COVID-19 Updates and Information


Michael Gotesman

Dr. Michael Gotesman


Office: Compton Science Center
Telephone: 301-687-4213


Ph.D. Biology, City University of New York
B.S. Biology, City University of New York

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    General Biology and Laboratory


    39th Annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop, Sheperdstown, West Virginia, USA 2014 “Systemic iridovirus infection in nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)”

    International Conference on Diseases of Zoo and Wild Animals, Vienna, Austria, 2013. “Koi herpesvirus-3 (KHV) disease: searching for molecular based control methods “ Fish Diseases that span host-pathogen environment. The German, Austrian, and Swiss division of the European Association of Fish Pathologists (EAFP), Bautzen, Germany 2012 “Using protein-protein interactions to screen for novel binding partners during Cyprinid herpesvirus-3 (CyHV-3) infection in common carp (Cyprinus carpio)”

    Biology Department Seminar, CUNY, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, USA 2010 “Myo1, A Class XIV Myosin in Tetrahymena thermophila”

    Pan American Studies Institute (PASI), Function and Regulation of the Cytoskeleton, Rio de Janerio, Brazil 2010. “MyTH4 Affects the Organization of Intranuclear Microtubules in Tetrahymena thermophila”

    Biology Department Seminar, CUNY, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, USA 2010 “MyTH4 and FERM have Overlapping and Distinct Roles in the Function of a Class XIV Myosin in Tetrahymena thermophila”


    Gotesman M, Hosein RE, Gavin RH. 2010. A FERM domain in a class XIV myosin interacts with actin and tubulin and localizes to the cytoskeleton, phagosomes, and nucleus in Tetrahymena thermophila. Cytoskeleton 67: 90-10.

    Gotesman M, Hosein RE, Gavin RH. 2011a. MyTH4 and FERM have distinct roles that are essential for the function of a class XIV myosin in Tetrahymena thermophila. Cytoskeleton 68: 220–236.

    Gotesman M. MyTH4 and FERM Have Overlapping and Distinct Roles in the Function of Myo1, a Class XIV Myosin in Tetrahymena thermophila.

    Gotesman M, Hosein RE, Flores J, Williams S, Gavin RH. A Novel Cyclin-Related Protein Interacts with a Class XIV Myosin and Affects Elongation of the Macronucleus at Amitosis in Tetrahymena Thermophila. Poster Presentation: In MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL 2011 Jan 1 (Vol. 22). 8120 WOODMONT AVE, STE 750, BETHESDA, MD 20814-2755 USA: AMER SOC CELL BIOLOGY.


    Tetrahymena thermophila is an interesting organism that has already achieved two separate and discrete Nobel Prize discoveries (1989, ribozymes; 2009 telomeres/telomerase). As a model organism, Tetrahymena is commonly used for biological research because of its rapid growth rate, inexpensive and simple culturing conditions, and a myriad of tools for genetic manipulation. The genome of Tetrahymena has been sequenced more than a decade ago, yet there is still much to learn about the proteomics that govern protein interactions for daily survival and growth in this organism. A major area of interest has been devoted to studying proteins involved in intracellular trafficking in Tetrahymena because of its prominent and extensive cytoskeletal network. In terms of human diseases, the cytoskeletal motor proteins (myosins, dyneins, and kinesins) associated with intracellular trafficking are involved in Usher Syndrome and Situs Inversus, cancer via chromosomal nondisjunction and other mechanisms. 

    My doctoral research took advantage of GFP-tagging truncated myosin protein domains to investigate the function of the MyTH4/FERM domain in Myo1p, a class XIV myosin (Gotesman et al., 2010, 2011). During this investigation, GFP-tagged MyTH4 and GFP-FERM were separately overexpressed in Tetrahymena thermophila. The research showed that MyTH4 and FERM have both overlapping and discrete roles in Myo1 function (Gotesman 2011). MyTH4 and FERM independently interact with actin and tubulin. However, although GFP-MyTH4 colocalized with anti-tubulin to intranuclear microtubules and overexpression of GFP-MyTH4 uncoupled macronuclear and cytoplasmic division; GFP-FERM localized to cytoskeleton, phagosomes and the overexpression of GFP-FERM led to the accumulation of phagosomes towards the posterior of the cell. During this investigation, we identified possible interactions of Myo1 with a yet uncharacterized cyclin-like protein (Gotesman et al., 2011b). I am interested in further exploring possible relationships between motor proteins with non-canonically related motor proteins, such as the relationship between myosins and cyclin related proteins in Tetrahymena thermophila to better understand how cytoskeletal proteins can be involved in regulating cell cycle progression.

