Biology

The University of Dubuque Biology major prepares students for service and leadership through integrative course work, which includes interactive laboratory sessions and experiential learning opportunities. Biological phenomena are stressed at all levels of life from a simple organism to complex ecospheres with evolution serving as the unifying theory.

The Biology Program attempts to directly involve each student in the study of living organisms.

What You Will Learn

  • Develop an appreciation for the breadth of biology and evolution as the unifying theory for all biology, and its importance in our daily lives.
  • Gain advanced knowledge and skills needed for employment in a diverse array of biology-based careers.
  • Build research skills that will enhance your ability to compete for opportunities in graduate and professional schools.

Program of Study

A University of Dubuque degree in biology prepares students with foundational courses in zoology, botany, evolution, genetics, and chemistry while offering the flexibility to focus education into disciplines such as human health, molecular and cell biology, and organismal ecology.


What Our Students Do

The University of Dubuque Biology Program allows students to pursue their own research project under the supervision of a faculty member. Molecular biology is an area of student research strength at UD. Other students learn how to prepare quality research and develop microscope slides of human tissues.

 

Where Our Graduates Go

University of Dubuque biology graduates are enjoying success across the United States and beyond. Some recent examples of where UD biology graduates have gone include: medical school in Illinois, graduate school in Kansas, active duty as an officer in the United States military, laboratory technician in Iowa, head of food safety inspection in Arizona, and research technician in Texas.

News from the Department

October 2016 - Congratulations to Biology undergraduate student Frank Tillman. He was awarded Best Undergraduate Poster at the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists annual conference in Emporia, Kansas. His poster was titled “Patterns and Impacts of Ectoparasites on Bats in Northeastern Iowa.”

October 2016 - Congratulations to Environmental Science student Meagan Albon (C’ 18) on being elected to the post of Student Representative to the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists Board of Governors. There is only one student representative on the board and it has rarely gone to an undergraduate.

December 2 - Seminar: Brad Chamberlain - Luther College. Satan's Resin? Redeeming Plastic in a Disposable Age. 

November 4 - Seminar: Tesla Monson - University of California-Berkeley. Chew On This: The Evolution of Mammalian Dentition.

October 7 - Seminar: Megan Livingston - University of Wisconsin-Madison. Development of a Robust 3D Organotypic Model of Human Mammary Ducts.

September 9 - Seminar: Nilda Rodriguez - University of Northern Iowa. Host-Pathogen Interactions between the Macrophage and the Parasitic Protozoan Leishmania chagasi.

September 2016 - Congratulations to Biology Student Meagan Albon (C’ 18) for placing 3rd in the 13th International Junior Forest Competition held in Peterhof, Russia. She was on the team that represented the U.S. at this annual international competition.

Fall 2016: The Department of Natural & Applied Sciences is excited to welcome Michele Zuercher to the faculty as a full-time teaching specialist. Michele will teach core curriculum science classes and labs.

 

Biology - Program of Study

The courses below are a program sample of what students may encounter. Students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal educational program to plan their elective course choices, internships, undergraduate research, and other educational opportunities and experiences.

Year One

Fall Semester
BIO 135: General Zoology (3)
UDMA 150/EVS 230 Analysis of Functions and Trigonometry (4)/Statistics (3)
WVS: World View Seminar I (3)
ENG 101: Composition and Rhetoric (3)

J-Term
Required

Spring Semester
BIO 140:  Evolution (3)
Math (as needed)
WVS 201: World View Seminar II (3)
RES 104: Research Writing (3)
CIS 101: Introduction to Computers (3)


Year Two

Fall Semester
BIO 136: Genera Botany (4)
BIO 235: Cell Biology (4)
CHM 111: General Chemistry I (4)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
BIO 236: Genetics (4)
CHM 112: General Chemistry II (4)
COM 101: Speech Communication (3)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)


Year Three

Fall Semester
CHM 221: Organic Chemistry I (4)
PHY 151: General Physics I (4)
Science Elective
REL 110: Judeo-Christian Journeys (3) or other REL Course

