FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES

(note: more current information and links available at the Bio Dept's research site)


Nancy E. Harris. Associate Professor of Biology and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

B.S.-University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Zoology; B.S.-North Carolina State University, Horticultural Science; Ph.D.-North Carolina State University, Plant Pathology
Office: ALA 107D; Phone: 278-6191; E-mail: harris@elon.edu


As you can see from my degrees, my academic training has been somewhat varied. What doesn't show up is the two plus years of medical school at UNC Chapel Hill which came in between my two undergraduate degrees. Some of us take rather circuitous paths in our lives as we try to find the most appropriate and satisfying niche! No time spent learning is a waste, I have discovered. The years in medical school have enabled me to have special insights into that career path and to help advise students who have an interest in pursuing medicine. I have also been able to teach courses such as human anatomy and physiology and human histology. Having spent approximately equal time studying animals and plants has enabled me to cross some boundaries in various classes and draw interesting connections.

I currently teach the following courses: general botany, plant physiology, science without borders, human histology, the field course in Belize and Elon 101. In past years, I have taught the following courses: general biology for nonmajors, global studies, intro cell biology for majors, senior seminar, symbiosis and others.

My doctoral research involved trying to characterize the nature of the resistance of specific peanut germplasm to a very virulent fungal root pathogen. The research primarily involved microanatomical studies. I guess for this reason I am fascinated by microanatomy and probably insert more of this than I should in my classes and labs! My current research interests relate primarily to plant physiological questions, which arise out of student projects. I have supervised several students in undergraduate research involving physiological questions such as effects of phytohormones on plant water loss and the nature of plastids in albino leaf tissue. I am very willing to work with students interested in questions related to plant function.

I have served the Biology Department as either a Co-Chair or as Chair. Currently, I am serving as the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. I maintain a close connection with the Biology Department and continue to teach 1 or 2 courses per year. I welcome students to come and talk to me about biology, courses, research, careers and other issues.

I live on a farm near Graham where my husband raises cattle when he is not practicing dentistry. The other members of our family include my 22-year-old daughter Wendy, six dogs, four cats and a tank of fish. My favorite things to do are reading, gardening, hunting for antiques, walking the track and spending time at the coast.


Kathy Gallucci, Associate Professor of Biology
B.S.-LeMoyne College, Biology; M.S.-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Marine Sciences; Doctoral studies-North Carolina State University, Science Education
Office: MCMI 224D; Phone: 278-6180; E-mail: gallucci@elon.edu


Before going on to graduate school, I taught high school biology in Syracuse, N.Y., and worked as a lab technician and phlebotomist in Syracuse and Huntsville, Ala., where I was briefly a veterinary technician as well. In 1977, we moved to Greensboro where I worked as a chemical analyst in a quality control laboratory at Pfizer Inc. When I went back to graduate school, I began to study algal-bacterial interactions in the algal blooms on the Chowan River, N.C. I continued this research until I came to Elon in 1984. Two papers have been published as a result of this research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Science.

I love to study small things, especially bacteria, algae, and fruit flies. At Elon, I have taught the introductory biology labs for both majors and nonmajors and have written manuals for Bio 102 and Bio 114. I was the lab coordinator for Bio 102 for 14 years and I am the Bio 101 coordinator since 1998. I coordinated the GlaxoSmithKline Women in Science Scholars program here at Elon from 2001 until 2004 and taught Women in Science (GST 388) in 2000 and the Global Experience for two academic years (2002-2004). My professional interests also include bioethics, the nature of science, and the evolution-creation controversy.

In 2001, I received the opportunity to study tropical plants at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii and learned how to incorporate them in my biology classes. Since then, I have assisted at the same course for biology professors and symposia sponsored by the Garden and have used tropical plant ideas in presentations for instructors at national meetings. More recently, I have become interested in the case study method of instruction and how it affects students' learning. I am currently working on my doctorate in science education, and I am focusing on the case study method in my dissertation.