Biology Faculty Franklin Hughes

Dr. Franklin Hughes

Assistant Professor

Office: Compton Science Center 313
Telephone: 301-687-4177


D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) Palmer College of Chiropractic
B.A. Chemistry, West Virginia University

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology, Anatomy & Physiology I, Anatomy & Physiology II


    Dr. Hughes maintained a successful practice as a Chiropractic Physician for 12 years prior to his career in academia.  He maintains licenses to practice in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Hawai’i.


    English, American Sign Language


    “Correlation Between Cortisol Levels, Perceived Anxiety and Performance in Students Presented with a Testing Stressor – A Poster Presentation.” Franklin P. Hughes, DC, Principal Investigator and Nathnael Tessema, Undergraduate Student, Department of Biology, Frostburg State University.

    Dr. Hughes has presented the following Radiology Workshops to FSU’s Nurse Practitioner Program:

    “Chest X-Ray, A Systematic Approach to Interpretation”

    “Skeletal Trauma & Basic Fracture Identification”


    Hughes F.  Chiropractic and oral surgical co-management of acute anterior temporomandibular disc displacement without reduction due to sports-related trauma in a pediatric patient – a case study and review of the literature.  J Contemporary Chiropr 2021;4:26-34

    Hughes F.  Reduction of cortisol levels and perceived anxiety in a patient undergoing chiropractic management for neck pain and headache: a case report and review of the literature.  J Contemporary Chiropr 2020;3:14-20

    Keller K., Hughes F.  2021.  Does a Student’s Academic Major Influence Their Perceptions of a Human Anatomy & Physiology Course and Ultimately Their Success in the Course?  HAPS Educ 25(2):13-29

    Cited as an Expert in Chiropractic Economics:

    Worth, T.  “Strength in Numbers.  An Integrative Practice Offers Multiple Ways to Achieve Best Outcomes for Your Patients.”  Chiropractic Economics Issue #9:  June 12, 2013:  34 - 40. Print.

    Current Research:

    “Student Preferences of Studying Methods in Human Anatomy & Physiology Pre- and Post- COVID.” Karen Keller, PhD & Franklin P. Hughes, DC 

    Selected Professional Memberships:

    Human Anatomy & Physiology Society
    American Association for Anatomy
    National Association of Advisors for Health Professions
    Northeast Association of Advisors for Health Professions
    West Virginia Chiropractic Society


Dr. Karen Keller

Associate Professor

Office: Compton Science Center 304
Telephone: 301-687-4174


Ph.D. Physiology, University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, 1999
M.S. Biological Sciences, Frostburg State University, 1992
B.A. Biological Sciences, Frostburg State University, 1989

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Histology,
    General Parasitology

    Research Projects Highlight:

    Dr. Keller’s research interests include histological sectioning and immunohistochemical staining and analysis of animal tissues. Undergraduate research projects have focused on the presence of various neurotransmitters and neurotransmitter receptors in frog, rat, and mouse tissues. In addition, Dr. Keller also conducts graduate and undergraduate research projects involved in the identification of parasites from local mammal populations. Recent projects have included analyses of field mice and other small animal parasite loads and the collection of ticks for identification of tickborne diseases.

    Selected Recent Publications:

    Human Anatomy & Physiology, 1st Edition, by Erin C. Amerman, Pearson Higher Education, 2016. (Contributed Chapters 26 and 27).

    Human Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory Manual, Cat Version, 1st Edition, by Catharine C. Whiting, Pearson Higher Education, 2016. (Contributing Author).

    Keller, K.L, R.S. Fritz, C.M. Zoubek, E.H. Kennedy, K.A. Cronin, E.S. Rothwell, and T.L. Serfass. 2014. Effects of transport on fecal glucocorticoid levels in captive-bred cotton-top tamarins (Sanguinus oedipus), Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science. 87(3):1-5.

    Clites, G.A. and K.L. Keller. 2012. Immunohistochemistry of the vasopressin receptor AVPR V2 in rat brain. Journal of Student Research 1(1):39-40.

    Raley, A., R. Price, W. Seddon, and K. Keller. 2012. Gastrointestinal parasites in road-killed raccoons and opossums in Western Maryland. Journal of Student Research 1(3):29-30.

    Selected Awards and Honors:

    Excellence in Teaching Award from Student Members of The National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alphi Pi in May 2012.

    Selected Professional Memberships:

    American Association of Anatomists (AAA) Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) American Society of Parasitologists (ASP) National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) Northeast Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NEAAHP)

    Additional Information:

    Dr. Keller is Chair of the Health Professions Advisory Council at FSU


Dr. Thomas Lambert

Associate Professor
Wildlife & Fisheries, and Interpretive Biology & Natural History Program Coordinator

Office: Compton Science Center 211
Telephone: 301-687-4167


Ph.D. 2004. Forestry, University of Toronto. Dissertation Title: “Small mammals of the southeastern Amazon and the ecological consequences of selective logging.” Supervisors: Jay R. Malcolm & Barbara L. Zimmerman.
M.S. 1999. Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Thesis Title “Effects of forest Fragmentation on Rodent Community Structure.” Supervisor: Gregory H. Adler.
B.S. 1995. Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

  • Additional Information

    I have a B.S. & a M.S. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, I received my Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Toronto. Since completing my Ph.D. I was a post-doc with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, a postdoctoral teaching & research associate at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a teaching fellow at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. Since 2008 I have been an assistant professor of biology here at Frostburg State University.

