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FACULTY  RESEARCH

As an important part of a student-centered research university, the Biology Department provides instruction on research and offers its undergraduates opportunities to participate in research.

Our faculty that have undergraduate research opportunites are listed below in alphabetical order, followed by a brief description of their research interests. To obtain more detailed information about a particular faculty member, click his or her name.


David M. Althoff Evolutionary ecology of species interactions, insect community ecology, molecular ecology, phylogenetics.
John Belote Role of the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway in Drosophila development.
Carlos A. Castañeda Biochemistry and biophysics of protein structure and dynamics.
Samuel H.P. Chan Bioenergetics of organelles.
Heather D. Coleman Plant biotechnology.
Steve Dorus Evolutionary genetics and genomics of reproductive systems.
Scott Erdman Eucaryotic cellular organization and differentiation, functional genomics in fungal systems.
Thomas P. Fondy Physico-chemotherapy of leukemia in cell culture, actin microfilament in cell signaling, cytokinesis as a key target in cancer therapy.
Douglas A. Frank Plant/ecosystem ecology with emphasis on plant-herbivore interactions.
Jason D. Fridley Plant ecology and geography, landscape ecology, invasive species, biodiversity.
Jannice Friedman Plant evolutionary biology, ecological genetics, evolution of plant reproductive systems.
Anthony Garza Biofilm formation, bacterial development, stress resistance in bacteria.
Paul Gold Aging, cell signaling and communication; learning, memory, and plasticity; neurological and psychiatric conditions.
Sarah Hall Cellular memory of developmental history in C. elegans.
James Hewett Neuromodulators and epilepsy; function of arachidonic acid metabolism, Cyclooxygenase-2, and interleukin-1 in the central nervous system.
Sandra Hewett Mechanisms underlying cell death in the central nervous system: the interplay between excitotoxicity and inflammation.
Robin Jones Neuroscience; alternatives to traditional teaching approaches and utilization of active learning techniques to help students grasp scientific concepts.
Donna L. Korol Neural mechanisms of learning and memory across the lifespan.
George M. Langford Actin cytoskeleton, axonal transport in nerve cells, fungal pathogenesis of epithelial cells.
Katharine (Kate) Lewis Specification and patterning of spinal cord interneurons, formation of functional neuronal circuitry, evolution of spinal cord patterning and function, dorsal-ventral neural tube patterning, zebrafish development.
Jessica MacDonald Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms regulating neuronal development and function; gene-environment interactions and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Eleanor Maine Genetic regulation of development, cell-signaling, germline development, RNA silencing.
Susan E. Parks Behavioral ecology, acoustic communication, marine science, conservation biology.
Melissa E. Pepling Regulation of mouse oocyte development, hormone signaling in oocyte differentiation.
Scott Pitnick Evolution of reproduction and life history traits.
Ramesh Raina Genetic and molecular mechanisms regulating plant-pest interactions, functional genomics of cell signaling in plants.
Surabhi Raina Molecular basis of plant responses to stresses.
Mark E. Ritchie Biodiversity, plant-herbivore interactions, environmental science.
Kari A. Segraves Coevolution, mutualism, evolution of plant-insect interactions.
Robert B. Silver Cell division, macrophages, secretion of neurotransmitters without membrane fusion (porocytosis), mechanisms of parthenogenetic activation of eggs versus fertilization, energetic materials.
Roy D. Welch Molecular aspects of signaling among a homogeneous population of bacteria.
Michele Wheatly Comparative physiology of decapod crustacea, cellular and molecular biology of epithelial (branchial/renal) ion motive proteins, biocomplexity.
Jason R. Wiles Education research in the life and earth sciences with special attention to teaching and learning about biological evolution; science education at all academic levels.
Torsten Wöllert Cell and molecular biology of the actin cytoskeleton in health and disease, the function of the actin cytoskeleton in organelle/vesicle transport in axons of nerve cells, cell migration of human epithelial cells.