Our diverse faculty includes eleven professors with Ph.D.s in areas ranging from platelet cell biology to aquatic ecology. Our focus is to provide a well-rounded science education and encourage learning outside the classroom (through teaching assistantships, research and job opportunities). Completing the biology major requires that you take a concentration of courses in biology together with supporting courses in chemistry and mathematics. We hope that you will find a home within the Biology Department at Augustana and take advantage of our small class sizes (8-30 students for Jr/Sr level classes), careful advising, and faculty who challenge students — as well as nurture and support them.
Dr. Lisa Baye
Dr. Baye holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas and a Ph.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she studied in the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy. As a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Iowa, she worked on “Elucidating the molecular pathways underlying human blindness and ciliopathy diseases in the zebrafish model.”
Dr. Egland teaches Introductory Biology, Introduction to Microbiology, Cell Biology and General Microbiology. Dr. Egland’s research focus is interspecies signaling between bacteria in the dental plaque biofilm. In addition, Dr. Egland serves as the chief health professions advisor and is the pre-professional advisor for pre-dentistry and pre-medical students. He is also the faculty advisor to the Pre-Med Club. Dr. Egland received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Iowa and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
Dr. Gubbels teaches Introductory Biology, Human Physiology, General Physiology, and Immunology. Her research focuses on mechanisms of metastasis and immune escape in epithelial ovarian cancer. Dr. Gubbels received her bachelor’s degree in biological research from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and her Ph.D. in endocrinology and reproductive physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Hall joined the Augustana College Biology Department in the fall of 2011, and teaches Introductory Biology, Biology and Human Concerns, and Science Teaching Methods. Dr. Hall's research is focused on the effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbance factors on the behavior of threatened and endangered species and ecosystems. Dr. Hall is an alumna of the University of Tulsa, having completed her bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry in 2006, and her master's degree in biochemistry in 2008. She then completed her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Idaho State University as a Doctoral Research and Teaching Fellow.
Dr. Howard joined the Augustana College Biology Department in the fall of 2010, and teaches Introductory Biology, Insect Ecology, and Evolution. Dr. Howard's research is focused on the evolution of behavior, with a special interest in animal communication, mating systems and neuroethology. Dr. Howard also studies the effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbance on the behavior of threatened and endangered species. Dr. Howard was a NSF Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Tulsa, completing his Ph.D. there in 2007. He subsequently worked for three years as a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Integrative Behaviour and Neuroscience laboratory at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.
Ms. Libby King
Prof. King is a faculty associate and the laboratory coordinator for the Biology Department. She teaches labs for Introduction to Biology Principles I, Genetics, Cell Biology, Introductory Microbiology, and General Microbiology. She received her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from Southwest Missouri State and her master’s degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She has been certified in medical technology by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists.
Dr. Larson teaches Introductory Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Cell Biology, and a capstone class on race and representation with Dr. Lindsay Twa of the art department. His research focuses on platelets, platelet function, and platelet biogenesis. He is also the pre-professional advisor for occupational therapy and clinical lab science. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry at Concordia College and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Birmingham (U.K.).
Dr. Amy R. Lewis
Dr. Lewis teaches Biology and Human Concerns, Introduction to Biological Principles I, Introduction to Environmental Science, Principles of Ecology, and Ornithology. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Bowdoin College, her master’s degree in ecology from The Pennsylvania State University, and her Ph.D. in biological sciences (wildlife) from South Dakota State University.
Dr. Matzner teaches Introductory Biology, Environmental Science, Plant Ecology and Plant Physiology, and an interdisciplinary capstone class entitled
Is Globalization Sustainable?. His research is focused on the ability of plants to adjust their water-conducting systems in response to the environment (termed hydraulic acclimation). He is the faculty advisor to GREEN, the Augustana student environmental awareness group, and he is the pre-optometry advisor. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Dr. Miles teaches Developmental Biology, Vertebrate Embryology, Introductory Biology and Biology and Human Concerns. Her research is focused on the genetics of variation in egg size (per-offspring maternal investment) and how shifts in egg size affect key developmental events as well as fitness of parents and offspring. She received her bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, her master's degree in biological sciences from Florida Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Florida. Dr. Miles was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, doing research on resolving spatial patterning and egg size in Drosophila.
Dr. Spencer teaches General Ecology, Aquatic Ecology, and introductory biology courses. He leads a course to Guatemala and Belize during interim called Coral Reefs, Tropical Forests, Mayan Ruins, and Spanish Language Immersion. During the summers, Dr. Spencer is an adjunct faculty member at the Flathead Lake Biological Station (University of Montana), where he studies lakes and streams and the effects of wildfire, timber harvest, and non-native species introduction. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
Dr. Ann Vogelmann
Dr. Vogelmann teaches Introduction to Biological Principles I & II, Biology and Human Concerns, and Human Anatomy. In addition, she is the main laboratory instructor for General Physiology. She received her B.S. degree in biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, M.S. in botany from Texas A&M University, and Ph.D. in biology/botany from Indiana University.
Dr. Vitiello teaches Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Cell Signaling. Her primary research project focuses on using yeast molecular genetics to study cystinosis, a pediatric lysosomal storage disorder. Dr. Vitiello received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, followed by a post-doctoral research fellowship there and at Sanford Research/USD.
Dr. Diggins taught Physiology, Endocrinology, and introductory biology courses. Her research focuses on the relationship between increasing obesity and decreasing fertility and the involvement of the hormone leptin. She is also the program coordinator for the South Dakota INBRE grant from the National Institutes of Health, and she serves as the pre-physical therapy advisor. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Dr. Olness taught Biology and Human Concerns, Life Science for Elementary Teachers, Science Methods for the Elementary Teacher, Science Methods for Secondary Teachers, and Mathematics, Science, and Technology for Elementary and Middle School Teachers. Her interests include writing-to-learn science and cooperative learning. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Tieszen taught Environmental Physiology and Plant Physiology in addition to core courses. He led numerous NSF-funded Undergraduate Research Projects and conducted research with undergraduates which provided significant contributions in the areas of C3 and C4 photosynthesis, Carbon Isotope Fractionation and Dietary Tracing in humans and wild animals, and the integration of Photosynthesis, Remote Sensing, and Modeling to quantify carbon fluxes under climate change and land use. He worked at EROS for 12 years, and integrated these specialties with the department. In addition, he led Ecology of East Africa and Asia courses in the January Term.