Faculty and Staff

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Sterling Wright

Sterling Wright

Associate Professor of Neurophysiology
Chair of Biology Department

2112B Biology Building

BS, Texas Tech University; MS, Texas Tech University; PhD, University of Texas at Austin. The research in our laboratory examines the pharmacology and biophysics of voltage-dependent sodium channels. We investigate the influence of local anesthetic agents and naturally occurring neurotoxins on the gating kinetics of the channels.

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Alexey Arkov

Alexey Arkov

Professor
Genetic Cell Biology

2112I Biology Building

BS, MS, Moscow State University (Russia); PhD, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. We are interested in understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms of germline and stem cell development. In addition, we aim at the identification of novel molecular factors which promote longevity of living organisms.

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Oliver Beckers

Oliver Beckers

Associate Professor
Behavioral Ecology

1112B Biology Building

MS, Friedrich-Alexander University (Germany); PhD, University of Missouri Columbia. I am fascinated by the evolution of animal behavior. More specifically, I study how the environment (i.e., phenotypic plasticity), female choice (i.e., sexual selection), and parasitoids (i.e., natural selection) affect the evolution of reproductive communication in insects. My lab is currently working on two of the only three described Orthopteran species that exhibit phenotypic plasticity in their mating calls. 

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David Canning

David Canning

Associate Professor
Developmental Biology

1112D Biology Building

Matthew Carroll

Matthew Carroll

Assistant Professor
Wildlife Biology

2309D Engineering & Physics

Andrea Darracq

Andrea Darracq

Associate Professor of Wildlife Biology
Program Coordinator

102A Biology Building

BS, University of Maine; MS, University of Arkansas-Monticello; PhD, University of Florida. I am interested in how wildlife respond to management and anthropogenic stressors, including urbanization, agriculture, and invasive species. I address these impacts on individuals (e.g. predation risk and stress) and populations. I aim to understand the broader implications of individual and population level impacts on ecosystem health and for my research to help inform the management and conservation of wildlife.

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Michael Flinn

Michael Flinn

Professor of Aquatic Community Ecology
Director of Hancock Biological Station

1112I Biology Building

BA, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota; MS, Kansas State University; PhD. Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. I am an aquatic community ecologist with a wide range of interests which have recently included the use of aquatic macroinvertebrates for bioassessment in stream restoration and Arctic scaling studies, the role of invasive Asian carp on reservoir biology, and the reintroduction of native fish species. 

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Claire Fuller

Claire Fuller

Professor of Parasitology
Dean of Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology

201A I&T Building

BA, University of California, San Diego; MS, PhD, Oregon State University. I study how environmental factors affect the host-parasite ecology of terrestrial insects. I am especially interested in how climate change affects Caribbean termites and how agricultural chemicals affect dragonflies. 

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Kate He

Kate He

Professor
Plant Ecology

1112F Biology Building

BS, MS, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China; PhD, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. I am interested in large-scale species distribution modeling using information derived from remote sensing and biophysical traits of plant species. I also study the characteristics of invasive plants and their impacts on native ecosystems. 

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John Hewlett

John Hewlett

Lecturer
Herpetology

2309 A Engineering & Physics

MS, Murray State University. I am interested in endocrinology, wildlife disease epidemiology, and ecology. Specifically how stress physiology affects disease susceptibility and behavioral ecology along with implications for conservation. I use a broad spectrum of techniques ranging from radio-telemetry to molecular and immuno-assays.

Christopher Lennon

Christopher Lennon

Assistant Professor
Microbiology

2112J Biology Building

BA, MS, University of Montana; PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison. My lab is broadly interested in the biological importance and biotechnological application of inteins. Inteins, or internal proteins, are self-catalytic, mobile genetic elements removed from host genes through protein splicing. Abundant in the microbial world, inteins have recently emerged as adaptive regulatory elements, representing a novel and potentially widespread form of posttranslational regulation. Further, the power of inteins to make and break peptide bonds has been utilized extensively in biotechnology, and my lab seeks to develop new applications of this chemistry.

Jessica (J.B.) Moon

Jessica (J.B.) Moon

Assistant Professor
Wetland Ecology

2309C Engineering & Physics

BS in Biology, Behrend College, Penn State University; MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Penn State University; PhD in Ecology, Penn State University. I study landscape and ecosystem ecology, with a focus on wetlands. My current research examines how the landscape context affects microbial communities and nutrient cycling in freshwater and salt water wetlands. I use a combination of field studies, laboratory experiments, and spatial modeling tools to understand these dynamics. 

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Suman Neupane

Suman Neupane

Assistant Professor
Botany, Systematics and Phylogenetics

1112G Biology Building

BS and MS, Tribhuvan University, Nepal; Ph.D., University of Connecticut. I am a plant evolutionary biologist. I study how plants and their complex set of interacting traits have evolved through time (in million years) and space. I do that by building phylogenies (evolutionary trees) of mostly modern (extant) plants using DNA and morphological data. 

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Timothy Spier

Timothy Spier

Associate Professor, Fish Ecology
Graduate Coordinator

2309F Engineering & Physics

BS, Truman State University; MS, Morehead State University; PhD, University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale. I am a fish ecologist interested in fish, watersheds, and all things involved with aquatic ecology. I study both game and non-game native fishes. 

