Jul 16, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


116 Ackert Hall
Fax: 785-532-6653


Brian S. Spooner

Director of graduate studies:

David A. Rintoul

Graduate faculty:

*Katsura Asano, Ph.D., University of Tokyo, Japan
*John M. Blair, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Daniel L. Boyle, Ph.D., University of Louisville
*W. Alice Boyle, Ph.D., University of Arizona
*John M. Briggs, Ph.D., University of Arkansas
*Susan A. Brown, Ph.D., University of Missouri
*Stephen Keith Chapes, Ph.D., University of Illinois
*Rollie J. Clem, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Alina De La Mota-Peynado, Ph.D., Kansas State University
*Robin E. Denell, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
*Walter K. Dodds, Ph.D., University of Oregon
*Carolyn Ferguson, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
*Sherry D. Fleming, Ph.D., University of Colorado
*Keith B. Gido, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
*Revathi Govind, Ph.D., Texas Tech University
*James A. Guikema, Ph.D., University of Michigan
*David C. Hartnett, Ph.D., University of Illinois
*David A. Haukos, Ph.D., Texas Tech University
*Michael A. Herman, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Andrew Hope, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Eva A. Horne, Ph.D., Kansas State University
*Anthony Joern, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
*Loretta C. Johnson, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
*Ari Jumpponen, Ph.D., Oregon State University
*Donald W. Kaufman, Ph.D., University of Georgia
*Stella Yu-Chien Lee, Ph.D., Dalhousie University, Canada
*Martha Mather, Ph.D., Ohio State University
Mark H. Mayfield, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
*Jocelyn McDonald, Ph.D., University of Illinois
*Kristin Michel, Ph.D., University of California Riverside
*Beth A. Montelone, Ph.D., University of Rochester
*Ted Morgan, Ph.D., Washington State University
Thomas Mueller, Ph.D., University of Bremen
*Jesse Nippert, Ph.D., Colorado State University
*Bradley Olson, Ph.D., Michigan State University
*A. Lorena Passarelli, Ph.D., University of Georgia
*Thomas Platt, Ph.D., Indiana University
Ashley Rhodes, Ph.D., Kansas State University
*David A. Rintoul, Ph.D., Stanford University
*Jeroen Roelofs, Ph.D., University of Groningen
*Stefan Rothenburg, Ph.D., University of Hamburg, Germany
*Brett K. Sandercock, Ph.D., Queen’s University and Simon Fraser University
*Kathrin Schrick, Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle
Bruce Snyder, Ph.D., University of Georgia
*Brian S. Spooner, Ph.D., Temple University
Loubna Tazi, Ph.D., Montpellier II University
*Michael Tobler, Dr. Sci. Nat., University of Zurich
*Mark Ungerer, Ph.D., Indiana University
*Govindsamy Vediyappan, Ph.D., University of Madras, India
*Michael Veeman, Ph.D., University of Washington
*Nicholas Wallace, Ph.D., Tulane University Health Science Center
*Ruth Welti, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
*Kimberly A. With, Ph.D., Colorado State University
*Zhilong Yang, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lydia Zeglin, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
*Anna Zinovyeva, Ph.D., Indiana University

*Denotes graduate faculty that are certified to serve as the major professor for doctoral students.

Graduate Faculty Associate:

Richard Lanctot, Ph.D., Carleton University
David Propst, Biology, Ph.D., Colorado State University
Mindy Rice, Ph.D., Texas Tech University

Program overview

The Division of Biology offers a master of science degree in biology, and doctor of philosophy degrees in Biology and Microbiology. The graduate faculty members are committed to a vigorous research and instructional program.

Biology and Microbiology are very broad disciplines, so the faculty members in the Division of Biology are also affiliated with one or more areas of interest (sections) to encourage faculty members to interact with others, and to develop and sustain curricular initiatives in more specific research areas. These sections are:

Genetics, cell, and developmental biology
Asano, D. Boyle, Brown, Clem, Denell, Herman, Lee, McDonald, Michel, Montelone, Morgan, Olson, Passarelli, Rintoul, Roelofs, Schrick, Spooner, Ungerer, Vediyappan, Veeman, Wallace, Welti, Yang, Zinovyeva

Microbiology and immunology
Chapes, Dodds, Fleming, Govind, Jumpponen, Platt, Rothenburg, Vediyappan, Yang

Ecology and evolutionary biology
Blair, WA Boyle, Briggs, Dodds, Ferguson, Gido, Hartnett, Haukos, Horne, Joern, Johnson, Jumpponen, Kaufman, Mather, Mayfield, Morgan, Nippert, Platt, Sandercock, Tobler, Ungerer, With, Zeglin

For more detailed information on faculty research interests, see http://www.k-state.edu/biology/people/tenure/index.html.


Biology and Microbiology are broad and innovative disciplines, and our graduate program reflects both of these characteristics. Our faculty members are research scientists with a breadth and depth of research expertise, and they apply that expertise in their roles as graduate mentors.  The graduate faculty members of the Division of Biology strongly believe that independent research is the preeminent feature of our graduate programs. Research expertise represented within the Division of Biology ranges from studies of cell development and cell signaling, to the influence of grazers and fire with plant and animal communities on the tallgrass prairie. Graduate opportunities are available in all areas of biology, including molecular, cellular and developmental biology; community, ecosystem and landscape ecology; wildlife biology; cancer biology; microbiology; virology; immunology; parasitology; and genetics.