    Courses Taught:

    Throughout my career I have taught a wide range of courses ranging from introductory biology to field ecology to graduate level statistical analysis classes. Currently the main courses I teach are Mammalogy, Animal Behavior and non-majors introductory biology.

    Research Project Highlights:

    My research has largely focused on small mammal ecology. Specifically how anthropogenic changes in habitat structure impact small mammal community structure and in turn how changes in small mammal community structure can impact overall biodiversity through changes in seed predation and seed dispersal. Largely these projects have been conducted in the Tropics, with past research being done in Panama, Venezuela & Brazil. However my interests are not limited to the tropics and I am activity seeking to conduct more research in temperate regions. Additionally I am not only interested in small mammals but have recently begun several projects looking at deer browsing and the potential impacts of coyotes on deer populations.

    More about Dr Lambert


Dr. Hongqi Li


Office: Compton Science Center 306
Telephone: 301-687-4168


Ph.D. The Ohio State University
M.S. China University of Mining and Technology
B.S. Nanjing University, China

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    General Botany, Human Biology and the Environment, Morphology of Non-Vascular Plants, Morphology of Vascular Plants, Somatics - the Chinese approaches; Laboratory Teaching Experience

    Research Interest:

    My research interests include:

    -Study of Mesozoic and Paleozoic fossil plants in tracing the origin of flowering plants

    -Study of both living and fossil Carnivorous Plants with their morphology, ecology, and origin
    Other biological studies, from interested molecules (using GC-MS and THertz Spectroscopy) to plant therapeutical properties

    - Other biological studies, from interested molecules (using GC-MS and THertz Spectroscopy) to plant therapeutical properties.

    Paleobotanic Research Interests:

    My research interests are mainly focused on the "origin of angiosperms" that has been an "abominable mystery" since Darwin. Currently, we still do not know when, where, and from which plants the flowering plants originated, while the confirmed, earliest angiosperm megafossils are 125 million years old, found from the Yixian Formation, Lower Cretaceous, Liaoning, northeastern China.

    I have published three papers on three different fossil flowering plants found from the Yixian Formation, including Archaefructus eoflora (Ji et al., 2004), Archaeamphora longicervia (Li, 2005) and Hyrcantha decussata (Dlicher et al., 2007). Considering that angiosperms had highly diversified during the Early Cretaceous, the origin of angiosperms must be much earlier.

    To trace the possible PreCretaceous angiosperms, I am applying two approaches, studying the plant morphology and anatomy and analyzing fossil molecules from 1) angiosperms collected form the Yixian Formation of the Early Cretaceous, northeastern China; 2) possible angiosperm fossil plants collected form the Middle-Late Jurassic, northeastern China; 3) fossil plants that have some angiosperm characteristics, collected form the Late Triassic- Early Jurassic, northern and southern China; and 4) Permian gigantopterids (250-290 million years ago) from China and USA.

    I have been studying Chinese gigantopterids since 1983 and found their morphology (e.g., broad leaves, complex reticulate venation) and anatomy (e.g., paracytic stomata, vessels. 1996 Science) make them resemble angiosperms the most among all living and fossil seed plants, and their Permian age well matches the origin time of angiosperms suggested by molecular clock studies (see my gigantopterid-related-papers published in 1990, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 1999). However, because the confirmed earliest angiosperms are only about 125 million years old, I have been hesitating to further correlate gigantopterids with angiosperms, unless I obtain some more convincing evidence.

    Because there is no DNA or RNA preserved in PreCretaceous fossil plants, we have to use other stable fossil molecules to trace lineage of angiosperms. Oleanane appears to be an ideal angiosperm biomarker because it has been found in most angiosperm families, and its increase matches well with the diversification of flowering plants during Cretaceous.

    From the Yixian Formation, I have reported a species flowering plant, Archaefructus eoflora (Ji et al., 2004). More excitingly, I also have found fossil pitcher plants from the same place in the same fossil flora (Li, 2005). The fossil pitcher plants of Archaeamphora longicervia share many characteristics with modern sarraceniacean pitcher plants of America. Since Sarraceniaceae are placed within the crown group of angiosperms, the discovery of the sarraceniacean-like fossil pitcher plants suggests the basal angiosperms should have originated much earlier, possibly as 280 million years ago as recent molecular clock studies suggested. I have found oleanane from the Chinese gigantopterids of Permian (Taylor et al., 2006, Paleobiology 32(2): 179-190). Nature editor Dr. Henry Gee pointed out that, "If they (gigantopterids) are found to be closer to the flowering plants, the lineage leading to flowering plants will be put securely back into the Permian period" (

    -2007 Dilcher, David L., Ge Sun, Qiang Ji, and Hongqi Li. An early infructescence Hyrcantha decussata (comb. nov.) from the Yixian Formation in northeastern China. PNAS 104(22): 9370-9374 (May 22, 2007).

