Faculty List

 
 

Faculty

Position

Areas of Interest

Donna Vogler

Associate Professor & Chair

Pollen competition, Plant mating systems, Plant conservation

Nancy Bachman Associate Professor Cell and molecular biology, Genetics
Grace Chen Lecturer General Biology, Evolution

Jill Fielhaber

Lecturer

Cell and molecular biology, microbiology

Willard Harman

Distinguished Service Professor
Rufus J. Thayer Chair for Otsego Lake Research

Applied limnology, Malacology

Jeffrey Heilveil

Assistant Professor

Population genetics, Entomology

Thomas Horvath

Professor

Aquatic ecology, Limnology, Invasive species

Annabel Kellem

Adjunct Professor

General Biology, Anatomy and physiology

Vicky Lentz

Assistant Professor

Clearance of extracellular pathogens, Comparative immunology

Tami LaPilusa Adjunct Professor Modern biology

Paul Lord

Adjunct Professor

Aquatic pollution, Marine biology

Nigel Mann

Associate Professor

Ornithology, Behavioral ecology

Florian Reyda

Assistant Professor

Parasitology, Invertabrate zoology

Sean Robinson

Assistant Professor

Botany & General Biology

Keith Schillo

Associate Professor

Anatomy and Physiology

Jim Vogler Instructional Support Assistant Vertebrate Biology, General Biology, Green house coordinator

David Wong

Assistant Professor

Aquatic ecology, invasive species

Jennifer Withington

Assistant Professor

Botany

Fred Zalatan

Associate Professor

Microbial genetics & biochemsitry

 

Staff

Terri Rowe
Department Secretary I

Office: 112 Science Building 1

Phone: (607) 436-3703

Email: terri.rowe"at"oneonta.edu

 

 

Nancy Bachman

Nancy Bachman

Office: 322 Science I

Email: nancy.bachman"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3061

Link to homepage

Education

Ph.D. - University of Michigan
B.A. - Macalester College

Awards

Richard Siegfried Junior Faculty for Academic Excellence (1999-2000)
SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research

Courses taught: include General Biology I, General Genetics, Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Biology of Cancer

Research interests include genomics, gene structure and expression, and DNA computing

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Willard Harman

Willard Harman

Office:

Email: willard.harman"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3188

Education

Ph.D. - Cornell University
B.S. - State University of New York College of Forestry

Awards

SUNY Distinguished Service Professor (2002)
The State University Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching (1974-1975)
NYS/UUP Excellence Award (1990)
U.S. EPA Region II Environmental Quality Award

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Jeffrey Heilveil

Heilveil photo

Office: 115 Science I

Email: jeff.heilveil"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3162

Link to homepage

Education

Ph.D. - Entomology, University of Illinois
M.S. - Entomology, University of Illinois
B.S. - Natural Resources and Ecology, University of Michigan

Research Interests:My research focuses on the "movement" of genetic information through space and time. I am primarily interested in gene flow patterns of organisms that live in flowing water ecosystems and how they interact with human population growth. Prior to 18,000 years ago, most of NY was uninhabitable for aquatic organisms, being under Pleistocene glaciers. As the ice retreated, habitats were opened up and organisms were again able to colonize the region.  Now, these populations face encroachment from urbanization and agricultural expansion.  My lab uses genetic markers to identify migration pathways, barriers to gene flow, and delineate population boundaries for conservation.  My undergraduate and graduate students answer a range of questions regarding life history of local organisms, indirect impacts of urbanization on population structure, the positive impacts of natural disasters on gene flow, and conservation of commodity species in The Bahamas. 
Not all of my research is molecular in nature.  My lab is also looking at mating choice in darters and how the life history of aquatic insects impacts dispersal distances. 
Although I am an entomologist by training, my current research program involves plants, fish, and crustaceans, as well as insects, and I'm always interested in examining new organisms.

Courses Taught: General Genetics (BIOL 212), A Natural History of Insects (BIOL 244), General Biology I (BIOL 100), Topics in Aquatic Ecology (BIOL 687)

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Thomas Horvath

Thomas Horvath

Office: 323 Science I

Email: thomas.horvath"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3899

Link to homepage

Education

Ph.D. - University of Notre Dame, Aquatic Biology
B.S. - University of Indianapolis, Biology & German

Awards

Richard Siegfried Junior Faculty for Academic Excellence (2004-2005)

Fulbright Scholar (2010)

My research focuses on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. Particularly, I am interested in how invasions by exotic species alter the community composition. In the past, I have developed a theoretical model describing the dispersal processes of a nuisance species, the zebra mussel, within watersheds. To date, this model has been accurate, but to understand the exact mechanisms controlling zebra mussel dispersal, I have focused on the larval stage (i.e., veligers). Veligers are between 30- and 230-µm in length, and I am interested in specific growth rates during transport in streams, and veliger mortality, which affect their ability to colonize new systems. In addition to exotic species interests, I want to know how aquatic ecosystems function and how ecosystems change when confronted with perturbations (e.g., land-use changes, pollution, biomanipulation, restoration). I take a multi-tropic level approach, and measure microbial activity, primary production, and secondary production.

