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Frank T. Kuserk

Frank KuserkProfessor of Biology (1977)
Director, Environmental Studies & Sciences Program

  • B.S., University of Notre Dame
  • Ph.D., University of Delaware

Email: kuserk@moravian.edu
Phone: 610-861-1429
Office: Collier Hall of Science, Room 305

Areas of Research and/or Expertise

Stream ecology and restoration, especially freshwater fish and benthic macroinvertebrate populations; Ecology of soil microbial communities; Evolution


Dr. Kuserk and his students are currently working with the Wildlands Conservancy assessing the impact that stream restoration efforts have on the fish and macroinvertebrate communities in the streams of the Lehigh River Watershed. In addition, he maintains an active research program at the Palmerton Zinc Superfund site evaluating the effects that heavy metal smelting have had on the forests, wildlife, and soil microbial communities in this impacted area. He also served as a consultant for the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute’s environmental impact study on the U.S. Navy’s extra-low frequency radiowave transmitter project and for projects conducted by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources.

He and his students have published articles in Microbial Ecology, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Ecology, Journal of Protozoology, Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, American Biology Teacher, and The Quarterly Review of Biology and have received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, the Pennsylvania Wild Resources Conservation Fund, and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society He has presented at numerous state, national and international conferences including the IV International Congress of Ecology, the 3rd International Symposium on Microbial Ecology and annual meetings of the Ecological Society of America. He is especially proud of the fact that his students consistently present their work at scientific meetings such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Ecological Society of America, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Science. Several of his students have received awards for their research including the American Institute of Biological Sciences National Undergraduate Research Award.

Dr. Kuserk chairs the campus sustainability committee and serves as advisor to environmental studies & sciences majors and students majoring in science education. He has been active with the College Board’s AP Environmental Science Program and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and currently serves as assistant editor for the Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences newsletter.

  • Husic, D. and F. Kuserk. 2007. Lehigh Gap: A Vibrant Education and Research Center. Wildlife Activist: 59: 3-4.
  • Scholtes, C.E. and F.T. Kuserk. 2006. Isolation and identification of proteolytic bacteria of the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 80(1): 24-27.
  • Vadino, B. and F.T. Kuserk. 2006. Water Quality Monitoring Program: 2001-2005 Summary Report for Saucon Creek. Wildlands Conservancy, Emmaus, PA. 84 pp + appendices.
  • Vadino, B. and F.T. Kuserk, 2005. 2005 Water Quality Monitoring Program Report for Little Lehigh Creek, Wildlands Conservancy, Emmaus, PA. 39 pp + appendices.
  • Vadino, B. and F.T. Kuserk, 2005. 2005 Water Quality Monitoring Program Report for Saucon Creek. Wildlands Conservancy, Emmaus, PA. 42pp + appendices.
  • Kuserk, F.T. 2002. Measuring discharge & materials transport in stream ecosystems. In: McComas, W.F. (ed.), Investigating Ecology in the Laboratory, National Association of Biology Teachers, Reston, VA. 7(4): 16-20.
  • Kuserk, F.T. 1999. Science and Religion: A Synthesis in Progress - A Response. The Hinge
  • Kuserk, F.T., J.J. Gerencher and A.M. Martin. 1994. Revolutions in Science: Making Connections Across the Core Curriculum. In: Kelder, R. (ed.) Interdisciplinary Curricula, General Education, and Liberal Learning: Selected Papers from the Third Annual Conference of the Institute for the Study of Postsecondary Education, The State University of New York at New Paltz, pp. 51-58.
  • Kuserk, F.T. 1989. Measuring discharge & materials transport in stream ecosystems. American Biology Teacher 51(2): 100-102.
  • Kuserk, F.T. 1985. Lewis David von Schweinitz: Pioneer of American Science. Moravian Alumni Quarterly 34(3):2-4.
  • Bott, T.L., L.A. Kaplan and F.T. Kuserk. 1984. Microbial biomass and activity under varying DOC regimes. Microbial Ecology 10(4):335-344.
  • Kuserk, F.T., L.A. Kaplan and T.L. Bott. 1984. In situ measures of dissolved organic carbon flux in a rural stream. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 41:964-973.
  • Kuserk, F.T. 1980. The relationship between cellular slime molds and bacteria in forest soil. Ecology 61(6):1474-1485.
Recent Activities of Note


  • Frank Kuserk, professor of biological sciences and director of the environmental studies program, and Diane Husic traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, to attend the annual meeting of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS); its theme was Environment: The Interdisciplinary Challenge. They presented a talk, "Enhancing Environmental Studies Programs through Undergraduate Research." Professor Husic also presented a poster, "A Carbon-neutral Course on Climate Change—Engaging Students in Sustainability and Action." Hilde Binford, associate professor of music and co-teacher of "Climate Crises: Past, Present, Future," was co-author.
  • Moravian College has been awarded a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation. The grant will support the Environmental Studies Program, and consists of a cash award of $50,000 ($10,000/year over five years), plus a gift of securities. Frank Kuserk, professor of biological sciences, and Diane Husic, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, worked with Sue Schamberger, director of foundation relations, to apply for the grant.
  • Frank Kuserk, professor of biological sciences, recently served on an evaluation team that visited Trocaire College in Buffalo, New York, for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Trocaire is a two-year private college with strengths in the health sciences. He was responsible for reviewing and writing the sections pertaining to Middle States' standards on faculty, educational offerings, and general education.
  • On March 21, Professor Kuserk and senior biology major Andrew Mashintonio conducted a workshop on how to identify stream macroinvertebrates for members of the Fry's Run Watershed Association. Kuserk and his students have been working with the association on assessing water quality in the stream and its tributaries. Conducting macroinvertebrate surveys is one way to measure the impact that pollutants and sediments have on stream health.
  • Frank Kuserk, professor of biological science, reviewed the book Exploring Animal Social Networks by Darren P. Croft, Richard James, and Jens Krause (Princeton, 2008) in the February 2009 issue of Choice, a journal of the American Library Association.