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Biological Sciences

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Department Fact Sheet


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The Department of Biological Sciences offers a broad-based curriculum, giving students a foundation in many areas of biology. Through hands-on laboratory and field experience, students prepare for careers as biotechnologists, environmental attorneys, health professionals, microbiologists, scientific illustrators, wildlife ecologists, and epidemiologists, to name but a few of the opportunities available.

Learn more:

Courses
  • Principles of Biology
  • Biology of the Birds
  • Environmental Science
  • General Zoology
  • Introductory Botany
  • Genetics
  • Biology of Mammals
  • Invertebrate Zoology
  • Field Botany
  • Microbiology
  • Animal Behavior
  • Cell Physiology
  • Human Genetics
  • Mammalian Anatomy
  • Pathophysiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Animal Development
  • Histology
  • Vertebrate Physiology
  • Plant Physiology
  • Parasitology
  • Ecology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Biology Seminar
  • Special Topics
  • Independent Study
  • Field Study
  • Honors

Facilities

Collier Hall of Science offers students excellent facilities and equipment, including individual research laboratories, animal rooms, salt-water aquaria, a greenhouse, radioisotope instrumentation, inverted, epifluorescence, and phase contrast microscopes, fraction collectors, BOD and carbon dioxide incubators, specialized equipment for molecular biological research such as a PCR thermocycler and DNA-sequencing apparatus, gas chromatographs, physiology instrumentation, a chemostat, high-speed centrifuges, electrophoresis and chromatography equipment, specialized spectrophotometers, photomicroscopy and digital imaging equipment, and walk-in cold rooms. Many of the department’s instruments are interfaced to computers for automated data collection and analysis. The Life Sciences Resource Center houses networked computers for student use, as well as biology-related books, periodicals, pamphlets, and career information.


Opportunities

Many majors work with faculty members on independent study or Honors research projects. More than 50 percent of Moravian biology majors go on to graduate or professional schools, with a greater than 90 percent success rate for medical, dental, and veterinary school placement. Internships at such off-campus sites as veterinary hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories, and zoos are available. Some students have gained valuable professional experience during the summer at such places as the Smithsonian Institution studying fossil invertebrates. Other students have done internships in plant ecology at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, studied sea turtles in Florida, assisted on a research project in breast cancer at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, and worked in molecular biology laboratories at Princeton University and the Mayo Clinic. Many alumni have gone on to distinguished careers as physicians, faculty members, and executives of large corporations and research institutes.


Faculty

JOHN M. BEVINGTON
Professor of Biology

EDUCATION: A.B., Indiana State University; M.S., Ph.D., Purdue University

INTERESTS: Plant physiology. Dr. Bevington has received two Research Corporation grants and a National Science Foundation grant to conduct research on environmental control of dormancy. He has published articles in the American Journal of Botany and Plant Physiology.

HEATHER BONIFELD FELISE
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

EDUCATION: B.S., Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle

CECILIA M. FOX
Associate Professor of Biology

EDUCATION: B.S., Manhattan College; Ph.D., University of Kentucky

INTERESTS: Neurobiology of aging, Neuroprotection of the nigrostriatal pathway; Dr. Fox investigates the protective effects of antioxidants such as a-tocopherol and selenium in animal models of Parkinson's disease. She is a member of the Society of Neuroscience, Council on Undergraduate Research, Sigma Xi and Pennsylvania Academy of Science. She has published articles in the journals Brain Research and Journal of Neuroscience. She has also contributed to the text Neuroscience for Rehabilitation.

DIANE WHITE HUSIC
Professor of Biology, Chair of the Department of Biology

EDUCATION: B.S., Northern Michigan University; Ph.D.; Michigan State Uiversity

INTERESTS: Biochemistry of photorespiration in the unicellular eukaryotic alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; phylogenetic relationships between alpha-hydroxy acid metabolizing enzymes; regulation of chloroplast gene expression; the social impact of science and technology; and ethical considerations associated with science, technology, and the environment. Dr. Husic is a councilor in the Chemistry Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research and involved with special projects with the NCAA. Her research is currently supported through grants from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation and the NSF-Undergraduate Research Centers program. Recent publications can be found in Reviews in Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology (2002) and at an undergraduate research summit (2003).

FRANCES J. IRISH
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

EDUCATION: Ph.D., Harvard University

CHRISTOPHER J. JONES
Associate Professor of Biology

EDUCATION: B.A., Haverford College; M.Phil. and Ph.D., Yale University

INTERESTS: Genetic and molecular bases of learning and memory. Dr. Jones and his students are using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to investigate fundamental aspects of both learning and memory, as well as the function of presenilin, a protein implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. He has published articles in the journals Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Neuron, Learning and Memory, and the Journal of Molecular Biology.

FRANK T. KUSERK
Professor of Biology

EDUCATION: B.S., University of Notre Dame; Ph.D., University of Delaware

INTERESTS: Microbial ecology, evolution, and animal behavior. Dr. Kuserk and his students are currently conducting investigations on the microbial populations of bog pitcher plants and on stream macroinvertebrate communities. They have received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and have presented their findings at state, national, and international conferences. Dr. Kuserk has published articles in Microbial Ecology, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Ecology, Journal of Protozoology, and American Biology Teacher.


Adjunct Faculty
  • Daniel Klem Jr., ornithology, animal behavior

Emeriti
  • Donald Hosier
  • Karen Kurvink de las Casas