Environmental issues are a personal passion of mine and I have drafted position statements and lobbied on behalf of a national environmental organization. I am a Girl Scout leader and also enjoy camping, travel, and theater. My artist-husband, Jim, has his own business in Greensboro where he fabricates large outdoor sculptures. We have two children, Mario and Madeline, who are also artists.


Michael B. Kingston, Professor of Biology
B.S.-Long Island University, Southampton, Marine Science; M.S.-University of California, Irvine, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Ph.D.-Duke University, Botany
Office: MCMI 124E; Phone: 278-6182; E-mail: kingston@elon.edu;
URL: http://www.elon.edu/kingston


I am one of the marine biologists. Although, my research interests focus on the evolutionary ecology of marine and freshwater algae, feel free to come by to talk about marine mammals, fishes, or any marine science topic that interests you. A special area of interest for me is photobiology--the interaction between light and living systems, which includes phototaxis, vision, and photosynthesis. My previous research projects include phytoplankton community dynamics in Lake Huron, the ecology and zonation of intertidal seaweeds in California, and the vertical migration rhythms of benthic microalgae living on coastal sand flats in North Carolina. My current research interests are focused on the benthic microalgae of Piedmont streams in the Burlington/Elon area. In addition to my own research interests, I have advised many students in research areas of their own choosing or projects related to my own research. Past student research projects included feeding behavior in fiddler crabs, visual perception of freshwater fishes, community metabolism of a small pond, vertical migration of pond phytoplankton, an assessment of Hurricane Fran damage to Cedarock Park, seasonal effects on human mortality, fish herbivory on tropical sea grasses, black band disease on Carribean corals, vertical migration of microalgae on southern Californian beaches, and slope inclination and aspect effects on tree fall during Hurricane Fran.

Recent courses I have taught include Ecology, Current Issues in Biology, Aquatic Biology, Introduction to Population Biology, Senior Seminar, and Environmental Issues in Southeast Asia. I am a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, the Ecological Society of America, the Phycological Society of America, the Association of Southeastern Biologists, the North Carolina Academy of Science, Sigma Xi, and Project Kaleidoscope's Faculty for the 21st Century.

I live in Elon with my wife Mona, who is also a marine biologist and adjunct professor in the department, our son Robert, our daughter Connie, and our 15 year old cat Felini. My interests include snorkeling, hiking, reading, and playing with my children.


Robert Vick, Associate Professor of Biology
B.A.-Wake Forest University; Ph.D.-Medical College of Virginia
Office: MCMI 220; Phone: 278-6205; E-mail: vickrs@elon.edu


I came to Elon University in 1995 with a wide background in physiology, anatomy, molecular biology, biochemistry, and neurochemistry. My doctoral research examined the specific proteolysis of the hormone prolactin and the effects the cleaved subunits had on various organs. Part of my postdoctoral work involved remyelination of the adult central nervous system, with emphasis on the role of the oligodendrocyte. Another part of my postdoctoral work involved examining gene changes in response to recurrent seizures, specifically in the hippocampus. I am currently interested in the role of glial cells in the central nervous system in both remyelination and seizure.

I teach Human Anatomy (BIO 161) and Human Physiology (BIO 162) almost every semester, and I teach Developmental Biology (BIO 316) every 4th semester. I teach in an interactive style, one that involves the student as an active learner. 

When I am not in my office, classroom, or laboratory, I can usually be found exercising, reading scientifically related material, or listening to my shortwave radio. Please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself.