    -2006 Taylor, David Winship, Hongqi Li, Jeremy Dahl, Fred J. Fago, David Zinniker, and J. Michael Moldowan. Biogeochemical Evidence for Late Paleozoic origin and deep phylogenetic root of Angiosperms. Paleobiology 32(2): 179-190.

    -2004 Ji, Qiang, Hongqi Li, L. Michelle Bowe, Yusheng Liu, and David W. Taylor. Early Cretaceous Archaefructus eoflora sp. nov. with bisexual flowers from Beipiao, western Liaoning, China. Acta Geologica Sinica 78, 883-896.

    -1999 Li, Hongqi and David W. Taylor. Vessel-Bearing Stems, Vasovinea tianii gen. et sp. nov. (Gigantopteridales), from the Upper Permian of Guizhou Province, China. American Journal of Botany 86(11): 1563-1575.

    -1998 Li, Hongqi and David W. Taylor. Aculeovinea yunguiensis gen. et sp. nov. (Gigantopteridales), a new taxon of gigantopterid axis from the Upper Permian of Guizhou Province, China. International Journal of Plant Sciences 159: 1023-1033.

    -1996 Li, Hongqi, Edith. L. Taylor, and Thomas. N. Taylor. Permian vessel elements. Science 271: 188-189.

    -1996 Tian, Baolin, Shijun Wang, Yingting Guo, Hongqi Li, Guiren Chen, and Hong Zhao. Flora of Paleozoic Coalballs of China. The Palaeobotanists, 45: 247-254.

    -1994 Li, Hongqi, Baolin Tian, Edith L. Taylor, and Thomas N. Taylor. Foliar Anatomy of Gigantonoclea guizhouensis (Gigantopteridales) from the Upper Permian of Guizhou Province, China. American Journal of Botany 81(6): 678-689.

    -1992 Tian, Baolin and Hongqi Li. A New special Petrified Stem, Guizhouoxylon dahebianense gen. et sp. nov., from Upper Permian in Shuicheng District, Guizhou, China. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, 31(3): 336-345 (in Chinese and English).

    -1990 Li, Hongqi and Baolin Tian. Anatomic Study of the Foliage leaf of Gigantonoclea guizhouensis Gu et Zhi. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, 29(2): 216-227, 3 Plates. (In Chinese with English summary).

    Carnivous Plants Research Interests:

    The Archaeamphora longicervia found from the Lower Cretaceous is actually a fossil pitcher plant that shares many morphological and anatomical characteristics with modern sarraceniacean pitcher plants of America (Li, 2005). This conclusion is also supported with the discovery of angiosperm biomark molecule oleanane from Archaeamphora specimens. Since Sarraceniaceae are placed within the crown group of angiosperms, this is the earliest fossil record of carnivorous plants and the earliest fossil record of crown group of angiosperms.

    My discovery of fossil pitcher plant Archaeamphora also inspired my interests in study of modern carnivorous plants, including their origin, phytogeography, morphology, ecology, conservation, and molecular as well as medicinal studies. I had one graduate student complete his master degree research on a comprehensive investigation of local populations of Sarracenia purpurea. Beside these, I have organized the 6th Conference of International Carnivorous Plant Society, hosted at Frostburg State University, June 1-5, 2006.

    -2010 Hongqi Li and Michael Gould. Observation of Reproductive Organs of Sarraceniaceae with SEM LV Model. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 39: 56-61.

    -2010 Adam Hnatkovich and Hongqi Li. Comparative morphological studies of Sarracenia purpurea L. (Sarraceniaceae) populations around western Maryland, USA. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 39: 50-54.

    -2005 Yuejin Hua and Hongqi Li. Food Web and Fluid in Pitchers of Nepenthes mirabilis in Zhuhai, China. Acta Botanica Gallica 152(2): 165-176.

    Other Biological Studies:

    When I was working on modern pitcher plants and trying to find out some special molecules that could be used as specific biomarkers, I found many of them yield mocule plumbagin that have studied as a potential anticancer agent. That lead me to further expanded my research into examine plumbagin and other molules, with a new technology, T-Hertz Spectrascopy, and ended with several publications.

    -2010 Weining Wang, Xiang Luo, Xiaoni Zeng, Yingying Zheng, and Hongqi Li. Terahertz and Infrared Spectra of Plumbagin, Juglone, and Menadione. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 39: 82-88.

