Faculty and Staff
Chair of Biology
Dr. Walser-Kuntz is an immunologist, is interested in the role the immune system plays in the development of autoimmune disorders and the potential impact on this process of environmental contaminants. We are testing how a common plastic component, bisphenol A, affects immune cell activation and cytokine responses. She teaches Immunology, Microbiology, part of Introductory Biology, a seminar on Topics in Virology and Methods of Teaching Science. Dr. Walser-Kuntz is Chair of the Department.
Justin Becknell is an ecosystem ecologist who studies how ecosystem processes are affected by human activities, species composition, and environmental factors. He has spent the last five years trying to understand factors driving the carbon cycle in tropical dry forests of northwestern Costa Rica. In 2012-13 he will be teaching Ecosystems Ecology, Global Change Biology, Introductory Biology Labs and a seminar on human dominated ecosystems.
Dr. Bergerson earned her Ph.D. in the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (MICaB) graduate program at the University of Minnesota. She is trained as a cancer geneticist using molecular biology techniques and mouse modeling. Currently she is studying Natural Killer cell differentiation for use in immunological recovery after transplant for leukemia patients. Dr. Bergerson is teaching Microbiology for the Spring term of 2013.
Dr. Bosacker is a zoologist, and her primary research interest is in the social behavior of primates. She studies a population of baboons living in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. She is particularly interested in how social circumstances influence an individual’s exposure to stress and how the negative effects of stress might influence the evolution of social behaviors. Dr. Bosacker is currently acting as the director of Carleton’s Coastal Marine Ecology program in Australia.
Dr. Crutchfield is a Carleton College graduate (’82) biology major. He is a board certified dermatologist with a clinical practice in Eagan, Minnesota. In addition to his M.D. degree, Dr. Crutchfield also has a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology from the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Crutchfield teaches the spring upper level biology seminar “Cutaneous Biology for the Pre-Medical Student”. He has co-authored the dermatology textbook ‘A Clinical Atlas of 101 Common Skin Diseases’ and authored over 100 scientific articles and publications. His research interests include psoriasis and ethnic skin disorders.
Sarah is trained as an invertebrate biologist with a focus on endosymbiotic relationships in marine invertebrates. She is interested in how students best learn new concepts and skills in biology, and in how students utilize research experiences to deepen their understanding of biology. At Carleton, she has been involved with laboratory sections of Intro Biology, Animal Physiology, and Genetics. Currently she is developing, preparing, and teaching labs for Intro Biology I: Energetics and Genetics (Biol 125).
Dr. Hougen-Eitzman is trained as a population geneticist and ecologist, studies ecological interaction within agricultural ecosystems. In particular, he is interested in developing biological solutions to problems that have usually been attacked with herbicides and pesticides. He teaches laboratories for the Introductory courses, Entomology, and a seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.
Dr. Guerrier received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from North Carolina-Chapel Hill, while studying the cell migration of neurons that make up the cerebral cortex. For his post doctoral work he returned to the Mayo Clinic where he studied how Natural Killer Cells secrete toxic balls called granules into cancer cells in order to make them commit suicide. He is really fascinated by cell biology, in particular how membranes in the cell are shaped and is using a organism called Tetrahymena to study this problem.
Dr. Hernandez is an ecosystem ecologist researching the effects of disturbance on carbon and nutrient cycling in savannas and grasslands. Currently, his lab is exploring the community and ecosystem consequences of nitrogen deposition and cattle grazing on serpentine grasslands in California. He teaches Ecosystems Ecology, Global Change Biology, part of Introductory Biology, and a seminar on Grassland Ecology.
Andrea is a developmental biologist pursuing her postdoctoral research at Carleton College in Jennifer Ross Wolff’s lab. She received a B.S. in Marine Biology from Eckerd College in 2003 and a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota in 2010. Andrea’s research focuses on the sexual specification of ventral cord neurons in the nematode worm C. elegans. She teaches the Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo) seminar.
Research Supervisor of Cowling Arboretum
Dr. McKone is an evolutionary ecologist, pursues research on the interactions between insects and plants. Particular interests include the pollinator community of prairie composites and the evolutionary impact of pre-dispersal seed predators of grasses. He teaches Evolution, Population Ecology, Tropical Rainforest Ecology, and part of Introductory Biology.
Dr. Mitra is a molecular and cellular biologist interested in the interactions between plants and microbes. Her lab studies bacterial pathogens of plant roots with the goal of understanding disease development and plant defense. Current lab projects involve elucidating the role of bacterial effector proteins in pathogenesis of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Dr. Mitra teaches courses in Microbial Pathology, Cell Biology, and part of Introductory Biology. On leave w/s 2013.