Below is a representative list of publications:
1. Vick, RS, S-J Chen, and GH DeVries (1990) The isolation, characterization, and culture of adult rat oligodendrocytes. J Neurosci Res. 25(4):524-534.
2. Vick, RS, TJ Neuberger, and GH DeVries (1991) Role of adult oligodendrocytes in remyelination after neural injury. J Neurotrauma. 8(suppl 2):S93-S104.
3. Perlin, J, C Gerwin, DM Panchision, RS Vick, ER Jakoi, and RJ DeLorenzo (1993) Kindling produces long-lasting and selective changes in genetic
expressions of hippocampal neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA, 90(5): 1741- 1745.
4. Vick, RS, A Rafiq, DA Coulter, ER Jakoi, and RJ DeLorenzo (1996) GABAA 2 mRNA levels are decreased following induction of spontaneous epileptiform discharges in hippocampal-entorhinal cortical slices. Brain Research, 721: 111-119.


Janet MacFall, Coordinator of the Environmental Studies Program and Associate Professor of Biology
B.S.-Juniata College, Biology; M.S.-University of Maryland, Botany; Ph.D.- University of Wisconsin, Plant Pathology
Office: MCMI 124B; Phone: 278-6202; E-mail: macfall@elon.edu

I am the Coordinator of Environmental Studies at Elon University as well as being a member of the faculty of the Dept. of Biology. My career in science began with an interest in environmental science that was nurtured at a small college similar to Elon. I completed my master's degree studying interactions between cultivated and wild fungi. I then served as a faculty member for the University of Delaware, studying systems of induced resistance in plants, mechanisms plants develop for defense against disease. I then moved to the Midwest for my doctoral degree in plant pathology, although I worked on a topic more related to soil ecology. Nearly all plants have fungi growing on their roots, which help them in nutrient and water uptake, making them more competitive in nature. My research focused on these relationships from a physiological and an ecological perspective. I named a new species of mushroom which was symbiotic on pines, and studied their interactions. Following this work, I went to Duke University where I was appointed a Research Assistant Professor in both the School of the Environment and the Duke University Medical Center. I was fortunate to be able to continue study of soil ecology and plant/microbe interactions as well as to use magnetic resonance imaging, a state of the art medical technology, to study these relationships. At this time, however, I was also fortunate in having the opportunity to develop and teach two courses, Belowground Ecosystems and Applied Ecology. I found working with students to be a challenging and extremely rewarding experience, and I welcomed the opportunity to come to Elon. I also look forward to the opportunity to work with students and faculty in developing a new and exciting, multi-disciplinary program in Environmental studies.

My home life centers on my family and family activities. I live in Graham with my husband James, a health physicist on the faculty at Duke Univ., my two daughters Julia and Jaime, three cats and three horses. Most of our free time is spent riding, gardening, canoeing, hiking or playing sports. I have also been actively involved with the Girl Scouts for many years.

I teach Introduction to Environmental Science, Organismal Biology and Field Techniques, Introduction to Biology, General Botany, Geographical Information Systems, and Environmental Studies Senior Seminar although I would love to hear what other courses students would be interested in attending related to Environmental Studies. Although you are Biology majors, I invite you to explore the new options for students interested in the scientific aspects of Environmental Studies as well as the opportunities for a multi-disciplinary course of study.


Gregory J. Haenel, Professor of Biology
B.S. -Ohio University, Zoology; Ph.D. -University of Pennsylvania, Biology
Office: MCMI 124F; Phone 278-6283; E-mail: haenel@elon.edu

My lifelong interest in the outdoors is what eventually lead me to my career in the biological sciences. I teach population biology and evolutionary biology courses in the Biology Department and Introductory Environmental Science in the Environmental Studies Program. In my research, I enjoy both field and lab work and focus on questions that deal with animals in their natural environment. I have combined ecological field studies and molecular biology to address both ecological and evolutionary questions. For example, DNA fingerprinting techniques allow me to directly measure reproductive success of male lizards while they are living and behaving in their natural, undisturbed populations. I have used a treadmill to measure physiological performance (endurance) of lizards and then, with DNA fingerprinting, I measured reproductive success of these same individuals. This allowed me to address the question, “Does individual level variation in physiology have an evolutionary impact on populations?” I have also used DNA analyses to study geographic variation in the wide-ranging Tree Lizard. Students doing research with me have carried out research projects that range from isolating microsatellite DNA from lizards to paternity analyses of chimpanzees born in a mixed sex captive population.

