2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Mar 29, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Archived]


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Certificate in Genomic Advocacy (see Program Lists at https://www.indstate.edu/graduate/ )

Master’s in Genetic Counseling (see Program Lists at https://www.indstate.edu/graduate/ )

Master of Science – with thesis

Master of Science – non-thesis

Doctor of Philosophy

Department of Biology
Science Building, Room 281
Phone: 812-237-2400
Fax: 812-237-3378

Chairperson(I):  Dr. Donna L. Selman



Duong, Taihung, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Associate Dean and Director, Indiana University School of Medicine, Terre Haute, and Professor of Biology
Specializations: Neurodegenerative Diseases*

Gonser, Rusty, Ph.D., University of New York at Albany
Professor of Biology
Specializations: Conservation Ecology, Genetics, Behavioral Ecology, Evolution, Spatial Ecology, Landscape Genetics

Hews, Diana K., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Professor of Biology
Specializations: Behavioral Endocrinology, Animal Communication, Behavioral Ecology, Stress Physiology

King, Michael W., Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Terre Haute, and Professor of Biology
Specializations: Tissue Regeneration, Molecular and Developmental Biology: Early Nervous System Development*

Lima, Steven L., Ph.D., University of Rochester
Professor of Biology
Specializations: Behavioral and Evolutionary Ecology of Predator-Prey Interaction, Avian Community Ecology, Conservation Biology

Associate Professors

Cho, Kyu Hong, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Associate Professor of Biology

Specializations: Bacterial Pathogenesis: cyclic-di-AMP signaling pathway, small regulatory RNAs, and thermoregulation of capsule production in pathogenesis of Streptococcus pyogenes

Dannelly, H. Kathleen, Ph.D., Arizona State University
Associate Professor of Biology
Specializations: Microbiology: Adaptation to environmental change, Control of bacterial metabolism, Antibiotic resistance mechanisms, Pathogenic mechanisms in Helicobacter pylori and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Mitchell, William, Ph.D., University of Arizona
Associate Professor of Biology
Specializations: Community and Evolutionary Ecology, Biodiversity, Mathematical Modeling

Moga, Margaret, Ph.D., Loyola University of Chicago
Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Terre Haute, and Associate Professor of Biology
Specialization: Neurobiology: Consciousness and Mind-Body Interactions*

Mulkey, Timothy, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Associate Professor of Biology
Specializations: Plant Physiology: Hormones and Calcium in the Control of Plant Growth, Development, and Tropic Responses

O’Keefe, Joy, Ph.D., Clemson University
Associate Professor of Biology
Specializations: Vertebrate Ecology: Bat Ecology, Multi-Scale Habitat Selection, Forest Wildlife Management, Conservation Biology

Templeton, Steven, Ph.D., University of Iowa

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute, and Associate Professor of Biology

Specializations: Immunology: Characterization of Lung Immune Responses to Aspergillus fumigatus, Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses, Transgenic and Knockout Mice Strains*


Assistant Professors

Ahmad, Shaad, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Biology

Specializations: Developmental biology: Cardiogenesis (heart development), Organogenesis, Transcriptional Regulatory Networks, Systems Biology, Computational Biology, Genetics, Functional Genomics


Canfield, Scott, Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin

Assistant Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute, and Assistant Professor of Biology

Specializations: Neurophysiology, Stem Cell Biology, and Pathological Effects on the Blood-Brain Barrier *


Gante, Hugo, Ph.D., Arizona State University

Assistant Professor of Biology

Specializations: Evo-Devo, Evolutionary Genomics, Speciation, Adaptation, Behavioral Ecology, Conservation Biology

Schwab, Kristopher, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
Assistant Professor of Biology
Specializations: Molecular and Developmental Biology, Physiology

Steding, Catherine, Ph.D., Indiana University School of Medicine

Assistant Professor of Biology                                                                                          

Specializations: Medical Genetics: Molecular Biology of Cancer, Cytogenetics, Molecular Genetics



*Primary appointment with Indiana University School of Medicine, Terre Haute



The Department of Biology administers programs leading to Master’s and Doctoral degrees. These programs enable students to specialize in a diversity of areas within biology. Students graduating from these programs will be qualified to enter scientific careers in academia, industry, government, or private organizations. 

Graduate programs are specialized to fit the needs and professional aspirations of the individual student. Areas of research expertise of the department include behavior, physiology, microbiology, bioinformatics, cell and molecular biology, ecology, evolution, genomics, and conservation. Within these areas, specific research projects are based on the expertise of the graduate faculty.

Recently renovated and well-equipped research laboratories and computational facilities support research in all of the above disciplines. The department is also home to the Center for Bat Research, Outreach, and Conservation, which conducts scientific research and community outreach on the biology of bats. In addition, the department houses the core facility of The Center for Genomic Advocacy, a multidisciplinary center. The core facility is equipped with a next-generation sequencer and other key equipment for genomic and cell culture research. The department also houses a research museum and maintains a nearby field station, and the University owns three natural areas that can support field research. Additionally, many state and federal natural areas are available nearby for research and teaching.  

Financial support for both Master’s with thesis and Doctoral students is available on a competitive basis.  This package usually includes a tuition waiver and a teaching assistantship, involving instruction in undergraduate laboratory classes, but may sometimes consist of a research assistantship provided by faculty grant funding. Admission to the graduate program does not therefore imply admission with an assistantship. Students admitted without an assistantship must be financially self-supported. Non-thesis MS students are not eligible for departmental assistantships or tuition fee-waivers.

For Master’s non-thesis students there is a culminating experience related to research with a faculty member. This track is a valuable option for pre-professional students who can complete the required 32 hours of course work in one year if online courses are included in their program of study.



The specific objectives of the graduate program are to:

  1. Provide the student with experience in conducting research. The completion of a thesis or dissertation containing original research, suitable for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals, is considered to be the single most important requirement leading to the Master’s with thesis or Doctoral degree.
  2. Provide the student with specialized training in their chosen area.
  3. Provide the student with experience in college teaching, grant proposal writing, and scientific communication, and opportunities for scientific outreach and mentoring undergraduate research.

Students, by mutual consent, select a professor from the graduate faculty in Biology to serve as a thesis or dissertation advisor. The student and advisor jointly select the student’s committee, subject to approval by the Department and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The specific curriculum for each student is determined largely by the thesis/dissertation topic, and will be defined jointly by the student, the advisor, and the thesis/dissertation committee.

Course work for the doctorate is also determined in part by qualifying examinations, which are designed to test a student’s knowledge of their programmatic area.  The scope of these examinations will be set by the student’s advisor and dissertation committee.



The department offers study and research leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The completion of the degree qualifies the individual for university teaching, research, or professional work in their respective subdiscipline. Each candidate’s individual program is based on their knowledge and ability upon entering the program and their objective. After completion of course work, all students must pass written and oral qualifying examinations, submit a dissertation proposal, ultimately followed by the submission of an acceptable dissertation based on original research. 


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