Research in the Department of Biological Sciences is unique and ever evolving. Our department’s collaborative environment—along with Michigan Tech’s emphasis on research—fosters a wide variety of inter-university research projects. Faculty research strengths in health, environmental science, ecology and evolution, and biochemistry and molecular biology provide a strong foundation for many fields in biological sciences.
Our research centers, diverse research groups, and state-of-the-art facilities in the Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building and Great Lakes Research Center create an exciting research environment with exceptional opportunities for students and faculty members alike.
BS, Botany, North Dakota State University
My primary interest is in the systematic biology (nomenclature, phylogeny, taxonomy) of golden algae (heterokont and haptophyte algae). I am also interested in growing both freshwater and marine species in culture. I collect algae from bogs, ponds, lakes and streams in the Keweenaw, including the open regions of Lake Superior.
PhD, Michigan Technological University, 1995
Conduct field studies with aquatic organisms. These studies involve fish feeding, reproduction, habitat and survival studies. Among the species studied are sturgeon, lake herring and lampreys. Reproductive success of both beneficial as well as deleterious species is dependent upon proper habitat condition and food availability.
PhD, Oregon State University, 1978
Dr. Bagley has over 30 years experience as an environmental microbiologist working in academia and government (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) on microbial-based treatment of air, soil and waterborne organic wastes, mutagenicity and toxicity of environmental pollutants, and microbial production of bio-based fuels and polymers. She has collaborated on multidisciplinary . . .
PhD, Molecular Parasitology, University of Calcutta
Dr. Bandyopadhyay is a molecular and environmental microbiologist. She studied the immunobiology of the protozoan parasite Leishmania spp., the causative agents of a wide variety of diseases ranging from the innocuous oriental sore to the fatal kala-azar. Her research in this field focused on the changes occurring in . . .
PhD, Northwestern University
Dr. Jennifer Becker joined the Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty as an Associate Professor in January, 2010. Her area of research and teaching interests focus on biological treatment processes in environmental engineering. Specifically, her research interests include: the biodegradation, microbial ecology, and bioremediation of chlorinated organic groundwater contaminants; bioenergy production using microbial processes; and the . . .
Associate Research Scientist, Columbia Genome Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons,
MEM (Master of Environmental Management), Duke University
I have over 25 years of experience in the application of remote sensing and GIS technologies to solving diverse problems in environmental assessment, transportation applications, changing ecosystems, agricultural areas, geohazard sites, and invasive species mapping. I've recently been focusing on developing, demonstrating, and deploying the capabilities of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for rapid, effective, safe, and timely collection . . .
PhD, Columbia University, 1962
Dr. Carlson conducts research on microbial and environmental toxins and is particularly interested in a number of variants of toxic shock toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus.
PhD, Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University
PhD, Kagawa University Medical School, Japan
PhD, University of Hyderabad, India
Dr. Datta’s primary research interest lies in the application of plant biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and microbiology in solving environmental problems,using phytoremediation, plant-microbe interactions and bioremediation. Dr. Datta’s research involves the study of interactions between plant, soil, microbial and water systems to understand the mechanisms of uptake and detoxification of specific environmental contaminants in biota . . .
PhD, Biological Sciences-Exercise Physiology
John has done extensive work in the fields of applied human physiology and exercise physiology. Much of his research has involved the study of how the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system regulates arterial blood pressure at rest and during a variety of stressors. John’s other passion relates to the specificity of exercise . . .
PhD, Exercise Physiology, University of Utah
Dr. Elmer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology at Michigan Technological University. His research goals are to find better ways to restore musculoskeletal function, maintain health, and improve performance in healthy and clinical populations. Specifically, his research is focused on three key areas: 1) mechanics of skeletal muscle contraction, 2) coordination of locomotor . . .
MS, Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University
Karyn Fay graduated from Lake Superior State College (1975) with a BS in Medical Technology. She did her internship at St. Mary’s hospital in Saginaw, Mi and was certified as a Medical Technologist, MT (ASCP), she has a MS degree from Michigan Technological University (1989) and a Specialty in Hematology, ASCP, (1993).. . .
PhD, Botany, Michigan State University, 1968
Dr. Glime is the founder and manager of Bryonet-l (the internet discussion group sponsored by the International Association of Bryologists) and is ex officio council member (2009-2013) of the International Association of Bryologists as its outgoing president (2005-2009). In addition to bryophyte ecology, her primary interest is in training college . . .
In multicellular organisms, how do multiple cell types originate from one cell and one genome? A critical early cell fate decision is whether to develop as germline (reproductive) or soma (non-reproductive). My research focuses on assessing how the highly conserved DREAM transcriptional repressor complex maintains the germ vs. soma cell fate decision during embryogenesis. After a flurry of cell divisions from the . . .
PhD, Arizona State University
Our work is centered on the cell wall and associated extracellular polymers of algae. We are interested in what these algal extracellular matrices can tell us about: 1) the evolution of the land plant cell wall, 2) the unique characteristics that allow for life in aquatic habitats, 3) the interactions within complex biofilms, including the heterotropic utilization of complex macromolecules, and 4) the . . .
PhD, North Carolina State University
My research group uses natural and artificial molecular recognition events to (i) remove and/ or purify pathogens and toxins to reduce disease burden worldwide and (ii) detect pathogens and toxins quickly and inexpensively with point-of-care devices.
