Faculty Spotlight: Heath Blackmon

This month’s Faculty Spotlight highlights Dr. Heath Blackmon.  An Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Dr. Blackmon uses beetles to study evolutionary biology, particularly genome evolution.

Heath Blackmon received his B.S. in Environmental Science from Oregon State University in 2010.  He then began work on his Ph.D. at the University of Texas in Arlington where he studied genome evolution in invertebrates.  While at UT Arlington he built a database of invertebrate karyotypes containing over 15,000 species.  He completed his Ph.D. in 2015 and moved to the University of Minnesota.  In Minnesota Heath collaborated with […]

2017-10-11T10:44:14+00:00October 10th, 2017|Categories: Faculty Spotlight|Tags: , |

Faculty Spotlight: Mike Smotherman

This month’s Faculty Spotlight highlights Dr. Mike Smotherman.  An Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and Chair for Texas A&M’s Institute for Neuroscience (TAMIN), Dr. Smotherman uses bats to study neuroethology in animals with unique or exceptional behaviors.

Mike Smotherman received his B.S. in Biology from Occidental College in 1989. While at Occidental Mike logged over 1000 hours at sea working on the R/V Vantuna as a research technician and marine biology instructor. After graduating he worked as an environmental engineer for a year before deciding to pursue graduate studies. He earned an M.S. in […]

2017-08-08T09:11:06+00:00August 8th, 2017|Categories: Faculty Spotlight|Tags: , |

Faculty Spotlight: Charles Criscione

Roundworms, flukes, and tapeworms…oh my! This month’s Faculty Spotlight shines on Dr. Charles Criscione.  Currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, Dr. Criscione’s research investigates the ways parasite ecology influences the evolutionary mechanisms within parasite populations.

Charles Criscione is from New Orleans where he graduated as valedictorian from Brother Martin High School and was a wrestling state champion. He got a B.S. in Zoology in 1995 from Louisiana State University where he was awarded the University Medal for highest graduating GPA.  He went on to study parasitology at Southeastern Louisiana University where he got […]

2017-07-06T13:48:03+00:00July 3rd, 2017|Categories: Faculty Spotlight|Tags: , |

Faculty Spotlight: Steve Lockless

This month’s Faculty Spotlight highlights Dr. Steve Lockless ’97.  A former Aggie (Molecular and Cell Biology) and current Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, Dr. Lockless uses bacterial tetrameric cation channels as a model to study how biological systems are built to efficiently propagate signals.

Steve Lockless was the first in his family to attend college and received his BS degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Texas A&M in 1997.  He continued on to earn a PhD in Molecular Biophysics from UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas with Dr. Rama Ranganathan, where he first […]

2017-06-09T12:46:58+00:00June 9th, 2017|Categories: Faculty Spotlight|Tags: , |

2017 Graduates & Department Spotlight

Prior to the commencement ceremony for the College of Science, the Department of Biology honored a number undergraduate and graduate students, staff members, and faculty for their service to the university and the department.  The Graduating Class of May 2017 included 165 undergraduates and 6 graduate students.

In recognition to their dedication to the department, Lacy Basile (Technical Lab Coordinator for Microbiology) and Anita Luna (Business Services) were presented with Departmental Service Awards.  Dr. Carol Johnson, retiring after 19 years of service to the Department, was also recognized for her excellence during her time spent as a Senior Lecturer, ushering countless numbers […]

2017-05-24T12:48:14+00:00May 24th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Faculty Spotlight: Joseph Sorg

In the Faculty Spotlight this month is Dr. Joseph Sorg, an Associate Professor whose research focuses on Clostridium difficile physiology and virulence and who was recently awarded a $7.5 million NIH grant (in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Houston College of Pharmacy) to understand what predisposes individuals to C. difficile infection.

Joe Sorg received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Purdue University before moving to graduate studies in microbiology at The University of Chicago with Dr. Olaf Schneewind.  Subsequently, he trained as an IRACDA postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology & Microbiology at […]

2017-04-25T14:05:45+00:00April 12th, 2017|Categories: Faculty Spotlight|Tags: , |

Faculty Spotlight: Christine Merlin

July’s spotlight goes to Christine Merlin who is an Assistant Professor of Biology. She joined Biology in August 2013. Christine’s research focuses on the study of  circadian clocks using the monarch butterfly as the model system.

Christine Merlin received her bachelor’s in Biology, master’s degree in Invertebrate Physiology and Ph.D in Insect Physiology from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris. From 2007 to 2013, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Neurobiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA, in Steven Reppert’s laboratory, which focuses on the biological basis of monarch butterfly migration. Merlin joined […]

2017-01-12T11:44:18+00:00January 12th, 2017|Categories: Faculty Spotlight|Tags: , |

Faculty Spotlight: Beiyan Nan

June’s Faculty spotlight goes to Beiyan Nan who is an Assistant Professor of Biology. He joined Biology in July of 2015. Beiyan’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of fundamental biological processes in bacteria. He is passionate about promoting higher education and creating research opportunities for students.

Beiyan Nan was born in the suburb of Baotou, a city in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of northern China. He grew up in a community of coal miners, spending much of his childhood roaming the neighborhoods and countryside with his friends. His parents did not finish their education because Chairman Mao closed […]

2017-01-12T11:21:51+00:00January 12th, 2017|Categories: Faculty Spotlight|Tags: , |

Faculty Spotlight: Mark Zoran

This month’s Faculty Spotlight highlights Mark Zoran, a Professor of Biology and an Associate Dean in the College of Science. He joined Biology in January of 1991. Mark’s research is focused on the cellular mechanisms of communication between cells of animal nervous systems. He has studied the brain cells of worms, mollusks and arthropods, and more recently, mammals. His interests include biological clocks and how they regulate brain cell signaling. Mark was raised in DePue, Illinois, a small industrial town 100 miles west of Chicago. His father was postal worker and his mother a nurse. He has four sisters. […]

2017-01-12T10:16:45+00:00December 5th, 2016|Categories: Faculty Spotlight|Tags: , |