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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:




upchurch Where have all the flowers come from? Over a century ago, Charles Darwin labelled the evolution of Angiosperms (flowering plants) an abominable mystery. Indeed, their ancestral ecology continues to be a subject of ongoing scientific debate. Recent work highlighted that low transpirational cooling rates would have confined primitive angiosperms to shaded habitats, ostensibly resolving this scientific controversy. However, through modelling fossil leaf temperatures, researchers at University of Nottingham and Texas State Universitiy (Dr. Gary Upchurch, Department of Biology) have demonstrated that small leaf size could have protected some early angiosperms from overheating, enabling survival in the sun. Thus, the early angiosperms could have occupied a variety of habitats, once again reviving the debate. This research has been recently published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 
duarte Adam Duarte, Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Biology (Dr. Butch Weckerly, advisor), was awarded the Clarence Cottam Award at the 51st annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society. This competitive award is given to recognize and promote outstanding student research efforts and comes with a $500 monetary award. The title of Adam’s talk was “Estimating Golden-cheeked Warbler Immigration: Implications for Conservation”.
kolbe Nicholas Kolbe, M.S. student in the Department of Biology (Dr. Butch Weckerly, advisor) was awarded the Dan Boone Memorial Scholarship at the 51st annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society. The Dan Boone Memorial Scholarship commemorates Dan Boone who passed away while conducting bald eagle surveys in 1995. Dan graduated from Texas A&M University and was a biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife who focused on conservation of lessor-know species for more than 20 years. The scholarship was given to Nicholas for his achievements in the field of wildlife management and academic accomplishments.


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. 



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!