Department of Biological Sciences Faculty
Ph.D., 2000, Biological Sciences, Florida State University
Junior Pre-Health advisor
Office: SMB 139 / Phone: 919.760.8187 / email
Karthik Aghoram's current research is in three distinct areas: (a) elucidation of an osmosis-responsive signaling pathway.
Undergraduate Research: (a) Students are using molecular genetics to study the role of a lipid-transfer protein during osmotic shock. Students are also using site-directed mutagenesis approaches to elucidate the mechanism of activation of an osmosis-activated protein kinase (b) analysis of gene-expression profiles in freshwater invertebrates exposed to pharmaceuticals. Students are collaborating with Dr. Cuffney's research group to identify Corbicula genes that encode proteins involved in drug resistance and metabolism. (c) comparative analyses of antioxidants of organically and conventionally grown vegetables.
Ph.D., 2002, Microbiology, NC State University
Faculty advisor for Beta Beta Beta (Biology Honors Society)
Office: SMB 138 / Phone 919.760.8891 / email
Undergraduate Research: Students will gain experience in various microbiological, biochemical and molecular techniques in the lab. Projects include:
1) Monitoring water quality for coliform counts and antibiotic resistance
2) Developing strategies to maintain and improve Sacchromyces cerevisae is the production of commercial beverages
3) Genetically manipulate bacteria for maximal production of various commercial endproducts.
Professor & Head of Department
Ph.D., 1987, Entomology, University of Georgia
Chief Pre-Health Advisor
Office: SMB 103 / Phone: 919.760.2879 / email
Francie Cuffney's research interests lie in the area of aquatic invertebrate ecology.
Undergraduate Research: Currently students are working on projects associated with Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCP's) in surface waters and their affects on the freshwater clam Corbicula. An assortment of PPCP's have been found in surface waters across the United States, though little is known of their affects on the aquatic community. Projects include both in lab work on toxicity and as well as field projects on clam distribution and populations in different streams in Wake county.
Ph.D., 1984, Entomology, North Carolina State University
Office: SMB 104 / Phone: 919.760.8437 / email
Larry Grimes came to Meredith College in 1981 and is a presently a Professor of Biological Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Entomology from North Carolina State University. His B.S and M.S. degrees are in Zoology. Overall, his areas of specialization include parasitology, invertebrate zoology, entomology and electron microscopy. The courses that he is responsible for include Animal Biology, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Medical Parasitology, Histology and Scanning Electron Microscopy, Light Microscopy. He is the recipient of two Faculty Development Awards.
Undergraduate Research: Dr. Grimes' research interests concern the behavioral ecology of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, Aedes albopictus. This mosquito serves as an excellent laboratory model for undergraduate research on both larval and adult behavior.
Erin Stewart Lindquist
Ph.D., 2003, Ecology, University of Georgia
Faculty Advisor for Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD)
Office: SMB 142 / Phone: 919.760.8754 / email
Dr. Lindquist coordinates the new Environmental Sustainability major and minor at Meredith College. She teaches introductory biology courses for non-majors, and several courses for biology and environmental sustainability majors including plant biology, environmental science, and terrestrial field studies. She also leads a summer study abroad course, Tropical Ecosystems, in Costa Rica for Meredith students in the odd years. Her research focuses on forest ecology and conservation (http://www.meredith.edu/abroad/CostaRica.htm). She has maintained a long term tropical forest regeneration study in Costa Rica and coauthored a bilingual plant taxonomy book of the trees of her study area with two undergraduate students (https://www.securesitecr.com/editorialInbiocarritoLibreria/detalleproduct_ing.php?id=36). Lindquist has also collaborated with various international colleagues to study the role of land crabs in tropical ecosystems. In Raleigh she and her students study the ecology of an urban, fragmented forest on the campus. Prior to starting at Meredith College in August 2006, Lindquist was a Resident Professor at the Organization for Tropical Studies (Duke University) teaching tropical biology field courses in Costa Rica.
Undergraduate Research: Dr. Lindquist likes to be actively engaged in research with her students, and has long-term forest plots in Costa Rica and on the Meredith campus. She and her research students maintain a 1-hectare permanent study plot in the Meredith Forest where they study the dynamics of vegetation, herbivores, and small mammals. Dr. Lindquist is co-PI on a national research network called Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN; www.erenweb.org). EREN is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and supports ecological research efforts by faculty and students at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs). As part of EREN, Dr. Lindquist is lead scientist on the Urban Plots by Undergraduate Students (UP by US) project which investigates how urbanization impacts ecological processes in forest plots around the country. Dr. Lindquist also coordinates a mentored research experience for Meredith students at Duke University which is funded by the Jessie Ball duPont Foundation. Students are mentored by postdoctoral research associates at Duke (http://www.postdoc.duke.edu/mentor_program.html).
