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Department of Biology
Supple Science Building
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666
Ph: (512) 245.2178
Fax: ( 512)245.8713

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Department of Biology

Welcome to the Biology Department


Welcome to the Department of Biology at Texas State University. The Biology Department is a large, multidisciplinary department with many strong research programs that are well funded. We serve about 14,000 students each year in modern facilities with up to date instrumentation emphasizing inquiry-based hands-on instruction. This year Biology has about 1,000 undergraduate majors and 130 graduate (masters and Ph.D.) students.

Our goal is to attain national and international prominence through integrating undergraduate and graduate education with multidisciplinary research programs. Through our educational, scholarship, and outreach activities, the department will enhance the image of Texas State by using the life sciences to help meet the current and future needs of society in Texas, the United States, and the world.


Latest News:


Daniel C Huston (B.S. in Wildlife Biology 2011, M.S. in Biology 2014) was awarded a University of Queensland International Scholarship (approximately $108,000) to pursue his Ph.D. in Queensland, Australia studying larval trematode ecology and taxonomy in the Great Barrier Reef. For his M.S. Thesis at Texas State University (Major Advisor: Dr. David Huffman), Daniel studied the invasive trematodes Centrocestus formosanus and Haplorchis pumilio of Central Texas.
Trinity River Dr. Josh Perkin (Dr. Tim Bonner, graduate advisor), Assistant Professor at Tennessee Technological University and graduate alum (MS in Aquatic Resources, 2009) of Texas State University recently published a paper in River Research and Applications that documented improvements in water quality and fish biodiversity in the Trinity River watershed following the Clean Water Act and similar legislation. For more info, please read here

Daniel Wolcott, Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Biology (Dr. Butch Weckerly, advisor) has a featured article entitled “Overcoming Cohort Effects in a Mediterranean Ecosystem: The Role of Density and Precipitation on Southern Mule Deer Body Mass” in the November issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management. 

Goyla Golya Shahrohki, MS student in Wildlife Ecology (advisor, Dr M. Clay Green) was recently awarded the Jim Kushlan Research Award in Ciconiiform Biology and Conservation from the Waterbird Society. Golya received $3,860 in funding to support her research on the conservation genetics of the Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens). For more information about the award, please click here
Smith Chelsea Smith, M.S. student in the Population and Conservation Biology Program in the lab of Dr. Jim Ott, was awarded two competitive research grants in 2014. Chelsea’s research was funded by a Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Grant from The American Museum of Natural History and a Howard McCarley Student Research Award from the Southwestern Association of Naturalists. Both grants will support her graduate research which aims to understand the effect of drought induced premature leaf abscission in Plateau Live Oaks on the survival of it’s specialist leaf-galling wasp, Belonocnema treatae.


The Annual Biology Colloquium was held on Friday, April 26 and was another success. The following students won presentations awards:

  • Best poster: Prabesh Ghimire (Dharmasiri)- Characterization of an IBR5 interacting protein in Arabidopsis auxin response.
  • Best undergraduate talk: Jose Reyes (Gabor)- Is the total, conjugated or free portion of 11-ketotestosterone associated with mating behavior of sailfin mollies?
  • Best MS talk: Melissa Sutton (Weigum)-Characterization of the in vitro interactions of a liver cancer specific aptamer.
  • Best PhD talk: Katherine Bell (Nice)- Population Genomics of a Trophically Polymorphic Cuatro Ciéngeas cichlid, Hericthys minckleyi.



The Texas State University student chapter of the Wildlife Society had a very busy 2013-2014 year. Among the numerous student chapter activities included participation in the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) conference, volunteer work at the San Antonio Zoo, Wildlife Extravaganza in Bastrop, trail maintenance and clean up at Enchanted Rock State Park and spearheading a prairie restoration project at Warbler Woods near Schertz, Texas. All of the hard work and efforts of the student chapter culminated in the chapter being selected as the Outstanding Student Chapter of the Year award at the Annual Meeting of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society. For more information about the student chapter, please click here

Bell and Rylander

Kate Bell, Ph.D. student (Dr Chris Nice, advisor) and Rebekah Rylander, M.S. student (Dr. Clay Green, advisor) were recently awarded Freeman Fellowships through the Freeman Center at Texas State University. These fellowships include $3,000 in funding for tuition assistance and research support. For more information about the Freeman Fellowships, please click here

Troy Maikis, M.S. Student in Wildlife Ecology Troy Maikis, M.S. Student in Wildlife Ecology under the supervision of Dr. Ivan Castro-Arellano, was awarded the William B. Davis award for best oral presentation at the Texas Society of Mammalogists annual meeting in Junction, Texas. The title of Troy's talk was Tick Prevalence from Rodent Assemblages at Peridomestic and Sylvan Sites across Texas. The William B. Davis award comes with a $400 honorarium.

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Explore some of the different fields and activities within the Biology Department!