In partnership with a major professor and a supervisory committee, each graduate student develops an individualized program of study, consisting of course work and laboratory or field research. Each program of study is tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual student. Unlike more formal curricula with rigid requirements, our flexible approach allows students to pursue their professional goals more efficiently and more effectively. All beginning graduate students are required to take BIOL 863 (Professional Skills in Biology), where they learn about grant-writing, presentation skills, research ethics, effective instructional techniques, and other skills that will be useful to them throughout their careers as professional scientists. This course is the only required course; all other courses are chosen in consultation with the advisory committee. A minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required to earn a master of science degree; a minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required to earn a doctoral degree. In addition, we require that each student write a thesis or dissertation based on their original research; this work should be of sufficient quality and importance to merit publication in a refereed journal. For additional details regarding responsibilities and expectations for our graduate students, see http://www.ksu.edu/biology/grad/responsibilities.html.


Graduate research and education takes place primarily in four on-campus sites–Ackert Hall, Bushnell Hall, Chalmers Hall, and Leasure Hall–as well as at the off-campus site of the Konza Prairie Biological Station.

Ackert Hall

Ackert Hall is the main biology facility, containing 130,000 square feet of research and instructional space. Ackert Hall provides modern, well-equipped laboratories for teaching and research, and, contains the Division offices, a rooftop greenhouse, an electronics shop, a research supply storeroom, and animal care facilities. Equipment available for research includes ultracentrifuges, growth chambers, a research microscope facility (with confocal and transmission electron microscope plus image processing capabilities), mass spectroscopy facilities, and many other research and support equipment items that are required for a modern biology research program. Research labs overseen by faculty members in all three of our sections (see above) can be found in Ackert Hall.

Bushnell Hall

Graduate faculty members with an interest in ecological studies have offices and laboratory space in Bushnell Hall. Included in this building are the herbarium, environmental chambers, dark rooms, analytical laboratories, and tanks for fish culture ranging from 100- to 2,000-liter capacity. Extensive computing and imaging facilities support the climatologic and remote sensing activities.

Chalmers Hall

Chalmers Hall was completed in November 2002 and is adjacent to Ackert Hall. This modern facility houses ten Division of Biology faculty and research programs in 12,300 square feet on the second floor of the building. Faculty members with laboratories in Chalmers Hall have research interests in developmental biology, immunology, virology, bioinformatics, ecological genomics, and vector biology.

Leasure Hall

Leasure Hall houses the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. This unit is a partnership of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Kansas State University, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and the Wildlife Management Institute. Two U.S. Department of the Interior employees, with appointments as Division of Biology adjunct graduate faculty members, oversee fisheries and wildlife research programs as part of their duties in the Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Konza Prairie Biological Station

The Konza Prairie Biological Station is located only a few miles south of the main KSU campus, allowing for ease of access for faculty members and graduate students working there. This station contains approximately 8,616 acres of native tall grass prairie, and has been set aside by the Nature Conservancy as a unique outdoor laboratory for long-term research. This land was purchased with funds provided by Katharine Ordway, and leased to the Division of Biology by the Nature Conservancy. Experimental manipulations of the landscape, involving grazing and/or burning, allow researchers to focus on patterns and processes which might be important in maintenance of the tall grass prairie ecosystem.

Research strengths

The graduate faculty members of the Division of Biology have a proven track record in scientific achievement, and they continue to excel in competition for extramural research funding. Our research programs are funded by the state of Kansas, via support from the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and Kansas Wildlife and Parks, and by direct grants to our faculty members from a diverse group of agencies and foundations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior, the Department of Energy, DOD, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, as well as others. Areas of particular research strength, which provide collaborative research opportunities for our graduate students, include:

Long-Term Ecological Research

The National Science Foundation has supported Division of Biology research activities on the Konza Prairie continuously since 1980. This long-term approach is designed to investigate gradual and subtle changes in microbe, plant and animal diversity and numbers on the tall grass prairie, the impact of human activities on ecosystem productivity, and changes in ecological processes caused by burning and/or grazing.

Kansas Lipidomics Research Center

The Kansas Lipidomics Research Center is a collaborative venture of scientists in the Division of Biology, in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and at the University of Kansas. The Center performs comprehensive, quantitative profiling of lipid molecular species with high sample throughput, using mass spectrometry and other innovative technologies. Diversity and concentrations of lipid metabolites in genomically altered and physiologically manipulated organisms are investigated in order to identify the functions of genes that encode proteins involved in lipid metabolism. The Center is also dedicated to improving lipid analytical technologies, to promoting collaborative research among lipid scientists, and to providing training opportunities for post doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students. More information is available at http://www.k-state.edu/lipid/lipidomics/.

Ecological Genomics

The Ecological Genomics initiative is an interdisciplinary research enterprise, aimed at exploring the genetic bases for organismal responses to the environment. Students involved in the program engage in a truly multidisciplinary program, working with faculty members in ecology and molecular biology/genetics. These research efforts employ functional genomic techniques to probe the interface between ecology and genetics. More information about the Kansas Ecological Genomics collaborative research groups can be found at http://www.ksu.edu/ecogen/.

Other multi-investigator research initiatives

Information about many other exciting collaborative research efforts can be found at http://www.k-state.edu/biology/interdisciplinary/index.html.

Admission and financial support

For detailed information on admission and financial support, see http://www.k-state.edu/biology/grad/index.html.


Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Science

Dual Degree