Meiofauna (45-500 µm length) studies are underway in Otsego Lake to learn how these organisms recolonize disturbed sediments, particularly around the water's edge. This area is susceptible to rapid and catastrophic changes (e.g., water level drops, wave actions, ice scour), and meiofauna must recolonize after such events. Undergraduate research is focusing on descriptions of life cycles of harpacticoids (benthic copepods) in Otsego Lake. In addition, I hope to continue studies on harpacticoids in the Great Lakes and better understand their ecological function in nearshore zones, particularly focusing on the most recent invaders Schizopera borutzkyi and Heteropsyllus nr. nunni.

Courses Taught: Modern Biology (BIOL 100), Environmental Sustaianability (ENVS 110), General Biology I (BIOL 180), Limnology (BIOL 385), Stream Ecology (BIOL 388), Aquatic Pollution (BIOL 367), Introduction to Environmental Pollution (BIOL 286), Environmental Monitoring (ENVS 250), Environmental Sciences Seminar (ENVS 390) Graduate courses: Topics in Aquatic Ecology -meiofaunal ecology & invasive species (BIOL 687), Advanced Limnology (BIOL 685), Experimental Stream Ecology (BIOL 688), Lake Monitoring (BIOL 625)

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Vicky Lentz

Vicky Lentz

Office: 321 Science I

Email: vicky.lentz"at"oneonta.edu

Phone (607) 436-2512

Education

Ph.D. - University of Pennsylvania
B.S. - University of Delaware

Research Interests: IgM, an antibody that is thought to be the original antibody from which all other antibodies are derived from, is found to be present in all members of the kingdom, Animalia, dating back to 460 million years ago. This includes all cartilaginous fish, bony fish, amphibians, birds, and placental mammals.
Many studies have been done on placental mammals (mice and humans primarily) to uncover the exact structure of immunoglobulin IgM. These studies have shown IgM to be comprised of two heavy chains and two light chains with a total molecular weight of 150,000 daltons, which are held together by disulfide bonds. These proteins, when found in the serum of mammals are found in pentamers. Pentamers are five IgM antibodies linked together about the base to form a ten branched variable region binding site. This allows higher probability for binding to antigens and thus increases immune efficiency. Unlike mammal IgM, however, fish IgM are tetramers.
While much is known about the immune systems of humans and mice, very little is known about the immune systems of bony fish.  Limited research has been done on a small number of species of fish, focusing primarily on salmon, trout and a few other species that are important in aquaculture such as talapia and catfish.  This research has shown that there is much to be learned.  Bony fish have an acquired immune system that resembles that of mammals but at a reduced scale.  In addition, these early studies have shown that there is a great deal of variation in the immune systems of the species studied so far.  It has also been shown that the immunologic reagents (antibodies specific for fish immune cells and proteins) are not cross-reactive and therefore it is necessary to generate species specific reagents as new types of fish are studied.
            Large mouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), a member of the Centrarchidae family that includes the sunfishes, have not been the subject of immunologic studies.  These fish are an important sport fish and are becoming popular with aquaculturists as a commercial food fish.

            Preliminary studies done by students in my lab have suggested that large mouth bass antibodies may be different from other fishes studied.  Continued research is being done to determine if the disulfide bonding in large mouth bass and other Centrarchidae family members IgM is atypical compared to other bony fish.

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Nigel Mann

Nigel Mann

Office: 114 Science I

Email: nigel.mann"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3344

Education

Ph.D. - St. Andrews University

Courses Taught: Natural History of Vertebrates (BIOL 250), Evolution (BIOL 216), Ornithology (BIOL 252), Animal Behavior (BIOL 356)

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Florian Reyda

Office: 120 Science Building 1

Email: florian.reyda"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3719

Education

Ph.D. University of Connecticut (Zoology)
M.S. University of Nebraska (Parasitology)
B.A. Augustana College (Illinois)

Research interests: I am interested in the species diversity, evolution, and life cycles of parasites. My research involves both field and laboratory components. I am currently focusing on two different types of host-parasite systems, one locally, and one globally:

Freshwater fish parasites:  Since fall 2008, several SUNY Oneonta Biology majors and I have been conducting a survey of the internal parasites of fishes of Otsego Lake and nearby waters. We have examined a diversity of “hosts” including Largemouth bass, Pumpkinseed, Yellow perch, and White suckers. We typically examine the outside of the fish body, as well as several internal organs, for parasites. We have found ~25 species of parasitic worms in the fishes examined to date, but we expect to find more as we continue the survey until the end of 2010. Our initial goal is to answer the question, what are the species of internal fish parasites that occur locally? Once this is addressed, we can continue with more in-depth investigations on the biology and morphological variation of the parasite species that occur locally. I look forward to future work on the acanthocephalans (thorny-headed worms) and the digenetic trematodes that we find here. These worms use multiple host species in their life cycles.

Tapeworms of sharks and stingrays: I also study species diversity and species boundaries in the tapeworms of elasmobranchs (sharks and rays). For my dissertation research I studied the diversification of species of the tapeworm genus Rhinebothrium in South American freshwater stingrays.  I described several new species of Rhinebothrium utilizing traditional morphological methods (e.g., measurements taken with a light microscope, and line drawings) as well as more modern techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy and DNA sequence data. I used these data to construct a phylogeny (evolutionary tree) that will serve as a framework to test hypotheses of how ancient marine stingrays and their tapeworms colonized South American rivers.

I continue to use multiple types of data to examine the species boundaries of tapeworms. In other words, how much variation can occur within a species? Current projects involving undergraduates include the descriptions of new species of tapeworms from a stingray off the coast of the Island of Borneo, and from stingrays from Mexico.

Courses Taught: Parasitology (BIOL 346), Invertebrate Zoology (BIOL 242), General Biology II labs (BIOL 200), and Field Parasitology (BIOL 387), a new course to be offered in July 2010

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Sean Robinson

 

Office:218 Science I

Email:sean.robinson"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3727

Education

Ph.D. – Biology; State University of New York, University at Albany (in progress)
M.S. – Ecology; State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry
B.A. – Anthropology; Hartwick College

Courses taught:General Biology II (BIOL 181), Vascular Plant Systematics (BIOL 236), Natural History of Woody Plants (BIOL 238), Field Botany (BIOL 320)

Research interests:Broadly speaking, my research is focused on plant reproduction and dispersal. Dispersal is an essential component of a plants life cycle allowing for colonization of new habitat patches; escape from competition, either with the parent plant and/or with individuals of other species, in both space and time; and gene flow between established populations.  Dispersal thus plays an import role in range expansion and in determining the spatial and genetic structure of populations.  In the case of bryophytes, dispersal is assumed to be the primary determinant of local and global diversity patterns.
I am interested in understanding how plants, particularly bryophytes, colonize new habitats, expand their ranges, and exchange genes both within and between populations.  Additionally, I am interested in how different modes of reproduction can affect a plant’s dispersal ability as well as its overall genetic population structure.  My research uses a variety of direct and indirect methods to address these questions including population genetics and field and laboratory experiments. 
Another component of my research is focused on vegetation dynamics on alpine summits.  Using a series of permanent transects established in 1984, I have been continuing to monitor vegetation change in the Adirondack alpine zone. In addition, I have been performing studies to investigate the facilitation of vascular plant germination and growth by bryophytes.    

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Keith Schillo

schillo

Office: 318 Science Building 1

Email: keith.schillo"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3063

Education BS       Cornell University
MS      Purdue University
PhD     University of  Wisconsin-Madison
Postdoctoral    University of  Illinois

Courses taught: Human Anatomy and Physiology I ( BIOL 205), Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIOL 206), Animal Physiology ( BIOL 349), Neuroendocrinology ( BIOL 370)

Research interests:Before joining the faculty at SUNY Oneonta I spent twenty five years directing a research program in endocrinology and reproductive physiology at the University of Kentucky.  Since arriving at SUNY Oneonta I have established a research area in neuroendocrinology and behavior.  My students and I are pursuing two major areas of research.  First, we are using the Barnes maze to study the effects of dehydration on spatial learning and memory in mice.  Second, we are evaluating the effects of high-calorie sweeteners on eating behavior, sexual development and growth in mice.