Virus Removal and Detection
A biotherapeutic . . .
MS, University of California, Davis - Population Biology
Erika is a plant evolutionary ecologist. Her work integrates the theory and techniques from population and community ecology, evolution, and functional, molecular and population genetics to disentangle the mechanisms that drive changes in terrestrial plant populations and their extended communities.
Current projects in the lab are diverse but generally fall into two non-mutually exclusive . . .
PhD, Michigan State University, 1996
Research conducted by my lab group is focused on ecology and restoration in aquatic systems including lakes, streams, coastal wetlands and the riparian ecosystems that connect them. The research that my graduate students, our collaborators and I conduct tends to focus on ecological patterns and processes in systems influenced by human actions. In many cases we apply the learned scientific understanding to inform the . . .
PhD, University of Virginia, 1968
PhD, Biochemistry, University of Poona, India
I am a plant molecular biologist who is interested in understanding of how trees make cellulose. Simply put, cellulose is a chain of glucose molecules, and a large number of such cellulose chains weave together with other polymers to form plant cell walls. Cellulose biosynthesis is also one of the most ancient and essential life processes of plants.. . .
PhD, Michigan State University, 1970
Dr. Keen's laboratory studies animal plankton in Lake Superior and other surrounding inland lakes. His research focuses on the larger term changes (over decades) of the plankton. More specifically, on their food chain, they are near the bottom, thus, they very significantly affect the "life" of a lake. Dr. Keen's laboratory also develops . . .
PhD, University of Michigan
PhD, Utah State University
I am an ecosystem ecologist who studies biogeochemical cycles and linkages between physical, chemical and biological structure and function in watersheds. Linking these often requires understanding the underlying structure of microbial, algal, and animal communities. I am also working to place concepts of food webs into a broader ecosystem context by merging measurements of ecosystem production and food web pathways. Therefore, . . .
Brigitte attended Michigan Tech in 2001 where she received a Bachelor's degree in Medical Laboratory Science (MLS), as well as a certificate in Secondary Education and minors in both General Science and Spanish. Following graduation in 2006, Brigitte taught high school Biology for six years in Illinois. After receiving an MS degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University, Brigitte has returned to . . .
PhD, Agronomy and Weed Science, University of Illinois
Owen has studied the management, ecology and genetics of weeds with an emphasis on evolved resistance to herbicides. He is also studying the introgression of herbicide resistance genes in crops and weedy plants. Owen plans to study the ecology and management of invasive terrestrial plants in the Upper Peninsula.
Eric Seagren, PE
PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Zhiying (Jenny) Shan
Dr. Zhiying Shan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Science at Michigan Technological University. Her research interests focus on the mechanisms of neurogenic hypertension and associated cardiovascular diseases, particularly developing novel targets for the treatment and management of those diseases.. . .
PhD, University of Kansas, 1976
Dr. Snyder conducts research in the area of genetics and molecular evolution. This research focuses in three areas: 1) the molecular basis of sex determination in biting diptera; 2) genetic changes that accompany speciation events in biting diptera; 3) biochemical systematics of closely related taxa.
The . . .
PhD, Forest Biogeochemistry, Duke University
PhD, Weizmann Institute of Sciences, Israel, 2001
One Graduate or Undergraduate Student Researcher in Computer Science is Needed to Do Research on Genome Browser (JBrowse) and RNA-seq on Hourly Pay . . .
Xiaohu (Mark) Tang
PhD, The Weizmann Institute of Science
- The focus of the Laboratory of Cancer Metabolism and Functional Genomics is to characterize the regulation of cell metabolism and to determine the role of nutrients during cancer initiation and progression. In this perspective, we are aiming to understand the underlying . . .
PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, 2003
Diabetes is caused by either the loss of the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas, leading to a deficiency of insulin (type 1 diabetes), or insulin resistance, reduced insulin sensitivity, and reduced insulin secretion (type 2 diabetes). In both types of diabetes, the patients develop serious secondary complications, such as microvascular complications, oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, . . .
PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Maryland, Baltimore MD
I am an environmental microbiologist who studies microbial communities in diverse ecosystems. Microbes (Bacteria and Archaea) are ubiquitous in the environment and play essential roles in the cycling of elements. These environmental microbes are capable of catalyzing a wide array of chemical reactions, many of which may have industrial applications. I study how complex microbial communities can cooperate to perform functions . . .
PhD, Molecular Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Dr. Tumban is a trained molecular virologist and vaccinologist; in the past, he conducted research studies aimed at understanding the molecular determinants of arboviruses (such as dengue and Langat viruses) mode of transmission. He also researched and developed antigens that could be used to develop immunodiagnostic kits for diagnosing infectious . . .
PhD, Umea Univeristy, Sweden, 2005
Dr. Werner became interested in the question “What is life?” as a four-year old child in his parent’s garden in former East Germany. With the age of 10, he began to develop a life-long interest in the biology of butterflies and moths. He has been breeding and collecting them ever since. For his Master’s thesis, he decided to shift his focus to . . .
Chunxiu (Traci) Yu
PhD, Neurobiology, The Weizmann Institute of Science
Traci works with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and Parkinson’s
Disease (PD). Prior to coming to Michigan Tech she served as a research scientist at Duke University and conducted post-doctoral work in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke.
The . . .