Program Information

Professors: Fraser, Girdler, Langeland, Moore (Chair), Salinas, A. Wollenberg, M. Wollenberg

The mission of our department and curriculum is to educate students in the field of biology and within the context of a Kalamazoo College liberal arts education. Through our courses, research collaborations, and advising we help each of our students become an intrinsically motivated, self-directed learner who enjoys a biologist's keen awareness of the natural world. Specifically, we foster development of the following attributes in our biology majors: 1) knowledge of the diversity of living organisms and levels - from molecules to ecosystems - at which those organisms can be studied; 2) understanding of how organisms are affected by their evolutionary and developmental trajectories and how these are influenced by environmental contingency; 3) ability to discover new biological knowledge and then communicate it effectively to others; and 4) curiosity about and empathy toward our shared environment.

Biology Department News

Life’s Imperative: Social Justice in Science

cienceJusticeThumb A seed—call it science-and-social-justice—has been germinating in the mind of Regina Stevens-Truss since December of 2009. In truth, Stevens-Truss (the Kurt D. Kaufman Associate Professor of Chemistry) has been thinking on that matter long before then. But the occasion of … Continue reading

Four Awarded Fellowships for Research

herbs and science The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced that four Kalamazoo College alumni have been awarded 2016 Graduate Research Fellowships. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. … Continue reading

If We Build It, They Will Come

eckyToniettoThumb K alumna and bee expert Rebecca Tonietto ’05 is interviewed in the Huffington Post on the ways humans can help address colony collapse among bee populations. Tonietto is a postdoctoral David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow exploring urban bee communities, … Continue reading

A Break for Microbial Evolution

anushThumb Talk about making the most of an opportunity! Sophomore Tanush Jagdish took the initiative to contact microbiologist Richard Lenski (Michigan State University), who had visited Kalamazoo College last spring as the biology department’s Diebold Symposium keynote speaker. Tanush inquired about … Continue reading

The Algorithm Knows

ustinHorowitzThumb Justin Horowitz ’05 is a graduate research assistant in bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He’s also the first author of a study that describes the development a of mathematical algorithm that can ascertain intention even when … Continue reading

Company co-founded by Brad O’Neill ’93 sold to SurveyMonkey

Brad O''Neill ''93 TechValidate, a company co-founded by Brad O’Neill ’93, has been sold to SurveyMonkey, the California firm known for its online surveys. TechValidate is a 50-person company headquartered in Emeryville, Calif. that uses cloud software to produce marketing content such as … Continue reading

Talking nature, culture, art and friendship

Three Friends Talking: (l-r) Kim Chapman, Jim Armstrong, and Lad Hanka Kim Alan Chapman ’77 is co-author of “Nature, Culture, and Two Friends Talking,” a collection of essays addressing the complex relationships humans have with the natural world. The book is in part the story of a 30-year friendship between Kim, … Continue reading

Paleontologist Joel Hutson ’02 hopes to pay forward the inspiration

Joel Hutson ''02 with Ceratosaurus Carnotaurus at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum of Kenosha, Wisc. Kalamazoo College alumnus Joel Hutson ’02 was quoted in the July 15, 2015 issue of popular scientific magazine Scientific American about dinosaur research that he and his wife, Kelda Hutson (Colgate University ’02), published in the March 2015 issue of … Continue reading

Bakers to Brewers

evaTraceThumb Half a dozen years ago first-year student Eeva Sharp ’13 was baking banana bread in the Trowbridge Hall kitchen when classmate (though, at the time, complete stranger) Trace Redmond ’13 walked in. “Oh, you’re doing it wrong,” he said. Lucky … Continue reading

Between the Lines: Nicolette Hahn Niman ’89 defends beef–but prefers not to eat it

Nicolette Hahn Niman ''89 has written a second book: Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production, The Manifesto of an Environmental Lawyer and Vegetarian Turned Cattle Rancher. Her first book was Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms. Kalamazoo College alumna Nicolette Hahn Niman ’89 is an environmental lawyer, rancher, food activist, author, and vegetarian who has published Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production, published by Chelsea Green. It’s her second book. Wait…a vegetarian who has … Continue reading