I also enjoy hiking, camping, and exploring quiet lakes in my kayak. I have found the natural beauty and mild climate of North Carolina make it a wonderful place to live and study the environment. However, I am equally at home in the deserts where I did much of my dissertation research or the mountains of Montana where I love to escape to from time to time. 


Matthew W. Clark, Associate Professor of Biology
Pitt Community College, Diploma-Surgical Technology; B.S.- Johnson C. Smith University, Biology (General Science); M.S.-North Carolina State University, Physiology; Ph.D.- East Carolina University School of Medicine, Anatomy & Cell Biology
Office: MCMI 116; Phone:278-6265; Email: mclark@elon.edu

My academic training and service has covered a vast area of teaching, administration, and research endeavors, between the States of North Carolina and Florida. I have taught basic science courses to medical, allied health, and other science students. Currently, I am teaching Human Gross Anatomy (BIO 161). My plans in the future are to establish and teach other human based courses for Elon University.

I have been actively involved in outreach recruiting and career planning for customers pursuing education through college and university systems. This training has assisted community leaders and I with skills that led to developing various community-based learning and enrichment programs for various counties in North Carolina. My research interest in this area is to establish service oriented and funded opportunities, that will help open doors for under served but gifted and talent customers interested in pursing higher education. As a minister, I am also continuing my training in the areas of counseling and spiritual guidance.

My scientific research background and interest covers the areas of musculo-skeletal dysfunctions (low back pain), forensic medical science (parasitology/entomology), prostate and breast oncology (epidemiology/molecular biology), sickle cell anemia (epidemiology/molecular biology), and neuroendocrinology (prolactin hormone regulation), respectively.

  • Research and Campus Coordinator, National Institute of Health Bridges Grant-Biomedical/Biotechnology
  • Health Science Coordinator/Instr., Science Department, Roanoke-Chowan Community College, Union, NC.
  • 1998: Adjunct Professor Biochemistry, Continuing Studies, East Carolina
  • University (ECU), Greenville, NC
  • 1998: Outreach Specialist, Student Development Department, Pitt Community College, Greenville, NC.
  • 1994-1997: Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy Department, Florida A&M University,Tallahassee, Florida
  • 1992-1994: Science Instructor, Science Department, Pitt Community College Greenville, NC.
  • 1991-1992: Science-Computer Coordinator, Cornerstone, Free Will Baptist Church, Greenville, NC
  • 1990-1992: Teaching Assistant, Center for Student Opportunities, School of Medicine, ECU, Greenville, NC.
  • 1985-1986: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Biology Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Linda M. Niedziela, Associate Professor of Biology
B.S. University of Pittsburgh – Biology; Ph.D. – West Virginia University – Genetics
Office: MCMI 224A; Phone 278-6236; E-mail: lniedziela@elon.edu

I came to Elon University in 2001 with a variety of academic and research experiences. My main research interests are in the areas of genetic and molecular toxicology. The study of the changes in the DNA and gene expression that occur in response to occupational and environmental contaminants has been at the center of my research. I am especially interested in organisms with unique mechanisms of toxic response. I began my career as a research scientist but decided I liked the variety and student interactions found in academia. During my time as a teacher/researcher I have been very involved in the development of courses and programs related to biotechnology. These efforts have always had a significant component of student research in the classroom and out. I plan to continue this approach. I would like to get Elon students involved in some of the following projects: refinement of a brine shrimp toxicity model to evaluate the toxic potential of chemicals or water sources, basic molecular studies of the developmental and toxic response processes in brine shrimp, evaluation of the anti-microbial and toxic effects of ozone, and comparisons of molecular diversity in microbial populations.

Courses I teach include Introductory Cell Biology (BIO 111/113), Genetics (BIO 345) and Biotechnology (BIO 348) as well as nonmajors biology. I strive to conduct interactive classes centered on problem solving.

