New Faculty Busy with Undergraduate Research
The biology department hired seven new faculty since 2000:
- In 2000 Mark Forsyth , a microbiologist studying pathogenic bacteria (e.g., Heliocobacter pylori ), was hired and has since established a productive research lab and earned the Alumni Fellowship Teaching Award for excellence in teaching in 2006 (see related story ).
- Randy Chambers , a wetlands ecologist, was also hired in the Biology Department in 2000, with a joint appointment in Marine Biology at VIMS . Besides teaching and research, he works as Director of the Keck Environmental Field Lab (see related story).
- In 2001, John Swaddle was hired; Dr. Swaddle, from England, is a evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on animal behavior, including sexual selection in birds. He and Dr. Cristol share use of an aviary constructed near the William and Mary law school (see related story ).
- Evolutionary biologist George Gilchrist came to the department in 2002. He has studied fruit flies to investigate questions of evolutionary change in time, and also serves as faculty director of the Graduate Program.
- In 2005 two new faculty were hired, including Eric Engstrom from the University of California at Davis. Dr. Engstrom studies plant physiology and development, using Arabidopsis , among other plants, as an organism to investigate genetic control of plant cell communication and evolutionary development.
- Also in 2005, Matthew Wawersik was hired from a position at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Wawersik is a developmental biologist investigating the fly Drosophila melanogaster in his research of molecular regulation of germ cell development.
- Cell biologist Dr. Oliver Kersher was hired in 2006. “Oli” studies how cells prevent DNA damage and loss, and has quickly established a busy lab group that uses yeast cells as a model organism.