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
CHM 222: Organic Chemistry II (4)
BIO 125: Population, Resources, and Environment (3) or other Stewardship Course
Science Elective
SOC 111/PSY 110: Introduction to Sociology (3)/Psychology (3)


Year Four

Fall Semester
BIO 495: Senior Seminar (1)
Science Elective
ENG 112/260: Literature (3)
ART 111: Survey of Western Art (3) or other Aesthetics B Course

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
Science Elective
Science Elective
UDHS 121: Western Civilization I (3) or other Global Awareness A Course
CCS 101: Cross-Cultural Study (1) or other Global Awareness B Course

David Koch
David Koch
Department of Natural and Applied Sciences Head and Associate Professor

PhD, Kansas State University, Geography
MS, Kansas State University, Agronomy 
BS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Agronomy and Genetics

Office Phone: 563.589.3598
E-mail: dkoch@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 204B University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688
Biography - Click Here

I received my PhD in Geography (GIS, remote sensing, and spatial analysis) in 2010, MS in Agronomy (soil chemistry) in 2002, and BS in Agronomy and Genetics in 1991.  Throughout that entire time period, the theme of environmental science has run through my academic work.  After receiving my BS, I served two years in the Peace Corp in Paraguay.


Amandeep Arora
Amandeep Arora
Assistant Professor

PhD - Oklahoma State University MS - Guru Nanak Dev University, India BSed - Panjab University, India BS - Panjab University, India

Office Phone: 563.589.3498
E-mail: aarora@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 104E University Science Center

Bindu Balakrishnan
Bindu Balakrishnan
Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Program

PhD, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences - India
MSc Physiology, Kasturba Medical College - India

Office Phone: 563.589.3261
E-mail: bbalakrishnan@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 104D University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Dan Duclos
Dan Duclos
Adjunct Instructor of Natural and Applied Sciences


E-mail: dduclos@dbq.edu 

Dale Hampton Easley
Dale Hampton Easley
Department of Natural and Applied Sciences Professor

PhD, University of Wyoming
MS, University of Wyoming
BS, Guilford College

Office Phone: 563.589.3639
E-mail: deasley@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 104B University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Kelly Grussendorf
Kelly Grussendorf
Assistant Professor

PhD, University of Kansas
BA, Minnesota State University - Moorhead



Office Phone: 563.589.3149
E-mail: kgrussendorf@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 230B University Science Center

Adam Hoffman
Adam Hoffman
Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA, University of Minnesota-Morris

Office Phone: 563.589.3746
E-mail: ahoffman@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 104E University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Lalith Jayawickrama
Lalith Jayawickrama
Teaching Specialist Faculty, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences

MS, University of Delaware
BS, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Office Phone: 563.589.3148
E-mail: lalithj@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 317 University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Rasika Mudalige-Jayawickrama
Rasika Mudalige-Jayawickrama
Associate Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences

PhD, University of Hawaii
MS, Louisiana State University
BS, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Office Phone: 563.589.3144
E-mail: rmudalig@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 104C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

James Prochaska
James Prochaska
Adjunct Instructor of Natural and Applied Sciences

MS, University of Wisconsin - Superior; Physics
BS, Loras College; Chemistry

Office Phone: 563.589.3149
E-mail: jprochaska@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 104 University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Mark Sinton
Mark Sinton
Assistant Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences

PhD, Michigan State University
MS, University of Denver
BA, University of Denver

Office Phone: 563.589.3153
E-mail: msinton@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 204C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Richard W. Smith
Richard W. Smith
Assistant Professor - Physics

MA, Mankato State University
BS, University of Dubuque

Office Phone: 563.589.3146
E-mail: rwsmith@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 230C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Ken Turner, Jr.
Ken Turner, Jr.
Assistant Professor of Science Education

EDD, National Louis University
MAT, De Pauw University
BA, Valparaiso University



Office Phone: 563.589.3799
E-mail: kturner@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 104C University Science Center
Biography - Click Here

Ken Turner, Jr. is currently an Assistant Professor at University of Dubuque and the Chair of the Iowa Science Teacher Section of the Iowa Academy of Science.  He has taught General Chemistry, Introduction to Research Writing, Collegiate Algebra, STEM and Engineering Design among others at the undergraduate level as well as several courses at the graduate level.