I think because all my research is done in the laboratory, I spend a lot of time outdoors in my free time. I enjoy camping, bird watching and live out in the country with my husband, Carl; and two dogs, Pepper and Sparky. My husband and I enjoy social dancing; including shag, polka, and square dancing. My creative side comes out in my woodworking shop, where I enjoy furniture making and power tools.


Brant W. Touchette, Professor of Biology
B.A.-University of Delaware, Biology; M.S.- Nova Southeastern University, Marine Biology; Ph.D.- North Carolina State University, Botany
Office: MCMI 124A; Phone: 278-6185; E-mail: btouchette@elon.edu

My interest in aquatic biology began early in life -- growing up along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland. I enjoyed the beauty of the Bay and all the life that resided within it. At the same time, I was saddened by the ever-increasing pollution that entered these waters and threatened this delicate ecosystem. This early indoctrination in aquatic ecology has remained with me today, as I continue to conduct research on the eco-physiology of aquatic plants. The primary goal of my research is to understand how plants have adapted to aquatic environments. Aquatic plants live in environments that would be considered biologically stressful, and these plants must contend with the stresses directly -- limited only to adjustments in their morphology and physiology. Over the past ten years, I have used freshwater and marine macrophytes as models of plants living in stressful habitats. In comparison to terrestrial plants, submersed marine plants, must contend with high salinity, oxygen depleted sediments, periodic increases in light-attenuating particles/epiphytes, and often growth limiting supplies of nutrients and inorganic carbon. My research on seagrass addresses questions concerning modifications in physiology that allow them to survive in marine shallow-water habitats. The physiology of seagrasses are particularly interesting because they have evolved from land predecessors that returned to the sea approximately 100 million years ago. Therefore, they retain numerous physiological processes that are typical of terrestrial plants, however they also have made a number of unique adjustments in order to survive submerged in seawater.

On a more personal note, when not involved in biological issues, I enjoy outdoor recreational activities, especially sports such as soccer. When the weather is not amenable for playing outdoors, I enjoy woodworking and refinishing antique furniture.

Selected Publications:

  • Touchette, B.W., and J.M. Burkholder (2001) Nitrate reductase activity in a submersed marine angiosperm: controlling influences of environmental and physiological factors. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 39: 583-593.
  • Touchette, B.W., and J.M. Burkholder (2000) Review of nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism in seagrasses. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 250: 133-167.
  • Mallin, M.A., J.M. Burkholder, M.R. Mclver, G.C. Shank, H.B. Glasgow, Jr., B.W. Touchette, and J. Springer (1997) Comparative effects of poultry and swine waste lagoon spills on the quality of receiving streamwaters. J. Environ. Qual. 26: 1622-1631.
  • Touchette, B.W., C.M. Featherstone, and B.J. Baca. (1996) The response of a south Florida mangrove wetland to petroleum-hydrocarbon contamination: a comparison of three mangrove species. In Southern Forested Wetlands Ecology and Management. K.M. Flynn (Ed.) Clemson University Press, Clemson SC. p. 223-227.

Jeffrey S. Coker, Associate Professor of Biology

B.S.-Davidson College, Biology; M.Ed.-North Carolina State University, Science Education; Ph.D.-North Carolina State University, Botany
Office: MCMI 224-C; Phone: 278-6206;
E-mail: jcoker@elon.edu ;
URL: http://www.elon.edu/facstaff/jcoker/

I joined the faculty at Elon University in 2004 and teach Biology 101/102, The Global Experience, and Science Without Borders. My research includes both educational and biological projects.

The year after graduating from college, I decided to "do something else for a year" before entering medical school and took a job teaching high school biology, chemistry, and calculus. During this year, I discovered my passion for teaching, decided against medical school, and opted for an academic life instead. In graduate school, I became deeply involved in both biological and educational research, and completed graduate degrees in both fields.  

