Research in Biology

Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics

Faculty conduct research aimed at understanding detection and processing of signals by cellular networks, molecular mechanisms that govern responses of organisms to environmental stimuli, and genome evolution in plants and animals.


Conservation Biology

Appalachian forests represent one of the largest hotspots of biodiversity outside of tropical forests. Active research programs in both terrestrial and aquatic conservation biology seek to better understand, and ultimately address, the pervasive declines in biodiversity. 


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Faculty with expertise in ecology and evolutionary biology have research programs that address key questions in physiological, population, community, and ecosystem ecology. All aspects of ecological research incorporate evolutionary principles and several members specialize in phylogenetic analysis of biodiversity. 


 Microbiology, Immunology, Pathophysiology

Faculty conduct research aimed at understanding the biology and diversity of microbes (bacteria, archaea, viruses) and our interactions with these organisms.  Other areas of research include exercise immunology, infectious disease epidemiology, cancer biology and biology of pre-term labor.



Physiology and Organismal Biology

Faculty members use a combination of model organisms and natural populations of plants and animals to study fundamental questions in biology. Topics include physiology, adaptation, behavior, and species distribution.


Science Education

This theme integrates biological expertise with pedagogical research and training. Graduates are prepared for careers in school systems, state education departments, testing companies, community colleges, or science outreach (e.g. museums), as well as advancement into education doctoral programs.



Featured Faculty

For the Fall 2016 installment of our Featured Faculty series, we sat down with Dr. Mary Kinkel, an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department, who specializes in Developmental Biology. Her philosophy of teaching and a short description of her research make for fascinating read! 

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