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Laura Sullivan Beckers

Laura Sullivan Beckers

Associate Professor
Evolutionary Biology

2112E Biology Building

BA, University of Tulsa; BS Northeastern State University; PhD University of Missouri-Columbia. I am an evolutionary biologist interested in understanding the ecological conditions that influence the evolution of reproductive traits. I am particularly interested in exploring the role of the social environment in shaping selective environments. My current research program uses wolf spiders to examine the evolution of cognitive traits involved in the mating displays and decisions of these spiders. 

Visit Sullivan Beckers Lab. Visit Sullivan Beckers Facebook.

Christopher Trzepacz

Christopher Trzepacz

Assistant Professor
Cell and Molecular Biology

2112H Biology Building

BS, University of Massachusetts Amherst; PhD. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio. My research group explores the conserved pathways and mechanisms that regulate fertility in multicellular organisms, primarily through the cellular, molecular, and genetic dissection of the amazing model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

Dena Weinberger

Dena Weinberger

Associate Professor
Neurobiology

1112H Biology Building

BA, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota; PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I study nervous system development and function using the zebrafish as a model. I am investigating two related projects: 1. Is there neurotransmitter-receptor plasticity in the zebrafish neuromuscular junction? and 2. What is the role of Cabin1, a calcium-dependent repressor protein, in the development and function of the cerebellum, the site of motor learning and coordination.

Howard Whiteman

Howard Whiteman

Professor, Evolutionary Biology
Director of Watershed Studies Institute

0105 Biology Building

BS, Allegheny College; PhD, Purdue University. My interests span evolutionary ecology and conservation biology, particularly in aquatic systems. My research focuses on the evolution of alternative strategies, ecological consequences of predator-prey interactions, and understanding the distribution and restoration of biodiversity. 

Visit Watershed Studies Institute. Visit Whiteman Lab.

Gary ZeRuth

Gary ZeRuth

Associate Professor, Cellular and Molecular Biology
Houston Endowed Chair of Pre-Medicine

2112F Biology Building

BS, PhD, University of South Florida. My lab’s research is primarily focused on understanding how transcription factors regulate cell fate specification during embryonic development and how mutations within developmental genes contribute to disease.   Our principal focus is on identifying the roles of the transcription factor, Glis3, in a wide range of developmental pathways and characterizing its contribution to the etiology of metabolic and renal disease.. 

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Dana Vinson

Administrative Assistant
Biology

2112K Biology Building

Amanda Wetherington

Accounting Assistant
Biology

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Joe Caudell

Joe Caudell

Adjunct Professor
Wildlife Biology

BS, University of Georgia, MS, Utah State University, PhD, Utah State University (wildlife biology) (2001). Indiana Department of Natural Resources, State Deer Research Biologist.

Dayle Saar

Dayle Saar

Associate Professor Emeritus,
Adjunct Professor, Botany

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Michelle Weaver

Michelle Weaver

Graduate Teaching Assistant

B.S. Kentucky Wesleyan College, Murray State University; pursuing MS at Murray State under advisor Dr. Darracq. My research will focus on the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina) and assessing the health and behavioral effects of relocation. The aim of the study is to better understand the impacts relocation has on box turtles. Along with the turtle research I will also be developing a study involving the Nine Banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus).

  

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Terry Derting

Terry Derting

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
Biology

BA, Mount Holyoke College; MS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; PhD, Indiana University. My research interests are twofold. As a mammalogist, I study impacts of anthropogenic stressors, such as habitat fragmentation, on the health of small mammals. As an educator, my research focuses on effective approaches to faculty professional development and improved student learning in higher education.

Leon F. Duobinis-Gray

Leon F. Duobinis-Gray

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
(parasite populations, dynamics of freshwater vertebrates and invertebrates, histology, pathology)

BS, MS, East Tennessee State University; PhD, Louisiana State University. —We are sad to report that our good friend Leon passed in August 2019.—

Timothy C. Johnston

Timothy C. Johnston

Professor
Biology

BA, Harding College; MS, Murray State University; PhD, Southern Illinois University.

Robert A. Martin

Robert A. Martin

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
(mammal evolution, paleoecology) (1993)

BA, Hofstra University; MS, Tulane University; PhD, University of Florida.

Tom J. Timmons

Tom J. Timmons

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
(fisheries biology) (1982)

BS, Iowa State University; MS, Tennessee Technological University; PhD, Auburn University.

David S. White

David S. White

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences AB
(1988)

MA, DePauw University; PhD, University of Louisville. My research continues to focus on aquatic ecology.  I am working with long-term and real-time physicochemical and biological databases to assess changes caused by anthropogenic disturbances and climate change. Visit David S. White's website.

Stephen B. White

Stephen B. White

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
(ornithology, wildlife biology and management, animal damage control) (1981)

BS, West Virginia University; MS, Colorado State University; PhD, Ohio State University.

Edmund J. Zimmerer

Edmund J. Zimmerer

Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
Emeritus (behavioral genetics, molecular genetics, herpetology) (1989)

BS, Moravian College; MS, PhD, Rutgers University.

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