The Department of Biology is a community of teacher-scholars, with faculty representing the full breadth of biological specializations — from molecular genetics to landscape/ecosystem ecology.

Our goal is to provide hands-on experiences through classroom laboratories and undergraduate research.  Our faculty and our 45 graduate students welcome our undergraduate majors to engage in independent research ongoing in 23 labs, plant, animal and fungal research/teaching collections, a greenhouse, a sixty-seven acre Nature Preserve adjacent to campus and larger land holdings in the area, as well as access to extensive globally significant surrounding state and federal parks and forests. 

We seek to enable our graduates to gain sound scientific knowledge, learn the skills needed to create new knowledge, the excitement and appreciation of scientific discovery, and the ability to convey that information and enthusiasm to society.  We are dedicated to engaging students in outstanding teaching and we believe that our research and discovery inform the science that we teach.

Department Spotlights

Faculty & Staff

Dr. Andrew Bellemer

Why did you become a biologist (and specifically the type of biologist you are)?

I am a molecular neuroscientist who uses the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to study the...


Jonathan Pitchford

What do you currently do?

I currently work as a research scientist/ecologist at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, MS. Our research program is designed to answer...

Graduate Students

Leigha Henson is currently a graduate student in the Department of Biology, working with Dr. Howard Neufeld on the effects of climate change on Southern Appalachian mosses. Leigha’s proposed research...