Ph.D., 2005, Pharmacology, Georgetown University
Office: SMB 173 / Phone: 919.760.8754 / email
Andrea Marritt's research interest is based on her biomedical science background. Her work on the retina led to characterizing the neuronal nicotinic receptor subtypes in the rat retina and their transport down the optic nerve. Her interests in the biomedical sciences led her to teaching, in which she enjoys working with all aspects of biology.
Ph.D., 1972, Zoology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Office: SMB 141 / Phone: 919.760.8007 / email
John Mecham's research is the study of tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis, and comparative physiology. Dr. Mecham enjoys playing tennis and is a seasoned photographer.
Undergraduate Research: He has recently sponsored undergraduate research on topics such "Quantification of T cells and T cell subsets during the course of murine Schistosoma mansoni infection"; "The effects of the herbal drug BL7 on CD4+ cell production in mice", "Pulsed vocalizations in cats", and "What is the shape of a snail?" He recently began a project with a team in Kenya to the study of the efficacy of the herbal drug Sungaprot in women who are living with HIV/AIDS.
Ph.D., 1971, Botany and Genetics, North Carolina State University
Office: SMB 131 / Phone: 919.760.8409 / email
Undergraduate Research: I am currently working with plant tissue culture of C- Fern and with fertilization and embryogenesis in Siamese Fighting fish. Specifically:
1) studying in vitro salt tolerance in a salt tolerant variety and two non-salt-tolerant varieties of C-Fern,
2) using freshly fertilized Betta eggs as a system for studying effects of environmental toxigens, and
3) DNA extraction and DNA comparison between Betta splendens and Pla Kat Bettas.
Professor and Vice President for Academic Planning and Programs
Ph.D., 1992, Microbiology, North Carolina State University
Office: SMB 178 / Phone: 919.760.2279 / email
Elizabeth Wolfinger received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from North Carolina State University in 1992. Her research interests include the molecular biology of toxin-producing freshwater cyanobacteria. She is actively engaged with K-12 teachers and students through classroom visits, after school science programs, summer science camps and as a NC Governor's School Guest Lecturer and Instructor. She has led six North Carolina Biotechnology Center-sponsored workshops since 1997. She is a member of the Project Kaleidoscope Faculty for the 21st Century, the National Association of Biology Teachers and the American Society for Microbiology.
Undergraduate Research: Working with undergraduate students and Dr. Linda Ehrlich, president of Spirogyra Diversified, she has been investigating the presence of microcystin-LR in Falls Lake raw and finished water and in other local lakes and ponds.
M.S. Ed., 1990, Chemistry, Northern Illinois University
Office: SMB 113 / Phone: 919.760.8641 / email
Sandy Katsahnias serves Meredith as both lab manager and Laboratory Instructor. As Lab Manager, she recruits, trains and supervises Student Assistants, oversees maintenance of the department's equipment and is responsible for lab preparation. In her role as a lab instructor, she teaches lab sections of General Biology and Microbiology. In addition, she is currently involved in the Methods class for licensure in Secondary Education. At present she serves on the Meredith Safety Committee. Personal interests include reading, gardening and snow skiing.
Janice Coffey Swab
Ph.D., 1966, Biology, University of South Carolina
Office: SMB 149 / Phone: 919.760.8413 / email
Janice Swab's interests are in plant studies and travel for plant study and teaching. Local students have carried out a number of studies on the Meredith campus to give the Meredith community information to increase awareness and appreciation of campus plantings. These include producing an illustrated campus Tree Tour; identifying and mapping campus plants with an emphasis on identifying those that have been designated as commemorative and memorial plants; studying invasive species leading to a campus management plan; and soil studies leading to better planting decisions.
M.S., North Carolina State University
Office: SMB 149 / Phone: 919.760.8413 / email
Wallace Crumpler is an instructor of Principles of Biology laboratory. He comes to us from the Department of Zoology at North Carolina State University.
Office: 149/ Phone: 919.760.8413/ email
Javier Rivera Guzman, Ph.D.
Office: 149/ Phone: 919.760.8413/ email
Gwen Williams, Ph.D.
Office: 149/ Phone: 919.760.8413/email
Office: SMB 105 / Phone: 919.760.8637 / email