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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:

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.
Post-doctoral researcher Dr. Shawn McCracken and Dr. Michael Forstner, Professor of Biology, recently published a study in PLOS ONE demonstrating the negative effect of limited access oil roads in Ecuador’s Yasuni Biosphere Reserve on the unique frog community that inhabits the bromeliads occupying the high canopies of the Amazon forest. Their research also further illustrates the global conservation significance of the Yasuni National Park and the dangers of continued and new access roads within the park and its buffer zone. For more information, please see the PLOS ONE press release.
Dr. Shawn McCracken, post-doctoral researcher, and Dr. Mike Forstner, Professor of Biology, recently presented at the Tropical Forest Research and Education Conference: Yasuni Day in Mindo, Ecuador. Their talk was entitled “Do limited access rainforest oil roads = limited disturbance? Impacts on amphibians of the high canopy and the consequent genetic implications at the landscape scale” and has received considerable media attention about the “most biological diverse” spot on the Earth and the dangers of drilling in this region. For more information about Yasuni and its biodiversity, please click here and here.

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