Faculty Directory

Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez, PhD



360-6503653 | Biology 309

I was born and raised in México City. My siblings and I are first-generation college students whose parents encouraged and supported their dreams. I have always wanted to learn about animal behavior. I vividly remember the empty lots surrounding my house: turning over rocks to look for snakes or lizards, looking at the grass in search of grasshoppers, and... (read more in my profile)

Research interests: Role of marine mammals in their environment and their interactions with humans.

Shawn Arellano, PhD

Associate Professor


360-6503634 | Zoom

Deep-sea, larval ecologist from Kansas!

Elizabeth Binney, PhD

Senior Instructor

| BI 367

Research interests: Ecology, general biology, plant biology, biostatistics.

Marion Brodhagen, PhD



360-6502920 | Online via Zoom; please email me for link

Research interests: 1) Secondary metabolites; 2) biodegradable plastics

Taylor Cofer


Georgianne Connell

Senior Instructor


360-6506796 | BIO 338

One of my favorite things about science education research is seeing the impact of pedagogy on how students perceive and incorporate science into their worldview. Teaching science to students who will not go on to major in STEM fields is an incredibly worthy mission and I strive to find innovative ways to provide equitable access to science so that every student can be successful.

Research interests: Biology education

W. James Cooper, PhD

Assistant professor


360-6506551 | Appointments via Zoom (please email to schedule)

Research interests: Evo-Devo of Fish Bite Mechanics

Lina Dahlberg, PhD

Associate Professor


360-6504671 | BI 306

I study neuronal pathways of protein quality control and I do research in Biology education. I hope my students will explore as they learn, and I strive to make science at WWU and beyond more inclusive and accessible to anyone who is interested in how life works.

Research interests: Protein stability, turnover, and trafficking in neurons.

Eric DeChaine, PhD



360-6506575 | Biology 237

I am a naturalist at heart, striving to better understand the natural world: the diversity of species, their environments, and their interactions.

Deborah Donovan, PhD



360-6507251 | BI 310

I’ve been a member of the Biology Department and the Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Group since Fall 1998. I completed my Master’s degree in Ecology at the University of California, Davis and my PhD in Zoology at the University of British Columbia. Prior to graduate school, I was a science teacher in a large, urban high school in Southern California. (More info in my profile)

Research interests: Physiological ecology of marine invertebrates; Biology education

Nick Galati, PhD

Assistant professor

360-6502869 | BI 331

Oddly enough, my passion for science came about after I graduated from college, when I worked as a research technician in a biochemistry lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Fortunately for me, my mentor in this lab looked past my lack of research experience and hired me based on my references as a landscaper, and I am so grateful that he did.... (read more in my profile)

Research interests: Cilia and centrosome biology; Digital image analysis in microscopy

David Hooper, PhD


360-6503649 | BI 307

Research interests: Ecosystem ecology, biodiversity effects on carbon and nitrogen cycles, plant community ecology, effects of riparian restoration on stream water quality

Robin Kodner, PhD

Associate Professor


360-650-7467 | BI 412

Janice Lapsansky

Senior Instructor


360-6507337 | BI 305

Preparing WWU students and the surrounding community for a healthier life

Research interests: Scholarship in STEM education. Pre-hospital emergency medical research in cardiovascular care.

Suzanne Lee, PhD

Assistant Professor


360-6506795 | Biology 413

My interests include nucleic acid biology, equity and inclusion in STEM, the outdoors and the performing arts (More info in my profile)

Research interests: Eukaryotic Gene Regulation; RNA biology and biochemistry; Cell Biology

Benjamin Miner, PhD

Professor & Chair


360-6503640 | Biology 315

I hope the information in this biography provides you with a better understanding of me as person and instructor. Students, staff, and faculty all have such interesting and unique paths, and I hope that sharing information helps us understand the importance of diverse perspectives and the need to work together to move forward. I was born in New York but grew up in southern California.

