Research Areas

The Department of Biology offers graduate programs of study leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Faculty also mentor undergraduate students in research activity. Research in the Department ranges from scales of the gene to the ecosystem, with many faculty bridging sub-disciplines of biology in their areas of interest. Areas of emphasis include:

 

Cellular and molecular biology:

Dr. Patrick Curtis: bacterial signaling pathways and prokaryotic development

Dr. Wayne Gray: virology, vaccine development

Dr. Mika Jekabsons: mechanisms of apoptosis, cell physiology and mitochondrial physiology

Dr. Brad Jones: cell differentiation, nervous system development, Drosophila genetics

Dr. Sarah Liljegren: transcriptional networks and cell signaling required for plant development

Dr. Gregg Roman: molecular and neural mechanisms that drive changes in behavior

 

Conservation and restoration biology:

Dr. Stephen Brewer: fire ecology, plant ecology, invasive species

Dr. Richard Buchholz: animal behavior, host-parasite coevolution, conservation biology

Dr. Ryan Garrick: biodiversity conservation, population genetics, phylogeography

Dr. Jason Hoeksema: ecological and evolutionary consequences of species interactions, focusing especially on plants and mycorrhizal fungi

Dr. Brice Noonan: diversity and distributions of tropical organisms

Dr. Glenn Parsons: bycatch reduction, fish/shark physiology and natural history, stress physiology

Dr. Beckie Symula: evolutionary biology, color pattern evolution and phylogenetic of frogs

 

Evolution, biodiversity and systematics:

Dr. Susan Balenger: host-parasite coevolution, disease biology, behavioral plasticity, sexual selection

Dr. Lainy Day: behavioral neuroscience, neuroplasticity, evolution of cognition and motor-learning

Dr. Ryan Garrick: biodiversity conservation, population genetics, phylogeography

Dr. Tammy Goulet: symbiosis and host-symbiont genotypic combinations, marine ecology, coral reefs, coral-algal physiology

Dr. Jason Hoeksema: ecological and evolutionary consequences of species interactions, focusing especially on plants and mycorrhizal fungi

Dr. Marjorie Holland: aquatic botany, wetland ecology

Dr. Erik Hom: synthetic ecology, fungal-algal interactions, evolution of symbiosis and microbial consortia, waste valorization

Dr. Colin Jackson: microbial ecology and diversity, microbiome studies

Dr. Paul Lago: insect taxonomy

Dr. Lucile McCook: plant taxonomy

Dr. Brice Noonan: diversity and distributions of tropical organisms

Dr. Gail Stratton: wolf spider systematics, evolution of behavior in spiders

Dr. Beckie Symula: evolutionary biology, color pattern evolution and phylogenetic of frogs

 

Freshwater, marine, and wetland ecology:

Dr. Tammy Goulet: symbiosis and host-symbiont genotypic combinations, marine ecology, coral reefs, coral-algal physiology

Dr. Marjorie Holland: aquatic botany, wetland ecology

Dr. Colin Jackson: microbial ecology and diversity, microbiome studies

Dr. Clifford Ochs: biogeochemistry and plankton ecology, large river ecology

Dr. Bill Resetarits: community, behavioral, and evolutionary ecology in aquatic systems. Experimental design and analysis

 

Microbiology:

Dr. Patrick Curtis: bacterial signaling pathways and prokaryotic development

Dr. Wayne Gray: virology, vaccine development

Dr. Erik Hom: synthetic ecology, fungal-algal interactions, evolution of symbiosis and microbial consortia, waste valorization

Dr. Colin Jackson: microbial ecology and diversity, microbiome studies

 

Neurobiology, behavior and physiology:

Dr. Susan Balenger: host-parasite coevolution, disease biology, behavioral plasticity, sexual selection

Dr. Richard Buchholz: animal behavior, host-parasite coevolution, conservation biology

Dr. Lainy Day: behavioral neuroscience, neuroplasticity, evolution of cognition and motor-learning

Dr. Tammy Goulet: symbiosis and host-symbiont genotypic combinations, marine ecology, coral reefs, coral-algal physiology

Dr. Mika Jekabsons: mechanisms of apoptosis, cell physiology and mitochondrial physiology

Dr. Brad Jones: cell differentiation, nervous system development, Drosophila genetics

Dr. Christopher Leary: endocrine and neural systems underlying animal communication and behavior

Dr. Glenn Parsons: bycatch reduction, fish/shark physiology and natural history, stress physiology

Dr. Gregg Roman: molecular and neural mechanisms of behavioral plasticity, Drosophila genetics

Dr. Gail Stratton: wolf spider systematics, evolution of behavior in spiders

 

Symbioses and species interactions:

Dr. Susan Balenger: host-parasite coevolution, disease biology

Dr. Richard Buchholz: animal behavior, host-parasite coevolution

Dr. Denis Goulet: coral reef fish ecology, coral-symbiont interactions

Dr. Tammy Goulet: symbiosis and host-symbiont genotypic combinations, marine ecology, coral reefs, coral-algal physiology

Dr. Jason Hoeksema: ecological and evolutionary consequences of species interactions, focusing especially on plants and mycorrhizal fungi

Dr. Erik Hom: synthetic ecology, fungal-algal interactions, evolution of symbiosis and microbial consortia, waste valorization