job to somebody else at Iowa State and she eventually turned it down. Her loss was my gain.

My time at Clemson was super fun, but short and mostly un-productive. The administration there had changed and what was once a priority had also changed. We had a large department in terms of graduate students for the number of faculty we had, yet we were severely under-funded based on those numbers. We spent a lot of time meeting with administrators trying to convince them that our program was worth supporting (a good book could be written about the "Clemson Experience").  In the end, a change was necessary as the situation was untenable. So in 1997, we moved to Lubbock, TX (Texas Tech University).

I've lived in Lubbock longer than any other place (including where I grew up in Nebraska). We like it here. My wife Brenda is a nurse, and Lubbock is the medical hub for West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Our daughter Teagen (aka Gill) went to school in Lubbock (Whiteside Elementary, Irons Middle School, Coronado High School), but chose Texas A&M (a former rival of Texas Tech when they were part of the Big12) for college.

I sold my last motorcycle (the one I bought when I got tenure) several years ago; I decided it was just too dangerous. People don't/can't see you. I restored (sort of) a 1967 F100 pickup and a 1967 Mustang, so I'm a car guy. I now own my "unicorn" car: a 1970 Dodge Charger. Although the "Clemson Experience" taught me to never say never, I have no strong desire to leave Texas Tech or West Texas.