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Donna Vogler

Donna Vogler

Office: 116 Science I

Email: donna.vogler"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3705

Education

Ph.D. - Penn State University
M.S. - Iowa State University
B.S. - Ohio State University

Pollen competition. As plants age, their accumulated mutations (e.g. from long exposure to the UV radiation of natural sunlight) may be passed onto their offspring (i.e., seeds) via the pollen. One selective force that potentially counteracts the negative aspects of this genetic load while favoring beneficial mutations, is the competition among pollen grains as they land on the pistil and grow towards the ovules. With the assistance of a Ford Grant, I am using the bellflower Campanula rapunculoides, a locally common plant, to examine the selection of beneficial pollen grains on the competitive arena of a plant’s pistil. My previous work with this species indicates it has a substantial genetic load (of deleterious traits) which may be masked by high levels of outcrossing (Vogler et al. 1999 J. Evol. Biol.12:483-494). In natural habitats as small satellite populations are established, inbreeding may serve to reveal the genetic load while pollen competition may allow it to be purged. My students and I are establishing genetic lineages of plants from multiple populations, where we can produce known levels of inbreeding, and conduct pollinations at varying degrees of pollen density.

Evolution of Delayed Selfing. The predictability of pollinators is often poor for spring ephemeral plants of temperate forests. Consequently, those plants that are able to self pollinate when insect pollinators are unavailable will have a fitness advantage over those that depend entirely on insect visitation for pollination. A number of plant species are able to self-pollinate, usually late in their floral development, and are thereby able to reproduce by seed even in the face of complete collapse of the pollinator population. My collaborator, Susan Kalisz (Univ. Pittsburgh) and I have been using the delayed selfing species Collinsia verna, to quantify the impacts of periodic pollen limitation, resource limitation, selective abortion of selfed seeds, and the phenotypic distribution, timing and effectiveness of delayed selfing. The results of our field studies show that pollinator abundance is sufficiently variable to explain the evolutionary maintenance of delayed selfing in this species but that resource constraints may be an important factor restraining this impact. (Kalisz et al. 1999, Am.J.Bot.86:1239-1247) Moreover we suggest that other native species traditionally considered obligate outcrossers might also possess an overlooked delayed selfing mechanism contributing to their short-term persistence in heterogeneous environments (Vogler & Kalisz, 2001 Evolution 55:202-204).

Courses Taught: Environmental Science ENVS 101; General Ecology BIOL 282; Plant Ecology BIOL 381; Conservation Biology BIOL 386; Wetland Plant ID & Delineation BIOL 388; Special Topics: Sustainability Science ENVS 394

As Internship coordinator for the Biology Department, I help students locate opportunities to work with private or public agencies. Internships may be conducted locally and during the academic year, or may be part of a summer program run by a research facility, hospital, or government office.

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Jim Vogler

Jim Vogler

Office: 010 Science 1 (The Cave)

Email: jim.vogler"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3435

   

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Jennifer Withington

Withington

Office: 116 Science I

Email:jennifer.withington"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: : 607-436-3421

Education

Ph.D. - Penn State

M.S. - Univ. of Iowa

B.S. - Heidelberg College

Courses taught: Physiology of Plants, Modern Biology

Research interests:

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Fred Zalatan

Fred Zalatan

Office: 117 Science I

Email: fred.zalatan"at"oneonta.edu

Phone: (607) 436-3062

Education

M.S., Ph.D. - University of Rochester
B.A. - Hamilton College

Courses taught: include General Biology I, Elementary Microbiology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology

Research interests: Fatty acids serve several roles in metabolism, including being utilized for phospholipid synthesis, protein modification, cell signaling, transcriptional control, and as a source for energy. Since fatty acids are generally chain-like and uncharged, it has been long thought that the primary mechanism by which they pass through the cell membrane is via simple diffusion. Within the past ten years, however, substantial evidence has accumulated for regulated fatty acid transport mechanisms in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Whether the primary mechanism is through diffusion or facilitated transport is still unknown.

Caulobacter crescentus is a differentiating aquatic bacterium. It has been used as a model for regulatory cascades during development, especially in analyzing cell cycle control. I have previously attempted to isolate fatty acid transport mutants in C. crescentus. Both chemical mutagenesis and Tn5 mutagenesis were done to select for mutants, without regard to any particular gene involved. The selections employed did not yield any mutants, although some characterization was done on how high concentrations of linoleic acid in the medium inhibited growth of the wild-type strain.

In the spring of 2001, the genome sequence of C. crescentus was published, and a putative member of the Fatty Acid Transport Protein (FATP) family was identified. Other than the sequence information, the C. crescentus gene and the protein it codes for have not been characterized.

The aim of my current research is to characterize fatty acid uptake in C. crescentus, as well as to characterize the bacterium’s FATP gene. The first goal is to observe the kinetics of fatty acid uptake. The development of a fatty acid uptake assay will help in characterizing the proteins in this bacterium that are involved in this uptake, including the putative FATP from the genomic sequence. A FATP null mutant will be prepared and, if it is viable, it will be characterized using the kinetic assays.

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