Amy H. Moore received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MBA with Medical Industry and Entrepreneurial specializations from the Carlson School of Management (University of Minnesota). Amy is a neuroscientist interested in the combined role of chronic brain inflammation and estrogen on age-related memory deficits and neurodegenerative disease. In addition, Amy is focused on improving scientific communication to non-science audiences to foster improvements in medical care. Amy has taught Energy Flow in Biological Systems, Bioethics, Cell Biology, Human Physiology, Neurobiology, and Neurological Diseases and Disorders.
Dr. Petricka is a plant developmental and systems biologist interested in root development and response. She studies the development of the Arabidopsis thaliana root and its responses to environmental stresses. Dr. Petricka teaches courses in Genetics and Plant Development.
Dr. Rand is a vertebrate reproductive biologist, studies the hormonal mediation and function of sexually dimorphic traits. Currently he uses lizards as a model system to understand neural differences that influence male and female reproductive behavior. He teaches Animal Physiology, Animal Behavior, a seminar on Behavioral Genetics, part of Introductory Biology and a seminar that explores the biological basis of human nature and sexuality and its impact on science. On leave 2012-13.
Dr. Singer is a plant developmental biologist, is taking a developmental genetics approach to the study of flowering in pea. Floral mutants are being characterized and genetic interactions between mutants are under investigation to elucidate the roles of different genes in the regulation of inflorescence architecture. Specific interests include the evolution of floral developmental pathways. She teaches Plant Biology, Plant Development, Developmental Genetics, and part of Introductory Biology.
Dr. Tymoczko is a biochemist, teaches Biochemistry, Oncogenes and Molecular Biology of Cancer, part of Introductory Biology, and a seminar on Exercise Biochemistry. He has recently co-authored the 5th edition of Stryer's Biochemistry, and is currently writing an introductory level biochemistry text. His research interests are in the area of signal transduction.
Head Coach, Men's Tennis
Dr. Zweifel is a geneticist and molecular biologist, is examining the replication and segregation of mitochrondrial DNA in the yeast S. cerevisiae. His lab is interested in identifying and characterizing the nuclear genes responsible for the proper transmission of the mitochondrial genome. He teaches Genetics, Molecular Biology, part of Introductory Biology, and a seminar on Human Genetics.
Dr. Wagenbach is trained as an invertebrate zoologist and parasitologist, is examining the population biology of freshwater mussels in regional rivers. The general goal of his research is to better understand the conservation of rare and endangered species. He taught Biology of the Invertebrate Animals, Marine Biology, Aquatic Biology, environmental studies courses, and a seminar on parasitism. He served as Director of Environmental and Technology Studies.
Professor of Biology
Dr. Jaramillo is a neurobiologist interested in sensory systems. His work focuses on the hair cell, the mechanosensory receptor of the auditory, vestibular, and lateral line systems. Current research interests include the study of mechanoelectrical transduction, molecular motors in the hair cell, the role of noise in sensory processing, and the physiology of synaptic transmission. He teaches Neurobiology, Cell Biology, and part of Introductory Biology.
Assistant to Pre-Health Advisor
Lorie earned her Bachelor's degree at Concordia University (St. Paul), in Organizational Management and Communications. She brings a wealth of training in human resources, along with 10 years experience in the legal field. She has served on numerous College committees through the years, as well as being an avid volunteer in the community and county. Lorie fields department and campus questions for students, staff, faculty and visitors.
Puzak Family Director of the Cowling Arboretum
Nancy Braker (BA Carleton; MS University of Minnesota - Entomology) is a conservation biologist. She has 20 years of experience working for The Nature Conservancy in land management, conservation planning, and monitoring of rare species populations, specializing in management of fire adapted natural communities. Nancy oversees all aspects of management of the Cowling Arboretum and McKnight Prairie, and works with faculty, students and outside users on research and use of the properties.
Shawn is a cell biologist who has an unhealthy fascination with microscopy. His interests have led him to previous work on cellular adhesion, phototoxicity in fluorescence microscopy, and a survey book chapter on microscopy techniques. As the former chair of a national postdoctoral subcommittee, he also enjoys talking about career options both inside and out of the scientific community. He is responsible for maintenance of all of the department's scientific equipment, as well as coordinating reagent preparation and distribution to the faculty -- with lots of student help!
Animal Colony Supervisor
Sonja is interested in developmental and hormonal processes in plants, with emphasis on the genetics of inflorescence architecture as it applies to ornamental, agronomic and model plant systems. She is currently working with flowering mutants of the garden pea, Pisum sativum, and is also interested in the flowering biology of ornamental and native legumes, such as the partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata. Her analytical experience includes in situ hybridization, real time PCR, plant hormone analysis, scanning electron microscopy and indirect immunoflourescence microscopy. Sonja is also engaged in service activities such as K-12 mentoring and promoting the use of native plants in sustainable landscapes.