    -2009 Weining Wang, Hongqi Li, Yan Zhang, Cun-Lin Zhang. Correlations between Terahertz Spectra and Molecular Structures of 20 Standard -Amino Acids. Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin., 25(10): 2074-2079.

    -2008 Weining Wang, Hongqi Li, Xiang Luo, and Xiaoni Zeng. THz Spectra of 1,4-Naphthoquinones and its Four Derivatives. Terehertz Photonics, edited by Cunlin Zhang, Xi-Cheng Zhang, Proc. Of SPIE Vol. 6840, 684000 (2007).

    Therefore, I study not only fossil plants, but also modern plants. In particular, when I cannot find some morphology/anatomy of a modern plant from literature, I will dissect the plant and use my own observation to clarify some characteristics in related fossil plants. For example, when I study the earliest, anatomically preserved fossil cycad, I dissected living cycad material to obtain a comprehensive understanding of anatomy of cycads. These studies may lead to important discoveries to clarify some evolutionary problems.

    -Hongqi Li, Jianglin Chang, Bao-lin Tian, and David W. Taylor. The oldest cycad stem, a Permian fossil from China. International Journal of Plant Sciences (completing).

    Recent Grants:

    -2010 Assigned Time Grant releasing teaching time for organizing the 27th Midcontinent Paleobotany Colloquium, awarded by FSU.

    -2006 Assigned Time Grant releasing teaching time from Biol 109 in the spring for organizing the 6th Conference of International Carnivorous Plant Society, awarded by FSU.

    -2005 Undergraduate student research grant for advising undergraduate student research projects, $2,500 (total $4,000) awarded by FSU.

    -2004 Conference Presentation Grant for Presentation "Morphology and Biogeochemistry of Possible Fossil Pitcher Plants from the Early Cretaceous, China" at The Fifth Conference of International Carnivorous Plants Society, Lyon, France, $1,000 awarded by FSU.

    -2002, "Tracing the origin of angiosperms through investigating fossil molecule oleanane from fossil plants," $35,000, awarded by Petroleum Research Fund (PRF), American Chemical Society (ACS).

    -2002, Match-up grant for "Tracing the origin of angiosperms through investigating fossil molecule oleanane from fossil plants in China," ¥100,000 (˜$12,000), awarded by National Petroleum Corporation of China.

    -2001 Faculty Development Grant for project "Visiting China and follow up working on Campus for both research and teaching," $2,250, awarded by Frostburg State University.

    -2000 Research grant for cooperative projects on studies of Paleozoic fossil plants, ¥25,000 (˜$3,000), awarded by Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology.

Kumudini A. Munasinghe

Dr. Kumudini A. Munasinghe

Assistant Professor

Office: Compton Science Center 203
Telephone: 301-687-4299


Ph.D. University of Maryland Eastern Shore
M.S. University of Maryland Eastern Shore
B.S. (Honors) University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    Microbiology, Medical Microbiology

    Research Interest:

    As a researcher, I am interested in studying pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance and molecular characteristics of clinically important bacteria to understand their natural ability of transferring extrachromosomal genetic elements. My research findings will help us to understand large-scale questions about bacterial mutations and multidrug resistance of the fast-emerging bacteria. I work on real time PCR products and analyze them by agarose gel electrophoresis and DNA Sequencing in which amplification of DNA is performed using the Dideoxynucleotide method with an AmpliTAQ FS Big Dye Terminator cycle sequencing kit and ABI Prism 310 genetic analyzer. Phylogenetic trees are constructed based on maximum likelihood, and the GenBank database with BLAST is used to identify phylogenetically close relatives of isolated bacteria.

Biology Faculty David Puthoff

Dr. David Puthoff


Office: Compton Science Center 212
Telephone: 301-687-4172


Ph.D. University of California, Riverside
B.S. The Ohio State University

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    General Biology, Plant Physiology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Genetics Laboratory, Molecular Biology, Seminar in Biology

    Research Projects Highlights:

    Most recently my research has moved to the genetic and chemical profiling of hemp (Cannabis sativa). A great team of undergraduate students and I are cataloging microsatellite profiles of hemp varieties along with correlating those to CBD, THC, terpene and other cannabinoid levels. In addition to hemp, my research also focuses on plant interactions with their pathogens with a special focus on the interactions with insect pests. One specific plant pest that is of interest is whiteflies. These phloem feeding insects remove photoassimilates along with vectoring viruses. The long-term goal of experiments will be to breed and create plant germplasm that is resistant to or tolerant of these devastating pests.

