Research in the Biological Sciences Department

The department of Biological Sciences has an innovative and rigorous multidisciplinary research program. Our research labs are well funded by extramural grants provided by the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and private non-profit foundations. Faculty also have a strong collaborative network within Marquette University and with local Universities of Medical College of Wisconsin, UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee along with several national and international collaborations.

 Learn more about our diverse areas of research: 


Biochemistry and Genetics

Several labs are taking molecular and structural approaches to study key metabolic enzymes, DNA repair proteins, translation and mitochondrial factors, and oligomers in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Diverse labs in this research area seek to understand the forces that structure plant communities, maintain species diversity as well as study the evolutionary processes that maintain biological diversity.

Microbiology Research


This research area focuses on how microbes cope with diverse, often seemingly harsh, habitats and how they have tremendous effects on their immediate environments and the entire globe.

Cell Biology

Cell and Developmental Biology

This highly interactive group investigate cellular and developmental processes in a variety of  model systems such as C. elegans, Drosophila, Arabidopsis, Chlamydomonas, yeast and human cell lines.

Rice Genetics Research

Genetics and Molecular Biology

Specific areas of research in this group include classical Mendelian genetics to reverse genetics with emphasis on epigenetic regulation, DNA rearrangement and microRNA biology.


Physiology, and Neurophysiology

The research areas of this diverse group include muscle, nerve and epithelial physiology emphasizing molecular and systems physiology with emphasis on neurotransmitters, muscle, sleep and circadian biology.


Recent publications:

Vera Strogolova, Ngoc H. Hoang, Jonathan Hosler, and Rosemary A. Stuart
The yeast mitochondrial proteins Rcf1 and Rcf2 support the enzymology of the cytochrome c oxidase complex and generation of the proton motive force.
J. Biol. Chem. jbc.RA118.006888. doi:10.1074/jbc.RA118.006888

Nilisha Pokhrel, Colleen C. Caldwell, Elliot I. Corless, Emma A. Tillison, Joseph Tibbs, Nina Jocic, S. M. Ali Tabei, Marc S. Wold, Maria Spies & Edwin Antony 
Dynamics and selective remodeling of the DNA-binding domains of RPA.
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 26, 129136 (2019)

Brendan Pinto, Guarino Colli, Timothy Higham, Anthony Russell, Daniel Scantlebury, Laurie Vitt, and Tony Gamble
Population genetic structure and species delimitation of a widespread, Neotropical dwarf gecko, Gonatodes humeralis (Sphaerodactylidae: Gekkota).
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 133:54 54–66.

Sergio Estrada‐Villegas and Stefan A. Schnitzer
A comprehensive synthesis of liana removal experiments in tropical forests. 
Biotropica 50: 729-739.