Research Focus

Evolution & Ecology, Physiology and Behavior, Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology The Department of Biological Sciences emphasizes the integrative nature of the biological sciences, focusing on research programs that unite three major foci: evolution/ecology, physiology, and biochemistry, cell and molecular biology.

Faculty research programs reflect the interdisciplinary strength of our department, while providing a firm foundation in theoretical focal areas. Recent faculty hires support our rich tradition of research training in these traditional fundamental disciplines while providing the specializations to foster interdisciplinary relationships.


Randall Bayer, Professor, (Plant Systematic & Evolution)
Melvin Beck, Professor, Interim Chair: (genetics)
Michael Kennedy, Professor: (wildlife ecology, mammal systematics)
Jennifer Mandel, Assistant Professor: (Population Genetics;Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics)
Duane McKenna, Assistant Professor (Evolutionary ecology, Systematics)
Matthew Parris, Associate Professor: (evolutionary ecology, herpetology)


Michael Ferkin, Professor: (mammal behavior and physiology)
David Freeman, Associate Professor: (circadian rhythms, mammal neuroendocrinology)
Reza Pezeshki, Professor: (wetland ecology, plant physiology)

Biochemistry Cell and Molecular Biology

Amy Abell, Assistant Professor: (epigenetic regulation of gene expression important for EMT;signaling networks)
King-Thom Chung, Professor: (environmental science, molecular toxicology)
Judith Cole, Associate Professor: (signal transduction, endocrinology)
Lewis Coons, Professor: (parasitology)
T. Kent Gartner, Professor: (cell physiology of platelets, signal transduction)
Charles Lessman, Professor: (cell physiology, reproductive biology, development)
Carlos L. Estrano, Associate Professor: (signal transduction, protein trafficking; parasitology)
Steven Schwartzbach, Professor: (protein trafficking)
Omar Skalli, Director, Associate Professor: (intermediate filament protiens)
Andrew Liu, Associate Professor (biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics)
Thomas Sutter, Professor and Feinstone Chair of Functional Genomics: (cancer prevention, environmental science, signal transduction)
Barbara Taller, Associate Professor: (microbiology, plant-microbe interactions)
Tit-Yee Wong, Professor: (bacterial physiology, signal transduction)