Research in the Department of Biology spans the entire breadth of biology: from ecology and evolution to molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. Our research is supported by a wide array of funding sources, including NIH, NSF and the Welch Foundation.

Many departmental faculty members actively participate in campus-wide interdisciplinary graduate research programs, including Genetics & Genomics, Neuroscience, Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences, and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.


Profile Photo of Jen Dulin

Jennifer Dulin

Dulin Profile | Dulin Lab Website

Neural stem cell transplantation and circuit mapping approaches to restore motor, sensory, and autonomic function following spinal cord injury

James Erickson

Erickson Profile

Sex determination in Drosophila; temporal and transcriptional controls in development; RNA silencing mechanisms

Isabella Farhy

Farhy Profile | Farhy Lab Website

Astrocyte-neuron communication; Mechanisms of synapse development and function; Astrocyte function; Role of astrocytes in mood disorders

L. Rene Garcia

Garcia Profile | Garcia Lab Website

Genetics of behavior and development in C. elegans

Paul Hardin

Hardin Profile | Hardin Lab Website

Molecular biology of biological clocks in Drosophila; behavioral neurogenetics; transcriptional regulation.

jeff jones

Jeff Jones

Jones Profile  | Jones Lab Website

Understanding the genes, neurons, and circuits regulating circadian rhythms in behavior and physiology

alex keene

Alex Keene

Keene Profile | Keene Lab Website

Neural regulation of behavior in flies and fish models

profile photo of wanhe li

Wanhe Li

Li Profile

Uncovering mechanistic links between emotional states, biological timing, sleep, and development of chronic diseases using interdisciplinary approaches.

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Rachel Moran

Moran Profile | Moran Lab Website

Local adaptation and speciation in fishes. Genetic basis of convergently evolved traits. Behavior, genomics, neurogenomics.

Dylan McCreedy

McCreedy Profile | McCreedy Lab Website

Mechanisms of acute inflammation and tissue damage following spinal cord injury; three dimensional imaging of inflammation and neural circuit plasticity; neuroprotective and neural regeneration strategies

Jerome Menet

Menet Profile | Menet Lab Website

Molecular mechanism of the circadian clock in mice

Christine Merlin

Merlin Profile | Merlin Lab Website

Molecular genetics and genomics of monarch butterfly circadian clocks and long-distance migration

profile photo of matt moulton

Matthew Moulton

Moulton Profile 

Functional genetics of human disease variants using Drosophila models; Mechanisms of lipid droplet formation in the brain; Neuron-glia interactions

Bruce Riley

Profile | Lab Website

Genetic regulation of zebra fish development

shogo sato

Shogo Sato

Sato Profile

Molecular and physiological basis of circadian-metabolic crosstalk in mammals

Michael Smotherman

Profile | Lab Webpage

Neurobiology of animal communication: sensory-motor integration

Aref Zarin

ProfileLab Website

Developmental and experimental neuroscience; Formation and maintenance of sensory-motor circuits in Drosophila; Behavioral neurogenetics, neural circuitry underlying locomotor behaviors and action selection;  Transcriptional regulation of neuronal properties

Mark Zoran


Developmental neurobiology; molecular determinants of synapse formation; neural regeneration; biological clock control of neural signaling