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

Profile | Lab Website

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

James Erickson


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

L. Rene Garcia

Profile | Lab Website

Genetics of behavior and development in C. elegans


Paul Hardin

Profile | Lab Website

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

Steve Lockless

Profile | Lab Website

Information flow through biological systems; substrate recognition and signal integration

Profile Photo of Dylan McCreedy

Dylan McCreedy

Profile 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

Profile | Lab Website

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

Profile | Lab Website

Molecular mechanism of the circadian clock in mice

Christine Merlin

Profile | 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


Neurobiology of animal communication: sensory-motor integration

Aref Zarin

Lab 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