As one of the most popular majors on campus, the Biology Department offers students opportunities to learn about all levels of biology, as well as modern methods of research and investigation. The study of biology prepares students for a wide range of career options.


Biology: Faculty and Staff


Terry W. Hill. 1978. B.A., University of South Florida; M.S., Ph.D., University of Florida. (Cell biology, microbiology, biology of fungi.)
Carolyn R. Jaslow. 1988. Chair. B.A., Mount Holyoke College; M.S., Ohio University; Ph.D., University of Chicago. (Histology, reproductive biology, embryology, mammalogy.)
Gary J. Lindquester. 1988. B.S., Furman University; M.S., Ph.D., Emory University. (Molecular biology, virology, immunology.)
Mary Miller. 2001. B.A., University of Tennessee; Ph.D., University of Virginia. (Genetics, microbiology, cancer biology, cell biology.)

Associate Professors

Sarah Boyle. 2009. B.A., College of William and Mary; Ph.D., Arizona State University. (Ecology, conservation biology, tropical field biology.)
Michael D. Collins. 2010. B.S., University of Arizona; M.S., Florida State University; Ph.D., University of Tennessee. (Ecology, ornithology, wildlife biology, statistics.)
Jonathan Fitz Gerald. 2007. B.S., University of California at Irvine; Ph.D., University of Chicago. (Plant biology, development.)
Alan P. Jaslow. 1984. B.S., University of Wisconsin; M.S., Ph.D., University of Michigan. (Vertebrate biology, functional morphology, animal communication.)
David Kabelik. 2009. H.B.Sc., University of Toronto; Ph.D., Arizona State University. (Neuroscience, endocrinology, physiology, animal behavior.)

Assistant Professors

Kelly A. Dougherty. 2014. B.S., West Chester University; Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson University. (Neuroscience, biophysics, neurophysiology.)
Elaine R. Frawley. 2016. B.A., Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis. (Microbiology, molecular biology, bacterial pathogenesis.)
Stephanie Haddad. 2017. B.S., M.S., American University of Beirut; Ph.D. University of Memphis. (Entomology, evolutionary biology, systematics and phylogenetics.)
Erin S. Honsa. 2016. B.S., Queensland University of Technology (Australia); Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine. (Microbiology, infectious disease.)
Patrick Kelly. 2018.  B.S., M.S., University of Wisconsin – La Crosse; Ph.D., University of Notre Dame. (Limnology, aquatic ecology, ecosystem ecology.)
Robert G. Laport. 2018. B.S., Oregon State University; M.S., Ph.D., University of Rochester. (Evolutionary biology, ecology, botany, phylogenetics.)
David A. Pike. 2016. B.S., North Carolina State University; M.S., Towson University; Ph.D., University of Sydney Australia. (Ecology, wildlife biology, herpetology.)
Bayly S. Wheeler. 2015. B.S.E., University of Michigan; Ph.D., Duke University. (Molecular biology, genetics, genomics, microbiology.)

Research Associate

Julienne Ng. 2018. B.S., University of Melbourne (Australia); Ph.D., University of Rochester. (Evolutionary biology, ecology, phylogenetics.)


Dianne Cox. 2014. Biology Department Assistant. B.A., University of Mississippi.
Sarah Hasty. 2009. Biology Department Lab Manager for Frazier-Jelke Science Center. B.S., Louisiana State University; M.S., University of Memphis.
Justin A. Porter. 2017. Biology Department Lab Manager for Robertson Hall. B.S., M.S., University of Georgia.

Requirements for Major in Biology Leading to the B.S. Degree

A total of fifty-three to fifty-seven (53-57) credits as follows:

  1. BIOL 130-131L (Biology I with laboratory) and BIOL 140-141L (Biology II with laboratory).

  2. Six upper-level courses; at least four of which must have an associated lab experience. Normally four of the six courses used to satisfy these requirements must be taken within the Biology Department at Rhodes. Four credits of BIOL 451 or 452 (Research in Biology) can satisfy one upper-level course with lab requirement. Courses taught outside the department that can satisfy upper level course requirements for the Biology major, subject to the limit indicated above, include certain courses approved by the Department Chair for transfer credit and the following:
    CHEM 414 (Biochemistry); CHEM 414 with BMB 310 (Methods in Biochemistry and Cell Biology) may satisfy a course with lab requirement
    CHEM 416 (Mechanisms of Drug Action)
    ENVS 260 (Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis; available only through the Semester in Environmental Science Program)
    ENVS 270 (Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis; available only through the Semester in Environmental Science Program). 
    NEUR 270 (Neuroscience).

  3. CHEM 120-125L (Foundations of Chemistry with laboratory) and CHEM 211 (Organic Chemistry I).

  4. One statistics course from the following list:
    ECON 290 (Statistical Analysis for Economics and Business)
    MATH 111 (Introduction to Applied Statistics)
    MATH 211 (Introduction to Statistical Methods and Applications)
    PSYC 211 (Statistical Methods).

  5. One computational course from the following list:
    COMP 141 (Computer Science I: Programming Fundamentals) or above
    INTD 225 (Geographic Information Systems [GIS])
    MATH 115 (Applied Calculus)
    MATH 122 (Integral Calculus)
    MATH 214 (Discrete Mathematical Modeling with Biological Applications).

  6. BIOL 485 or 486 (Senior Seminar).

Students, in consultation with their advisers, should select a diversity of upper level courses, thereby gaining experience in different areas of biology. Satisfying the prerequisites for courses is the student’s responsibility; however, in special circumstances, students with advance permission of the instructor may enroll in a course without meeting prerequisites.
Courses and accompanying laboratories of the same name are linked co-requisites and must be taken together unless approved by petition to the department. Unless otherwise noted, courses meet under the standard class schedule and laboratories meet for a three-hour period; laboratories also often require further project work outside the scheduled lab time.
Students seeking a double major must have at least four upper-level courses for the Biology major that are not used to satisfy requirements for the other major.

Major Essay

When declaring a major in Biology, students must submit an essay electronically for approval by their major advisor.  This essay should be 300 words or less and should include:

  1. a statement of your goals in pursuing a biology major
  2. what areas of biology represent your greatest interests
  3. possible links between biology coursework and other courses taken or to be taken
  4. what other areas of biology will help you to become more well-rounded in the field of biology.

Honors in Biology

  1. Courses required: those listed for the B. S. degree with a major in Biology as well as the Biology Honors Tutorial (BIOL 495 and 496).
  2. Students seeking to do Honors research must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 (cumulative and in the major) at the time of application and be on track to graduate at the end of the academic year in which the Honors research is carried out.
  3. An original investigation of some problem in the area of biology, usually related to research being carried out by a member of the Biology Department, is required. The Honors research may be conducted outside of the department, with department approval and the careful guidance of a Biology faculty member liaison for the project.
  4. A creditable thesis must be presented at the end of the project. The honors project and thesis must be approved by the student’s Honors committee and the project must follow the department and college guidelines and schedule for Honors work. In addition, the Honors candidate should present the work publically at a scientific meeting on- or off-campus.

Students interested in Honors research should consult with their faculty research supervisor at Rhodes.