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Department of Biological SciencesFaculty & Graduate Research

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ODU biology students pose at wetland restoration site on Colley Bay in early 2013. Photo by Kevin Du Bois

Research Clusters


Evolutionary, Ecological and Organismal Biology

Research Programs

Paul J. Kirk, Jr. Wetlands Research Program

The Paul W. Kirk Jr Wetland Research Awards were established to support undergraduate and graduate student research and related travel for wetland studies with botanical or mycological implications or relevance.

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Chesapeake Bay Program

The Chesapeake Bay Program at Old Dominion University (ODU) collects data to support the objectives of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to restore the environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay.

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Coral Triangle PIRE Project

The Coral Triangle is the global epicenter for marine biodiversity, yet the origins of this biodiversity remain an evolutionary and biogeographical mystery. The purpose of the CT-PIRE Project is to form new partnerships that can transform this epicenter of marine biodiversity into an epicenter of marine research and education.

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Global Marine Species Assessment (GMSA)

The Global Marine Species Assessment began in late 2005 and is headquartered at the Department of Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University, managed by Professor Kent Carpenter.

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ODU Plant Site

This site is a data base for plant slides and other images, i.e., scanning electron micrographs, diagrams. To date, about 10 000 have been loaded.

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ODU Academic Diving Program

ODU ADP sets forth standards for training and certification and ensures that all scientific diving conducted by ODU faculty, staff, and students is done in a manner that will maximize their protection from accidental injury and/or illness.

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Facilities

Aquatic Facility

The Department of Biological Sciences' Aquatics Facility, completed in 2010, is housed on campus and is a modern facility providing over 6,000 ft2 of space for marine and freshwater research. The facility includes a large but dividable common room with natural lighting for large tanks, five separate experimental laboratories including two biosafety II laboratories suitable for aquatic disease research, a technician's office, two bathrooms with showers, and a field research preparation and processing room adjacent to a loading dock. The entire facility is supplied with dechlorinated freshwater, treated seawater, and a low pressure air system for holding aquatic animals and plants.

Blackwater Ecological Preserve

The Blackwater Ecologic Preserve borders the Blackwater River in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Included on this 319 acre property are unique plant communities and some of the rarest species in the state of Virginia. Most important is the longleaf pine community which is the northernmost community of this type in the United States. In addition to the longleaf communities, the preserve's amazing diversity includes pocosins, river bluff, cypress swamp, old field, and riverine habitat.

Herbarium

The ODU Herbarium provides a well curated collection of vascular plants and bryophytes for use in teaching, research, and public service. Major emphasis is placed on development of excellent representation of all taxa in the local flora (southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina), including the Dismal Swamp and the Blackwater Ecologic Preserve. Our herbarium represents the definitive collection of the regional flora, and is consulted by the Natural Heritage Program of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We also loan specimens to specialists in different parts of the country and the world. Due to our exchange program, the herbarium also has a good representation of genera of plants of the southeastern United States as well as representative orders on a worldwide basis. Specialized areas of interest include development of collections of both native and cultivated poisonous plants as well as strength in parasitic angiosperms. At present, the total number of mounted specimens is approximately 26,000. The teaching collection contains approximately 3,000 specimens.

Kaplan Orchid Conservatory

Built in 2008, the Arthur & Phyllis Kaplan Orchid Conservatory (KOC) primarily houses an orchid collection donated by the late Norfolk physician Dr. Arthur Kaplan and his wife, Phyllis Kaplan. The facility now houses over 1,100 individual orchid plants and a diverse collection of tropical plants.


Phytoplankton Analysis Laboratory

The Phytoplankton Analysis Laboratory (PAL) has been monitoring phytoplankton populations, algal blooms, and potential toxin producing species in Chesapeake Bay and several of its major tributaries since 1985. Since 1997, in a more extensive coverage of Virginia estuaries, phytoplankton water and sediment samples have been analyzed for Pfiesteria spp., Pfiesteria-like organisms (PLO), and other toxin producing algal species


Faculty

Dan Barshis

Dan Barshis

Assistant Professor

Research Interests: Marine Biology, Coral Reef Ecophysiology

Ian Bartol

Ian Bartol

Professor

Kent Carpenter

Kent Carpenter

Professor & Eminent Scholar

Daniel Dauer

Daniel Dauer

Professor Emeritus


Frank Day

Frank Day

Professor Emeritus

Holly Gaff

Holly Gaff

Professor

David Gauthier

David Gauthier

Associate Professor

Lisa Horth

Lisa Horth

Professor


Tatyana Lobova

Tatyana Lobova

Master Lecturer

Lytton John Musselman

Lytton John Musselman

Professor & Eminent Scholar

Kneeland Nesius

Kneeland Nesius

Associate Professor Emeritus

Taylor Sloey

Taylor Sloey


Lisa Wallace

Lisa Wallace

Associate Professor & J. Robert Stiffler Distinguished Professor in Botany

Deborah Waller

Deborah Waller

Associate Professor

Eric L. Walters

Eric L. Walters

Associate Professor

John Whiteman

John Whiteman

Assistant Professor

Research Interest: Ecophysiology


Erik Yando

Erik Yando

Assistant Professor





Vector-borne Disease & One Health

Facilities

Electron Microscopy Lab

The Electron Microscopy Laboratory is equipped for transmission election microscopy (including X-ray diffraction, scanning transmission electron microscopy/STEM and X-ray microanalysis) and scanning electron microscopy. Complete specimen preparation equipment and supplies are available for a wide variety of biological and nonbiological specimens. A well-equipped darkroom provides a complete environment for negative development and print or slide making. The laboratory director and laboratory specialist are available for consultation in experimental design and electron microscopic technique. The laboratory has extensive experience in processing many types of specimens for a variety of users at the university and from the community.

Faculty

Holly Gaff

Holly Gaff

Professor

David Gauthier

David Gauthier

Associate Professor

Wayne Hynes

Wayne Hynes

Professor

Christopher Osgood

Christopher Osgood

Associate Professor & Chair





Microbiology & Immunology





  Research at a glance