My publications have spanned a wide range of topics including the ecology of eastern red cedars, gene expression of V-ATPases in tomato plants, responses of plants to fire damage, development of methods for analyzing DNA sequences, and assessment of undergraduate research experiences. My professional activities include being Chair of the Science Education Committee of the N.C. Academy of Science and Associate Editor for the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education.

My odd assortment of life experiences include working on a hog farm, waiting tables at Shoney’s, working in an operating room, playing college baseball, studying classical art and architecture in Europe and Eurasia, publishing a couple dozen poems, and sky diving. Life is too short not to make it interesting. My wife Beth and I enjoy writing, traveling, gardening, contemplating art, watching movies, running, scuba diving, and playing with our cats. Beth recently left her chemical engineering career to become an 8th grade science teacher at Western Middle School.

Selected Publications:

  • Coker, J.S. and Davies, E. 2004. Identifying adaptor contamination when mining DNA sequence data. Biotechniques 37: 194-198.
  • Coker, J.S. and Van Dyke, C.G. 2004. Evaluation of teaching and research experiences undertaken by botany majors at N.C. State University. NACTA Journal. In press.
  • Coker, J.S. and Davies, E.   2003. Selection of candidate housekeeping controls in tomato plants using EST data. Biotechniques 35: 740-748.
  • Coker, J.S., Jones, D., and Davies, E. 2003. Identification, conservation, and relative expression of V-ATPase cDNAs in tomato plants. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 21:145-158.  
  • Coker, J.S. and Davies, E. 2002. Involvement of plant biologists in undergraduate and high school student research. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Science Education 31: 44-47.

Yuko J. Miyamoto, Associate Professor of Biology
B.S. - University of California at Santa Barbara, Pharmacology; Ph.D. - University of Texas at Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Immunology.
Office: MCMI 124D; Phone 278-6201;
E-mail: ymiyamoto@elon.edu


I joined the Biology department after my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall of 2005. Although the majority of my training has been in research, I love teaching and interacting with students. The courses that I will be teaching include biology for nonmajors (BIO101), introductory cell biology (BIO111/113), and sophomore seminar (BIO261).

My interest in science began after taking a pharmacology laboratory course at UC Santa Barbara. I was very excited by answering questions using methods and techniques I learned in the pharmacology lab. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, I worked at pharmaceutical companies, went to graduate school in Houston, Texas, to investigate how T lymphocytes are activated by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, and then moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., to conduct research on how cells move and communicate. I utilized chemical nucleotides called small interfering RNAs (siRNA) to decrease selected proteins important for cell motility. After introducing the specific siRNA into cells, I analyzed how decreased protein expression of the targeted cytoskeletal proteins had on cell shape and on the MAPK signaling pathway that is important for cell proliferation. I hope to develop research projects that Elon students can be involved in and become excited about.

In addition to teaching senior adults, undergraduates, and graduate students, I enjoy interacting with elementary school children. I have been involved with various outreach programs to introduce science to elementary school kids since graduate school. During my time at UNC, I helped establish a community outreach program, "Science for Kids," with the UNC Postdoctoral Association. The "Science for Kids" program helps to introduce or teach science to elementary school children in a 'hands-on' and fun environment. I hope to continue to reach out to a wide range of students.

I live in Pittsboro with my husband, Drew, who is studying protein dynamics using NMR. We love being at the beach, traveling, watching independent films, listening to music, and playing golf. My favorite pastimes are people-watching and seeking out great restaurants and good food! I hope to someday learn how to speak Spanish and travel around South America.


David B. Vandermast, Associate Professor of Biology.
B.B.A. Ohio University, Finance; B.S. Clemson University, Forest Resources; M.S. Clemson University, Forestry; Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Biology.
Office: 124-C MCMI; Phone: 278-6171;
E-mail: dvandermast@elon.edu


I began teaching at Elon in 2004 while completing my Ph.D. in Biology at UNC Chapel Hill. I have taught ENS 111, ENS 113, BIO 101, BIO 112, BIO 114 and BIO 215 and 215L. Elon has been my first full-time teaching responsibility but while at UNC I taught Biology labs and Supplemental Instruction, winning two student-nominated teaching awards.

