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Academics > College of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Health > Department of Biology

Department of Biology

The Biology Department offers four degree tracks to choose from ...

(1) the Bachelor of Science in Biology - Pre-Professional. The pre-professional major is designed for students planning on going to medical school, dental school, veterinary school, or pursuing a career in another health related area and for students interested in graduate school or other pre-professional programs.

(2) the Bachelor of Science in Biology - Liberal Arts. The liberal arts major is designed for students who are interested in graduate school or employment directly after graduation. Students successfully completing the program will be prepared for graduate studies in wide range of disciplines, including environmental science, molecular biology and genetics, and forensic science, or employment as a research technician.

(3) the Bachelor of Science in Biology - Pre-Physical Therapy. The pre-physical therapy major is designed for students who plan to attend physical therapy or occupational therapy school after graduation.

minor field in biology is available for students who are majoring in other disciplines.

Program Goals

All students graduating from the Biology programs at Concord University are expected to meet the following objectives:

(1) Obtain broad content knowledge in biology

  • gain conceptual knowledge at the different levels of biological organization (molecular, cellular, organismal, ecological)
  • demonstrate a knowledge of form and function across taxa
  • be able to compare and contrast features of living organisms, acknowledging common origins and evolutionary differences
  • apply concepts of all STEM fields to the biological sciences

(2) Acquire the ability to interpret, conduct, and communicate scientific research

  • demonstrate an ability to search and understand the primary literature 
  • ability to investigate scientific question with appropriate experimental design
  • demonstrate a mastery of laboratory and field techniques 
  • ability to collect, analyze and interpret scientific data
  • to effectively communicate scientific information

(3) Obtain skills that prepare students for health professional school, graduate school, or a job in a STEM field after graduation

  • critically examine and apply evidence-based reasoning
  • demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills
  • demonstrate an understanding of ethical and professional standards in the field

 (4) Demonstrate commitment to community service and public health and well-being

  • demonstrate commitment to the community by engaging in activities from the following categories:
    • course related community service activities
    • student club and organization activities
    • community organization activities
    • professional shadowing

(5) Consistent with the liberal arts philosophy, students will understand the interrelationship between science and society

  • effectively communicate science to a general audience
  • articulate the relevance of biology to society
  • examine the ethical dimensions of biological issues
Research

Research projects are an integral component of many of the core and elective courses in biology.  Students who qualify are also provided the opportunity to conduct more in-depth, independent research projects with individual faculty.

Our students participate in the annual Concord University Undergraduate Research Day in the spring semester and the Pre-Professional / Science Research Day in late November every year.  Students construct professional posters or give short oral presentations at these events.  Some students get the opportunity to accompany faculty to professional conferences off campus.

 

Faculty Research Interests

Dr. David Chambers
My interests lie in the cell’s cytoskeleton, specifically actin. Actin forms the cortical structure of the cell, the fibrous matrix that supports and the membrane and gives shape to the cell. Ezrin, moesin and radixin (ERMs) are actin binding proteins that link the actin cytoskeleton to membrane proteins directly or through adapter proteins. When activated, Ezrin causes the formation of the actin rich membrane surface structures: microvilli. My current projects involve the examination of ERMs in creatures that contain only one homologue rather than all three ERMs. In these organisms we can better dissect the function of the ERMs without the problem of redundancy. I am also open to working with students on projects related to other topics in cell biology.

Dr. Thomas Ford
My students and I are examining the impacts of coal mining and urbanization on microbial communities in streams.  Bacteria and fungi are important components of stream communities because they are the first to break down leaves and other organic matter falling into the stream, releasing organic compounds that are consumed by other stream organisms, including aquatic insects and fish.  Coal mining introduces heavy metals and alters the pH of streams which may negatively impact the microbial community in streams and, therefore, may impair the break down organic matter.  Similarly, urbanization can alter the chemistry of streams because of the introduction of excess nitrogen and phosphorus.  In addition, urbanized watershed can have elevated levels of fecal coliforms, bacteria from mammalian digestive tracts.  These impairments can significantly alter microbial communities in streams.  Students working with me use a combination of field and molecular methods to measure the impact of these activities on microbial communities in southern WV.  I am also open to working with students on projects related to other topics in ecology and avian biology.

Click here for more information on Dr. Ford's research.

Our Staff

Chambers, David
David Chambers
Department Chair / Professor of Biology
304-384-5239
Creer, Douglas
Douglas Creer
Professor of Biology
304-384-5328
Ford, Thomas
Thomas Ford
Professor of Biology
304-384-5214
McKinley, Tonya
Tonya McKinley
Professor of Biology
304-384-5219
Wise, Darla
Darla Wise
Professor of Biology
304-384-5283
Contacts
Department of Biology
Dr. David Chambers

304-384-5239
 

Programs of Study

Undergraduate

Course Descriptions