    Selected Recent Publications:

    Chen, Xiao-yan; Deng, Hua; Heise, Janai; Puthoff , David; Bou-Abboud , Nabeel; Yu, Hongtao; Peng, Jiangnan. (submitted 2021) Contents of Cannabinoids in Hemp Varieties Grown in Maryland. ACS Omega

    Talley EM, Watts CT, Aboyer S, . . . Puthoff DP, et al. (2021). Genetic mapping and phenotypic analysis of shotH.3.2 in Drosophila melanogaster. MicroPubl Biol. Published 2021 Jul 13. doi:10.17912/micropub.biology.000418. *Multiple Undergraduate Researchers included on this publication.

    *DeCapite, A., *Lancaster, T. and Puthoff, D.P. (2016). Salicylic acid treatment increases the levels of triterpene glycosides in Black cohossh (Actaea racemosa) rhizomes. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42:13-16.

    Vickers, A., Brosi, S.L., Howell, J., Kaur, B., Puthoff, D.P. and Eisenstein, E. (2015) Ecological and Chemotypic Analysis for Improved Growth and Management of Naturally Occurring Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.) Populations in Western Maryland. American Journal of Plant Sciences 6:3272-3281.

    Lennon, K.A. and Puthoff, D.P. (2013). Take-home active learning exercises may result in learning gains equivalent to in-class active learning, with both superior to traditional, low- structured lecture in Introductory Biology. J. Microbiology and Bio. Education DOI:

    *Bowman, M. and Puthoff, D.P (2012) 3 sequences from Brassica rapa were published to GenBank Accession numbers: JX000229.1, JX000230.1, JX000231.1

    Puthoff, D.P., Holzer, F., Perring, T. and Walling, L.L. (2010). Tomato Pathogenesis-related Protein Genes are Expressed in Response to Trialeurodes vaporariorum and Bemisia tabaci Biotype B Feeding. J. Chemical Ecology 36(11):1271-85.

    Puthoff, D.P., Neelam, A., Ehrenfried, M.L., Scheffler, B.E., Ballard, L., Song, Q., Campbell, K.B., Cooper, B., and Tucker, M.T. (2008). Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Uromyces appendiculatus hyphae and haustoria and their comparison to sequences from other rust fungi. Mycology. 98(10):1126-1135.

    Smigocki, A., Ivic-Haymes, S., Puthoff, D.P. and Zuzga, S. (2008). Recent advances in functional genomics for sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) improvement: progress in determining the role of BvSTI in pest resistance in roots. Sugar Tech 10(1): 91-98.

    Puthoff, D.P., Ehrenfried, M.L., Vinyard, B.T. and Tucker, M.L. (2007). GeneChip profiling of transcriptional responses to soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, colonization of soybean roots J. Exp. Bot. 58(12): 3407-3418.

    *denotes undergraduate researcher



Dr. Richard Raesly


Office: Compton Science Center 302
Telephone: 301-687-4713


Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University
M.S. Frostburg State University
B.S. Albright College

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    Ichthyology, Fish Management and Culture, Evolution, Scientific Communication and Investigation, Human Biology and the Environment, Animal Ecology

    Research Interest:

    Ecology and evolution of introduced species; evolution and systematics of freshwater fishes; biology of endangered species; stream ecology.

Biology Faculty Bill Seddon

Dr. William Seddon


Office: Compton Science Center 311
Telephone: 301-687-4707


Ph.D. M.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.S. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
B.S. Pennsylvania State University

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    Animal Physiology, Genetics, Cell Biology, General Biology, Comparative Animal Physiology, Zoology (laboratory), Seminar in Biology

    Research Interest:

    Dr. Seddon’s research interests include comparative physiology, biochemical mechanisms of temperature adaptation in freshwater fishes, and molecular biology applications for population biology. Undergraduate and graduate research projects include feeding behavior of fishes, characterization of small animal parasites, optimization of DNA isolation from animal tissues and scat, and the use of molecular methods to assess distribution of small mammals.

    Recent Publications:

    Munasinghe, K. A., T. C. Matthews, W. L. Seddon, and B. E. Knouse.  2021. Characterization of Chicken Skin Collagen Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) and SDS-Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Engineering. Vol. 11(1):1‒5.

    Petrick, K., Seddon, W., Lambert, T., and F. K. Ammer.  2019.  Fecal pellet surveys and DNA analysis reveal that Appalachian cottontails (Sylvilagus obscurus) are more widespread than previously recorded in western Maryland.  Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science. Vol. 93, No. 1: 13-25.

    McGinley, E. J., Raesly R. L., and Seddon, W. L.  2013. The Effects of Embeddedness on the Seasonal Feeding of Mottled Sculpin. The American Midland Naturalist 170(2):213-228.

    Raley, A., R. Price, W. Seddon, and K. Keller. 2012. Gastrointestinal parasites in road-killed raccoons and opossums in Western Maryland. Journal of Student Research 1(3):29-30.

