Experienced faculty and hands-on experience
Looking for professors who can offer a balance of expertise and hands-on experience? When you study biology at SFA, you will work side-by-side with professors in and outside of the classroom. In addition to attending classes and lectures (taught by professors, not teaching assistants), you will put your knowledge to work in a variety of ways, and in research settings ranging from well-equipped labs to field sites in the Piney Woods ecoregion and beyond.
Dr. Stephen Mullin
Department of Biology Chair
Dr. Mullin’s research is primarily focused on behavior and community ecology involving species of reptiles and amphibians. Dr. Mullin holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkley, an M.S. from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis. He is the coeditor of Snakes: Ecology & Conservation and the current editor of Herpetologica.
Dr. Daniel Bennett
Dr. Bennett’s research interests include systematics, behavior and geological history of bees and wasps. Dr. Bennett holds a B.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, an M.A in entomology from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Kansas.
Dr. Brent Burt
Dr. Burt’s research interests include behavioral and evolutionary biology, with a current focus on the adaptive nature of animal behavior and morphology. Dr. Burt holds a B.S. in biology from Angelo State University, an M.A. in systematics and ecology from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona.
Colin Rorex is a coordinator for the Human Anatomy and Physiology Labs. He holds B.S. from Carleton College (Minn.), and an M.S. from SFA.
Erin Childress is the lecturer for the Human Anatomy and Physiology courses, an SFA 101 instructor and the facility advisor for Driving Jacks, SFA’s safe ride program. She holds B.S. and an M.S. from SFA.
Dr. Bea Clack
Dr. Clack holds a B.S. in biochemistry from Texas A&M University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in molecular and cell biology from the University of Texas at Dallas. Her areas of interest include the development of eco-friendly pesticides, the identification of anti-cancer compounds in plants and the development of new treatments for celiac disease.
Dr. Dennis Gravatt
Dr. Gravatt’s holds a B.S. in systematics and ecology and an M.A. in botany from the University of Kansas. He holds a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. Dr. Gravatt’s research is focused on understanding how plants adapt to environmental stress and growth-limiting factors such as flooding, shallow soil, and increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
Ron Havner is the lab coordinator for the microbiology laboratories. He holds a B.S. in physiological psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an M.S. in biology from SFA.
Dr. Matthew Kwiatkowski
Professor of Biology
Dr. Kwiatkowski’s research focuses on the ecology, evolution, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians, with particular emphasis on spatial ecology and sexual selection. He holds a B.S. in biology from New Mexico State University, an M.A. in biology from the University of South Dakota and a Ph.D. in biology from Arizona State University. Dr. Kwiatskowski is the coordinator for the Department of Biology's graduate program.
Dr. Kevin Langford
Dr. Langford holds a B.S. and an M.S. in biology from SFA, and a Ph.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin. His research interests focus on the regulatory processes of embryonic development, using both vertebrate and invertebrate models. He is the coordinator of SFA’s pre-health professions program.
Dr. Don Pratt
Dr. Pratt holds a B.S. in botany from Brigham Young University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in botany, plant systematics and evolution from Iowa State University. His research interests include plant systematics, with an emphasis on the evolutionary histories of Amaranthus, and the Chenopodiaceae and Amaranthaceae plant families.
Gene Sullivan is the laboratory coordinator for the botany and non-majors biology lab sections. He holds a B.A. in biology from the University of Missouri at St. Louis.
Justin Sullivan holds a B.S. and an M.S. in biology from SFA. He is the laboratory coordinator for the zoology and the non-majors human biology lab sections.
Dr. Josephine Taylor
Dr. Taylor holds a B.S. an agricultural education from SFA and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Georgia. She completed postdoctoral training at Texas A&M University. Dr. Taylor’s research interests include the mechanisms of plant disease resistance and host-pathogen interactions in fungal diseases of plants. She currently manages SFA’s electron microscopy lab.
Dr. Alexandra Martynova-Van Kley
Dr. Van Kley earned a B.S. in biology, biochemistry and pedagogy from Bashkir State University in Ufa, Russia. She then earned a Ph.D. in plant physiology from the Belarussian Academy of Science in Minsk, Belarus. Her research focuses primarily on the detection and characterization of bacterial and fungal communities.
Dr. James Van Kley
Professor of Biology
Dr. Van Kley holds a B.S. from Calvin College, an M.S from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University, where he studied forest ecology. His research interests in biogeography focus on patterns of vegetation across the East Texas landscape. He is the curator of the Pineywoods Plants Digital Gallery, and the ASTC Herbarium at SFA,
Dr. Stephen Wagner
Professor of Microbiology
Dr. Wagner holds a B.S. in environmental biology from Heidelberg College, an M.S. in microbiology from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in soil microbiology from Clemson University. His research focuses on microbial ecology, with emphasis on bioremediation, plant-parasite interactions and management practices for soil microbes.
Dr. Robert Wiggers
Dr. Wiggers holds a B.S. in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in genetics from Texas A&M University. He joined SFA after completing a post-doctoral position at the UCLA School of Medicine. His research interests focus on the nuclear morphology, and the genetics of infectious diseases of plants and non-human mammals.
Dr. Carmen Montaña-Schalk
Dr. Montaña-Schalk’s research interests include aquatic community ecology, fish ecology, conservation ecology, and food-web ecology in tropical and temperate freshwater ecosystems. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries management from Universidad Nacional de los Llanos Occidentales Ezequiel Zamora. She also holds a doctorate in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University.
Dr. Lindsay Porter
Dr. Porter’s research interests include invertebrate immunology/immunogenetics, especially medically important ticks, and genetics/biochemical characterization of spider venom toxins. She received a bachelor’s degree in genetics, ecology and evolution from Australian National University and a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University.
Giudici received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas Pan American. She previously served as a chemistry lab teaching assistant and a science teacher at UT Pan American and at Alamo Memorial High School.
Wahlberg received a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology and master’s degree in biology from West Texas A&M University. She has served in a variety of professional roles, including a lab coordinator for SFA’s Department of Biology, a science teacher at Lufkin Middle School and an environmental specialist contractor for Crouch Environmental Services.