After spending eight years in banking, I left to pursue an education in natural resources and ecology when I realized that I was spending too much time looking out the window wishing I was anywhere but in my office. I obtained a second bachelor's degree in Forest Resources from Clemson University, after which I stayed at Clemson to earn an M.S. researching the ecological role of American chestnut in southern Appalachian riparian forests. At UNC I continued to focus on montaine forests by examining long-term successional patterns in the high-elevation forests of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Thus, having spent the past eight summers tramping up mountain slopes, getting rained on, and yelling at bears, I don't regret leaving banking for one moment! Professional organizations of which I am a member include Sigma Xi, the Ecological Society of America, Natural Areas Association, Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, and the Association of Southeastern Biologists.

I live in Chapel Hill with my wife Melanie (a Montessori teacher), and two children: a 9 year-old son and an 11-going-on-15 year-old daughter. We have two permanent pets - a dog and cat - but often temporarily host fish, turtles, snakes, lizards, and other animals we catch in our yard. We enjoy hiking, camping, tubing, river rafting, and geocaching.

Selected publications:

  • Vandermast, D.B. 2004. Seeing the forest for the trees. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Resource Management Newsletter 232, September 21, 2004.
  • Cleland E.E., M.D. Smith, S.J. Andelman, C. Bowles, K. Carney, M.C. Horner-Devine, J. Drake, S. Emery, J. Gramling, D.B. Vandermast. 2004. Invasion in space and time: nonnative species richness and relative abundance respond to interannual variation in productivity and diversity. Ecology Letters 7:947-957.
  • Vandermast, D.B., C.E. Moorman, K.R. Russell, D.H. Van Lear. 2004. Initial vegetative response to prescribed fire in some oak-hickory forests of the South Carolina Piedmont. Natural Areas Journal 24(3):216-222.
  • Van Lear, D.H.; Vandermast, D.B.; Rivers, C.T.; Baker, T.T.; Hedman, C.W.; Clinton, D.B.; Waldrop, T.A. 2002. American Chestnut, Rhododendron, and the Future Of Appalachian Cove Forests Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. Pp. 214-220.
  • Vandermast, D.B., D.H. Van Lear, and B.D. Clinton. 2002. American chestnut as an allelopath in the southern Appalachians. Forest Ecology and Management 165 (1-3): 173-181.
  • Vandermast, D.B. and D.H. Van Lear. 2002. Riparian vegetation in the Southern Appalachian Mountains (USA) following chestnut blight. Forest Ecology and Management 155(1): 97-106.
  • Vandermast, D.B., Van Lear, D. H. 1999. Vegetative composition of riparian forest once dominated by American chestnut. General Technical Report SRS-30. Asheville, N.C.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 1999.
  • Parke, R. and D.B. Vandermast. 1999. American chestnut: The continuing story. Wild Earth 9(2): 23-27.
  • Vandermast, D.B. 1999. Antipredator behavior of Elaphe obsoleta. Herpetological Review 30(3): 169.

Dave Gammon, Associate Professor of Biology

B.S. –Brigham Young University; Ph.D. –Colorado State University
Office: MCMI 124D; Phone: 278-6188;

E-mail: dgammon@elon.edu

I grew up in Utah next to the mountains and used to lead the other neighborhood kids on expeditions to explore the wilderness. As I grew older, these expeditions increased in their geographic extent and intensity; I chose biology as a career so that I could continue to study the wonders of life. I also enjoy thinking about the interface between science and society, between science and religion, and applying ideas from animal behavior to humans. Here at Elon I teach nonmajors biology (Bio 101 and Bio 102), Science without borders (Sci 121), Global studies (GST 110) and Animal Behavior (Bio 374).

