The department is staffed by biologists representing diverse research interests and backgrounds.
Norris Armstrong is an animal developmental biologist, who is interested in sea urchin development. Norris teaches part of Introductory Biology, Animal Development, Developmental Genetics, and a seminar in Cell Communication.
Rebecca Bryant is interested in the biochemistry of the immune system, especially in the roles of endosomes and lysosomes. She has studied the enzymes that are responsible for breaking down foreign proteins and the mechanisms by which the resulting peptides are presented to the immune system. She is teaching Biochemistry, Introductory Biology laboratories, and Molecular Biology.
Phil Camill is a plant ecologist interested in ecosystem ecology, global change biology, and paleoecology. He conducts research on a wide range of ecological problems related to global change and land use change, such as carbon accumulation in soils, wetland dynamics, permafrost dynamics, long-term fire and vegetation dynamics, and restoration ecology. He teaches courses in Ecosystem Ecology, Global Change Biology, Paleoecology, Plant Physiological Ecology, and part of Introductory Biology.
Sarah Deel, trained as an invertebrate zoologist, is interested in methods of teaching college-level introductory biology, especially those methods which encourage traditionally underrepresented groups, such as women and minorities, to continue in biology. At Carleton, she has been involved with laboratory sections of Intro Biology, Animal Physiology, and Genetics. Currently she is developing, preparing, and teaching labs for Intro Biology I: Energetics and Genetics (Biol 123). The physiology research programs she has been involved with cover a wide variety of marine invertebrates such as clams, scallops, mussels, cuttlefish, squid, octopus, and sea slugs.
David Hougen-Eitzman, trained as a population geneticist and ecologist, studies ecological interactions within agricultural ecosystems. In particular, he is interested in developing biological solutions to problems that have usually been attacked with herbicides and pesticides. He teaches Entomology and Sustainable Agriculture, and coordinates laboratories for Introductory Biology.
Fernán Jaramillo, a neurobiologist, is interested in the biophysics of sensory systems. His work focuses on the hair cell, the mechanosensory receptor of the auditory, vestibular, and lateral line systems. He teaches Neurobiology, Cell Biology, and part of Introductory Biology.\
Mark McKone, an evolutionary biologist and ecologist, pursues research on pollination biology and sexual allocation strategies of angiosperms. Particular interests include the distribution of female and male flowers, the evolution of floral dimorphism, and the role of native bees in prairie communities. He teaches Ecology, Evolution, Tropical Rainforest Ecology, Biology of Conservation, and part of Introductory Biology.
Matthew Rand, a vertebrate reproductive biologist, studies the hormonal control and function of sexually dimorphic traits. Currently he uses lizards as a model system to understand neural differences that mediate male and female reproductive behavior. He teaches Animal Physiology, Animal Behavior and part of Introductory Biology.
Susan Singer, a plant developmental biologist, is taking a developmental genetics approach to the study of flowering in pea. Floral mutants are being characterized and genetic interactions between mutants are under investigation to elucidate the roles of different genes in the regulation of floral development. She teaches Biology of the Vascular Plants, Developmental Botany, Developmental Genetics, and part of Introductory Biology.
John Tymoczko, biochemist, studies the enzyme prolyl oligopeptidase. This enzyme is thought to play a role in the processing of polypeptide hormones, and alterations in its activity may lead to certain pathological conditions Projects include isolating the gene for the enzyme and investigating its regulation. He teaches Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Physiology, part of the introductory Genetics/Energetics,and a seminar on the Molecular Biology of Cancer.
Gary Wagenbach, trained as an invertebrate zoologist, is examining the population biology of freshwater mussels especially populations in local rivers. He teaches Biology of Invertebrate Animals , Marine Biology (off-campus in Australia and New Zealand), Environment and Technology Studies courses, a seminar on Topics in Parasitism and Mutualism. He also serves as coordinator of the Environmental Science Concentration and the Wilderness Field Station Summer Program .
Debby Walser-Kuntz, an immunolgist, is interested in the role the immune system plays in the development of autoimmune disorders. She teaches Immunology, Microbiology and laboratories for the Genetics/Energetics course.
Stephan Zweifel, a geneticist and molecular biologist, is examining the replication and segregation of mitochrondrial DNA in the yeast S. cerevisiae. Recent studies of mitochondrially inherited diseases suggest that mutations in this DNA may be associated with a variety of age related degenerative defects including Huntington's and Parkinson's disease. His lab is interested in identifying and characterizing the nuclear genes responsible for the proper transmission of the mitochondrial genome. He teaches Molecular Biology, part of the introductory Genetics/Energetics course, Genetics, and a seminar on Human Genetics.