Faculty are involved in projects across a broad range
of sub-disciplines in the Department of Biology.
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Anatomy & Physiology
Research in this area focuses on comparative anatomy in fish and reproductive anatomy and physiology in reptiles and amphibians.
Contacts: Dr. Tamatha Barbeau, Dr. Norma Salcedo
Biodiversity & Conservation
Research projects are varied and include the monitoring of biodiversity in neotropic cloud and rainforests (specifically at the Wildsumaco Biological Station in Ecuador), beta-diversity and species turnover in montane regions, fish endemism in the Peruvian Andes, and effects of invasive species on biodiversity in aquatic environments.
Contacts: Dr. Jeff Camper, Prof. Travis Knowles, Dr. Jeremy Rentsch, Dr. Norma Salcedo, Dr. Jeff Steinmetz, Dr. Paul Zwiers
Research projects in this area focus on expression of the enzyme acid ceramidase.
Contacts: Dr. Erin Eaton & Dr. Lori Turner
Cell & Molecular Biology
Research in this area investigates cellular, biochemical, and biophysical aspects of plant growth and development, the use of adeno-associated viral vectors for gene therapy, and interactions between vector components and host cell machinery.
Contacts: Dr. Vernon Bauer, Dr. Erin Eaton, Dr. Jennifer Lyles, Dr. Tim Shannon, Dr. Henry Slone, Dr. Lori Turner
Ecology & Population Biology
Generally, projects in this area investigate questions at the community, population and organismal levels, some using non-vertebrate model species. Specific studies investigate parasitic infections of host populations, acoustic communication in freshwater fish, effects of megafauna on landscape and vegetation structure, and female preference of male sexually selected traits in manakins.
Contacts: Prof. Travis Knowles, Dr. David Malakauskas, Dr. Jeff Steinmetz, Dr. Ann Stoeckmann, Dr. Paul Zwiers
Education & Outreach
Efforts in this area involve the development of professional modules and life science curriculum activities for K-12 preservice and in-service teachers.
Contacts: Prof. Lisa Pike
Research projects include the use of molecular techniques such as barcoding and phylogenetics to investigate the adaptive nature of organisms, as seen in morphological traits in fish, behavioral traits in birds, and host/parasite and plant/pollinator coevolution.
Contacts: Dr. David Malakauskas, Dr. Jeremy Rentsch, Dr. Norma Salcedo, Dr. Paul Zwiers
Some of the research in this broad area includes characterizing the microbial profile of commercial probiotics and understanding the relationship between the human microbiome and overall health.
Contacts: Dr. Jennifer Lyles, Dr. Lori Turner
Research in this area investigates the behavioral and neural factors that underlie helping behavior in rats, as well as aspects of human social interaction.
Contacts: Dr. Shayna Wrighten
Many projects investigate organismal biology within the subfields of botany, mammology, ornithology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, and mycology.