My research interests are primarily in bioacoustics (the study of the sounds of animals) and animal behavior. Most of my research takes an evolutionary focus and involves working with birds in the field. I am interested in starting up several similar projects with Elon undergraduates, so if you are interested in chasing and recording animals, or manipulating and playing back sounds to them, please contact me. I have a lot of research ideas, but I am also open to suggestions from motivated students.

When I am not teaching or doing science, I enjoy spending time with my wife, exercising, reading, traveling, and serving in my church.

Selected Publications:

  • Gammon, D.E. and B.A. Maurer. 2002. Evidence for non-uniform dispersal in the biological invasions of two naturalised North American bird species. Global Ecology and Biogeography 11:155-161.
  • Logue, D.M. and D.E. Gammon. 2004. Duet song and sex roles during territory defense in the black-bellied wren, Thryothorus fasciatoventris. Animal Behaviour 68:721-731.
  • Gammon, D.E. 2004. Black-capped Chickadee Dawn Chorus and Subsequent Sexual Activity. Wilson Bulletin 116:252-256.
  • Logue, D.M, D.E. Gammon and M.C. Baker. 2005. Minidisc recorders versus audiocassette recorders: a performance comparison. Bioacoustics 15:15-33.
  • Gammon, D.E. 2007. How post-dispersal social environment may influence acoustic variation in birdsong. In K. Otter, ed. Ecology and Behavior of Chickadees and Titmice: An Integrated Approach, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Antonio Izzo, Associate Professor of Biology
    B.A. – University of Vermont, M.A. – University of Northern Colorado, Ph.D.- University of California at Berkeley
Office: MCMI 124G; Phone 278-6025; E-mail: aizzo@elon.edu

Perhaps because both of my parents were teachers, teaching has always been an important part of my life. I originally enrolled at University of Northern Colorado to get trained for high school science teaching, however, after teaching as a graduate instructor and supplemental instructor for various biology courses I found the collegiate level to be a better fit for my teaching style. At the University of California I continued teaching as a graduate instructor, however also began to work closely with undergraduate students on research projects.
My research background has covered a number of different topics. For my Master’s thesis I studied the evolutionary relationships of a group of fungal-like protists called the stramenopiles by DNA sequence analysis. For my dissertation work, I studied various microbial ecology questions related to spatiotemporal community dynamics, mammal-mediated dispersal of truffle fungi, and disturbance response of ectomycorrhizae in the Sierra Nevada. More recently, at the USDA Tree Fruit Lab in Washington I studied fungal community dynamics in the soil and rhizosphere and trying to relate that to plant health. In between degrees I worked in a biotech lab synthesizing DNA, and in a molecular microbiology lab studying gene regulation in the bacterium that causes Whooping Cough.
When not teaching or doing research, I’ve always tried to keep up a diversity of interests including learning folk-blues guitar, being a DJ during my undergraduate years, gardening, or playing on club ultimate frisbee teams. My wife is a physical therapist and these days we spend most of our free time playing sports or reading books with our two boys.

Selected Publications:
Izzo, A.D., Nguyen, D.T., and T.D. Bruns. 2006. Spatial structure and richness of the
resistant propagule community of ectomycorrhizal fungi colonizating hosts with
differing seedling establishment patterns. Mycologia 98(3)

Izzo, A.D., Canright, M. and T.D. Bruns. 2006. The effects of heat treatments on
ectomycorrhizal resistant propagules and their ability to colonize bioassay
seedlings. Mycological Research 110(2):196-202

Izzo, A.D., Agbowo, J., and T.D. Bruns. 2005. Detection of plot-level changes in
ectomycorrhizal communities across years in an old-growth mixed-conifer forest.
New Phytologist 166:619-630

Izzo, A.D., Meyer, M., North, M., Trappe, J.M., and T.D. Bruns. 2005. Ectomycorrhizal
hypogeous fungi on roots and in the small mammal diet in a mixed-conifer forest.
Forest Science 51(3):243-254


Mike Terribilini, Assistant Professor


Jen Uno, Assistant Professor