Before becoming a full-time faculty member at the University of Dubuque, Turner taught Biology, Advance Placement Chemistry, Chemistry, and Chemistry of Foods at the high school level.  He has also taught at the Northwestern University Center for Talent Development at the middle school level.

In this time, he has won awards based on his teaching as well as competitive grants such as Those Who Excel (Illinois State Board of Education), Tandy Technology Scholars Top 100 Teachers of Math, Science, and Computer Science, and the Toyota Tapestry Grant.  He has also presented at numerous conferences and workshops on topics as diverse as analysis of lake water health, nanotechnology, and creating engineering design activities.

Turner has co-authored two supplemental texts (Composites and Smart Sensors) and numerous articles published in journals such as Materials Research Education, Science Teacher, and Journal of Chemical Education.  His most recent article, co-authored with Dr. Adam Hoffman, “Integration, Authenticity, and Relevancy in College Science through Engineering Design” (2018) appears in the Journal of College Science Teaching.

Turner strives to creatively seek, utilize, and communicate the educational research that supports all learners. 


Danielle Yaklin
Danielle Yaklin
Laboratory Manager


Office Phone: 563.589.3752
E-mail: DYaklin@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 317 University Science Center

Gerald L. Zuercher
Gerald L. Zuercher
Professor of Vertebrate Ecology

PhD, Kansas State University
MS, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
BS, Mississippi State University



Office Phone: 563.589.3147
E-mail: gzuerche@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 309A University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Michele Zuercher
Michele Zuercher
Teaching Specialist


Office Phone: 563.589.3151
E-mail: mzuercher@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 230A University Science Center

Careers in Biology

Biology prepares students for a wide array of career options. Careers in academic research-focused fields include everything from geneticist and molecular biologist to horticulturalist and wildlife ecologist. Biomedical-research careers include everything from bacteriologist and virologist to neuroscientist and physiologist.  

Professional program options include medical, veterinary, dental, optometry, physical therapy, and chiropractic. Government jobs that utilize the biology degree include science policy analyst, health and safety inspector, and naturalist at a national park. In addition, a biology degree can lead to opportunities in teaching, science writing, pharmaceutical sales, and laboratory analysis.  

BS Opportunities

Examples of specific careers that can be obtained with a BS in biology are: laboratory technician in a clinical or research facility; animal husbandry technician at a zoo, aquarium, or veterinary hospital; sales representative for a pharmaceutical company or science supply company; and quality control analyst for food inspection agency.  

Post-graduate Opportunities

Examples of specific careers that can be obtained with a post-graduate degree in biology are: university professor, laboratory manager in a clinical or research facility, project director for a research institute, lead scientist for a non-profit organization, and science adviser for government agencies and legislators.  

Successful Outcomes

Caroline Grunenwald, BS, MS, PhD, 2008 Biology

Much of the success I have experienced as a research scientist can be attributed to the education I received as an undergraduate student at the University of Dubuque. While earning my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Biology, I was able to work on multiple undergraduate research projects, including my own, studying the molecular regulation of flower color in orchids with Dr. Mudilage-Jayawickrama. These experiences not only taught me basic laboratory and field skills, but also gave me the opportunity to learn how to analyze data and interpret results. More importantly, it helped me realize how rewarding and exciting research can be, and led me to pursue a Masters and a PhD in Microbiology.

By applying the ecological concepts I learned through the Environmental Science program at UD and my training in microbiology, I am able study the impact of parasites on wildlife populations and the environmental factors that may contribute to disease outbreaks. This strong ecology background gives me a unique perspective, helping me to see things my microbiology peers might overlook, and ultimately to be a better scientist.