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Peter Scheifele

Dr. Peter Scheifele

The Renaissance man

Dr. Peter Scheifele, assistant professor of audiology in UC’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, might be best described as a “Renaissance man.”

A 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, Scheifele has circumnavigated the globe twice, dived in each of the world’s oceans, journeyed to the bottom of the Atlantic, attended medical school and held the position of head trainer at Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium.

He also teaches in several departments across campus, including medical education and biology. However, audiology—and animal audiology in particular—is his primary focus. Over the course of his career, he has
studied audiology issues in a wide range of animals, including dogs, horses and dolphins.

When Dr. Scheifele first came to UC, he was struck by the helpful and welcoming atmosphere he found.“The depth of ‘putting students first’ at UC,” he remembers, “was unlike any other place that I have been.” Since joining the faculty, he has helped contribute to this unique atmosphere by establishing FETCH~LAB, an animal-bioacoustics laboratory designed to explore the ways animals interact with their environment. So far, the lab has been quite a success; along with many notable research projects, it has even been featured on the Discovery Science Channel.

Dr. Scheifele places great emphasis on mentoring his students. “Working with graduate students is perhaps my greatest joy,” he explains. One of the most important lessons he tries to teach students is to focus their research so they can channel their eagerness into something pragmatic and achievable. His advice to aspiring academics in this challenging
job market? First, set a goal that balances what you love to do with the availability of work. Then, “focus on the mission and let nothing distract you from completing it.”