Nature 14

Jeffrey David Triblehorn, Ph.D.

June 17, 1970 ~ September 16, 2021 (age 51)

Obituary

Dr. Jeffrey D. Triblehorn, 51, unexpectedly passed away on September 16 in Charleston, SC, surrounded by his family and friends. Jeff was an Associate Professor of Biology and the Director of the Neuroscience Program at the College of Charleston. He joined the College in 2009 after post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Missouri and Georgia State University. Jeff earned his M.S. in 1997 and Ph.D. in 2003 in Integrative Neuroscience from the University of Maryland. He graduated with a BA with Honors in Psychology from Rutgers in 1992.

Jeff's research focused on the invertebrate nervous system, and he was particularly interested in hearing and sensory systems. He studied a variety of organisms, including praying mantises and their interactions with bats, katydids, and cockroaches which were key to understanding the unique qualities of animal nervous systems. His paper on Implanted electrode recordings from a praying mantis auditory interneuron during flying bat attacks was published in 2001.

Jeff was widely regarded as an excellent teacher and profoundly committed mentor. He was affectionately called "Dr. T" by his students, who appreciated his availability, boundless enthusiasm for scientific inquiry, and definite impact on their career paths. Jeff took great pride in mentoring students, publishing papers, and helping present their work at scientific conferences and facilitating opportunities for students, guiding them towards careers in neuroscience. He also volunteered to share his passion with high school students.

He was an essential part of ensuring a functional neuroscience program, biology department, and campus at the College of Charleston. Jeff served in key roles on the Research and Development committees. In 2016 he was appointed as Director of the Neuroscience Minor Program, concurrent with his faculty appointment. He was the Director of the Neuroscience Program in 2020-21, was a full voting member of the University's Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC). He chaired and participated in countless committees for which his colleagues were effusive in their praise of his contributions. He served as a reviewer for professional journalists and conducted neuroscience outreach programs for area high schools.

Since 2009 he has been a member of either the Neuroscience Steering Committee or the Neuroscience Planning Committee. He then served as the Director of the program. Chaired the College Faculty Research & Development Committee, served on several Departmental committees, was the College's INBRE representative to the National Institute of Health. He authored or co-authored several peer-reviewed publications and presented an impressive number of papers. His research was featured at national and international meetings.  

He was cited as having demonstrated significant achievement in teaching and research and for his exemplary service contributions. He created a new curriculum as part of his mandate to expand the department's neuroscience program. Jeff's courses and research equipment were all developed from scratch, which the school's dean credited as a "herculean undertaking" involving the design, fabrication, and installation of customized equipment. 

Jeff enjoyed sports (especially Steeler football!), was an avid movie buff and was known for his eclectic taste and love of music. He will be remembered for his tireless work ethic, generosity, thoughtfulness, and quick wit. 

He is survived by his mother Nancy, his brother Doug, sister-in-law Sondra, and nieces Lexie and Laynie. His father, Chuck, passed away in 2019. The Triblehorn family would like to thank his fellow faculty and students who shared his love of science and were an essential part of his extended family for the past three decades. The family intends to set up an educational fund in his name to keep his research specialty thriving for years to come. Those who wish to contribute should contact the family at dtriblehorn@gmail.com.

Friends may visit with the family from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Friday evening, October 8, 2021 at Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home, 1051 Durham Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 o’clock, Saturday morning, October 9, 2021 at Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 600 West Holding Avenue, Wake Forest, NC. Inurnment will follow in the Saint Catherine of Siena Memorial Garden. 

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Services

Visitation
Friday
October 8, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home
1051 Durham Road
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587

Funeral Mass
Saturday
October 9, 2021

11:00 AM
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
600 West Holding Avenue
Wake Forest, NC 27587

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