    Rothschild, D. M., T. L. Serfass, W. L. Seddon, L. Hegde, and R. S. Fritz.  2010. Using fecal glucocorticoids to assess stress levels in captive river otters.  Journal of Wildlife Management 72:138-142.

    Seddon, W. L., and C. L. Prosser. 1999. Non-enzymatic isolation and culture of channel catfish hepatocytes using a collagenase-free perfusion system. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. 123A:9-15.

    Seddon, W. L. 1997. Mechanisms of temperature acclimation in the channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus: isozymes and quantitative changes. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. 118A (3):813-820.

    Seddon, W. L., and C. L. Prosser. 1997. Seasonal variations in the temperature acclimation response of the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Physiological Zoology. 70(1):33-44.

Biology Faculty Thomas Serfass

Dr. Thomas Serfass

Graduate Coordinator

Office: Compton Science Center 210
Telephone: 301-687-4171


Ph.D. Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Pennsylvania State University. 1994

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    Wildlife Techniques; Ecology and Management of Wildlife Populations; Mammalogy; and Conservation Biology and Reserve Design. 



    A large portion of Dr. Serfass's research and conservation activities have focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of wildlife restoration programs and recovering wildlife populations—particularly mesocarnioves. Tom conceived and coordinated the successful Pennsylvania River Otter (Lontra canadensis) and Fisher (Martes pennanti) Reintroduction Projects, and has authored over 40 journal, proceedings, popular articles, and book chapters dealing specifically about river otters, fishers, and wildlife reintroductions. During the past 14 years Tom has mentored the completion of 38 MS and PhD students, conducting research ranging from evaluating the fates of river otters reintroduced in western New York to assessing the natural history and conservation value (potential as flagship species) of spotted-necked otters (Lutra maculicollis) and other wildlife at Rubondo Island National Park, Lake Victoria, Tanzania. Tom is the North American Coordinator of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Otter Specialist Group.

    Note: Tom is not currently accepting new graduate students except for those with an international research interest in carnivore conservation and having funding to support those interests.

    Publications (2011 - present):

    Serfass, T. L., J. A. Bohrman, S. S. Stevens, and J. T. Bruskotter. 2014. Otters and anglers can share the stream! The role of social science in dissuading negative messaging about reintroduced predators. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 19:532-544.

    Peper, S. T., R. L. Peper, G. V Kollias, R. P. Brooks, S. S Stevens, and T. L. Serfass. 2014. Efficacy of two canine distemper vaccines in wild river otters (Lontra canadensis). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 45:520-526.

    Keller, L. K., R. S. Fritz, C. M. Zoubek, E. H. Kennedy, K. A. Cronin, and T. L. Serfass. 2014. Effects of transport on fecal glucocorticoid levels in captive-bred cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science (in press).

    Reed-Smith, J, T. Serfass, T. Kihudu, and M. Mussa. 2014. Preliminary report on the behavior of spotted-necked otter (Lutra maculicollis, Lichtenstein, 1835) living in a lentic ecosystem. Zoo Biology (in press).

    Jessica R. Brandt, J. R., A. L. Brandt, F. K. Ammer, A. L. Roca, and T. L. Serfass. 2014. Impact of Population Expansion on Genetic Diversity and Structure of River Otters (Lontra canadensis) in Central North America Journal of Heredity 105:39-47.

    Stevens, S.S., B. Amulike, S. Ndaga, J. F. Organ, and T. L. Serfass. 2014. The confusion of common names: a wildlife-specific methodological challenge in cross-cultural research. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 19:191-199.

    Amulike, B., S. S. Stevens, and T. L. Serfass. 2013. Enhancing tourist opportunities to view spotted-necked otters (Lutra maculicollis) at Rubondo Island National Park: can the apriori location of latrines simplify identifying best viewing areas? African Journal of Ecology 51:609-617.

    Brooks, R.P, and T.L. Serfass. 2013. Wetland-riparian wildlife of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Pages 259-268 in R.P. Brooks, and .D.H. Wardrop, Editors. Mid-Atlantic freshwater wetlands: advances in wetlands science, management, policy, and practice. Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., New York, New York, USA.

    Loughry, S. C., M. D. Triska, D. M. Fecske, and T. L. Serfass. 2012. A direct comparison of enclosed-track plates and remote cameras in detecting fishers in North Dakota. Canadian Field-Naturalist126:281-287.

    Just, E. H., S. S. Stevens, R. M. Spinola, and T. L. Serfass. 2012. Detecting river otter latrines near bridges: does habitat and season influence survey success? Wildlife Biology 3:264-271.

    Serfass, T. L., and S. S. Stevens. 2012. Book review: human impacts on seals, sea lions, and sea otters: integrating archaeology and ecology in the northeast Pacific. The Quarterly Review of Biology 87:285.