Research interests: Evolutionary ecologist interested in phenotypic plasticity of marine organisms

Adam Moles, PhD


360-6507464 | BI 367

I love microbes of all sorts! For 40 years, I was a research marine biologist with NOAA in Alaska - authoring over 75 papers on the interaction of disease and pollution. Done climbing ladder, helping others up.

Craig Moyer, PhD


360-6507935 | BI 406

My speciality is the marine microbial ecology and geomicrobiology of hydrothermal vent systems.

Research interests: Marine Microbial Ecology and Geomicrobiology

Brady Olson, PhD

Associate Professor

360-6507478 | BI 366

I was born and raised in the far southeastern corner of Washington State.  This region is a high plains desert, shrub-steppe ecosystem. 

Merrill Peterson, PhD



360-6503636 | BI 410

I identify as a husband, father, member of a multiracial family, naturalist, entomologist, and geeky nerd hellbent on spreading my love of insect diversity...(click to read more in my profile)

Research interests: Entomology; Ecology; Evolutionary Biology; Biodiversity Informatics

Lynn Pillitteri, PhD

Professor - she/her/hers

360-6506599 | BI 407

My research focuses on plants! My love of plants started with some inspiring professors in college at the University of New York, Binghamton and continued afterwards as I worked a few years after graduation at a local landscaping nursery learning the basics of plant horticulture. Working at the nursery made me think a lot of the enormous variety in plant traits... (read more in my profile)

Research interests: Plant genetics, Developmental mechanisms, Transcriptional regulation, Microscopy

Dan Pollard, PhD

Associate Professor


360-6502152 | BI 414

I am a husband, dad, musician, social justice advocate, runner, and rock climber who took a long time to see himself as a biologist

Research interests: Genetics; Cell Biology; Bioinformatics; Protein Expression; Yeast; Mating Pheromone Response

Jaci Scheer, MA



| BI 365

Sandra Schulze, PhD

Associate Professor

360-6507267 | BI409

Background in music, art and science

Research interests: Molecular biology and genetics using Drosophila and Passiflora as a model

Dietmar Schwarz

Dietmar Schwarz in plaid shirt with mountains in background
Associate Professor

360-6503641 | BI 411

Research interests: Evolutionary Biology,Evolutionary Ecology, Molecular Ecology

Carrie Schwarz

An illustration of a person on a gray background
Senior Instructor

(360) 650-4523 | BI 157

Jose Serrano-Moreno, PhD

Senior Instructor

360-6503633 | BI161

Research interests: Biology Education; Student Advising; Structure and Function of Ion Channels

Myron Shekelle, PhD



360-6507464 | BI 231

Research interests: Evolution, ecology, and conservation, primates, Tarsiidae

Anu Singh-Cundy, PhD

Anu Singh-Cundy
Associate Professor

(360) 650-7473 | BI 308

Dan van Hees, PhD



360-6507400 | BI 231 (in-person or Zoom)

Research interests: Seaweed physiology and ecology; chemical acclimation strategies; marine dispersal and population connectivity

Adrienne Wang, PhD

Assistant Professor

360-6507484 | BI312

I study aging and neurodegenerative disease using fruit flies. My scientific path included a lot of exploration of "non-traditional" science careers and contemplation of the meaning of life. I don't know that I've made much progress on some of those bigger questions, but along the way, I have learned so much about the world around us and the scientific principals that govern cellular function.

Research interests: Molecular mechanisms of aging and neurodegeneration

George Wilkinson, PhD



| BI-365

Born near Washington, D.C. Instructor at WWU since 2019.

Research interests: Neuroscience, Cell Biology, Human Physiology

Mike Williams, PhD


360-6507483 | Biology 235

Research interests: Systematics of the Berberidaceae, ecological role of apomixis, restoration ecology

Kate Yamamoto

Senior Instructor

(360) 650-7464 | CV 163

Jeff Young, PhD

close up of Dr. Jeff Young with illustrated poster of "rhodophyceae" in background

360-6503638 | CB 283

Research interests: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

Matthew Zinkgraf

Assistant Professor

360-6504885 | BI 408

Research interests: Genetics of forest trees, genomics, bioinformatics