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 interdepartmental graduate and research programs, including Genetics, Neuroscience, Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences, and the newly formed faculty of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral 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

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.

Steve Lockless

Lockless Profile | Lockless Lab Website

Electrical and motile properties of microorganisms; Information content in genomes

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

UJ McMahan

McMahan Profile

Factors that regulate synapse function and development of synapses in the animal nervous system, as revealed by high-resolution imaging, chemical characterization, and experimental manipulation of synapses

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

Bruce Riley

Profile | Lab Website

Genetic regulation of zebra fish development

Gil Rosenthal


Evolution and ecology of animal communication; mate choice and evolutionary genetics in Mexican freshwater fishes; visual ecology and evolution of neotropical reef fishes

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