    Bagherian, A. J., D. M. Fecske, M. D. Triska, J. A. Bishop, D. J. Berezanski, S. K. Johnson, R. P. Brooks, and T. L. Serfass. 2012. Evidence of American Martens Populating the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota. The Prairie Naturalist 44:10-16.

    Bohrman, J. A., S. S. Stevens, and T. L.Serfass. 2012. Long-term survival and reproduction in a river otter (Lontra canadensis) with an intraperitoneal radio-transmitter. Canadian Field-Naturalist:125:252-254.

    Brooks, R. P., T. L. Serfass, M. Triska, and L. M. Rebelo. 2011. Ramsar Protected Wetlands of International Importance as Habitats for Otters. IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin 29:47-63.

    Hanley, Z., and T. L. Serfass. 2011. Distribution and detection rates of a reintroduced fisher population in western Maryland. Martes Working Group Newsletter 18(1):25-27.

    Stearns, C. R., and T. L. Serfass. 2011. The use of scales to estimate the size of the fish prey of river otters (Lontra canadensis) and other piscivores. American Midland Naturalist 166:163-176.

    Stearns, C. R., and T.L. Serfass. 2011. Food habits and fish prey size selection of a newly colonizing population of river otters (Lontra canadensis) in eastern North Dakota. American Midland Naturalist 165:169–184.

    Stevens, S. S., E. H. Just, R. C. Cordes, R. P. Brooks, T. L. Serfass. 2011. The influence of habitat quality on the detection of river otter (Lontra canadensis) latrines near bridges. American Midland Naturalist 166:435-445.

    Stevens, S. S, J. F. Organ, and T. L. Serfass. 2011. Otters as flagships: social and cultural considerations. IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin 28:150-161.

    Triska, M. D., S. C. Loughry, and T. L. Serfass. 2011. Persistence of fishers in riparian forests in North Dakota, USA following a severe flood event. Acat Theriologica 56:367–374.

    Triska, M. D., S. C. Loughry, and T. L. Serfass. 2011. River otters use agricultural field along the Turtle River in eastern North Dakota as crossover and latrine area. The Prairie Naturalist 43(1/2):52-55.


Dr. Kate Sheehan

Assistant Professor

Office: Compton Science Center 314
Telephone: 301-687-4306


Ph.D. Clemson University - Wildlife & Fisheries Biology
M.S. University of South Alabama - Marine Science
B.S. University of South Alabama - Biology

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    General Ecology, Disease Ecology, Entomology, Limnology, Invertebrate Zoology

    Research Interest:

    Ecological parasitology, plastics ecology, and their interactions in natural systems. I am interested in understanding the roles that both parasites and plastic pollution play in shaping the trophic relationships of organisms in freshwater, estuarine, and marine systems. Much of the research I conduct is collaborative in nature, and employs sophisticated taxonomic, biochemical, and spatio-statistical methods to learn about the ways that our planet is changing. I often work on avian-parasite systems, with particular emphasis on waterbirds that live in freshwater, coastal, and pelagic systems.


    Selected Publications:

    Causey, D., A. Stanek, K. Sheehan, K. Burnham. 2019. Evidence for increasingly rapid destabilization of coastal Arctic food webs. In: L. A. Kyhn and A. Mosbech (eds.), White Paper: North Water Polynya Conference. 2017, pp. 65 - 71 Aarhus University, Denmark

    Sheehan, K. L., R. J. Johnson, G. K. Yarrow, B. Dorr, C. Dorr. 2017. The influence of geographical location, host maturity and sex on intestinal helminth communities of the double-crested cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus from the eastern US. J. Helminthology. 91: 561-568.

    Sheehan, K. L., G. S. Spicer, B. M. O’Connor, R. F. Hechinger. 2017. No one saw this coming: Subcutaneous deutonymph infection behind the eyes of a Double-crested Cormorant. J. Parasitology. 103: 295-297.

    Sheehan, K. L., S. T. Esswein, B. Dorr, G. K. Yarrow, and R. J. Johnson. 2017. Using Species Distribution Models to Define Nesting Habitat of the Eastern Metapopulation of Double-crested Cormorants. Ecology and Evolution. 7: 409-418.

    Sheehan, K. L., D. W. Tonkyn, G. K. Yarrow, J. J. Johnson. 2016. Parasite Assemblages of Double-crested Cormorants as Indicators of Host Populations and Migration Behavior. Ecological Indicators. 67: 497-503.

    Selected Presentations:

    Sheehan, K.L. April 2019. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The potential roles that parasites can play in influencing plastic consumption in hosts. Plenary speaker. Southeastern Society of Parasitologists, Athens, GA.

    Sheehan, K.L. July 2018. Initial findings of parasites and disease of Northern Gannets found stranded on the coasts of New England. Cape Wildlife Center, Yarmouth, MA

    Woolbright, S.A., H.A. Birchfield, D.M. Ford, K.L. Sheehan, M.P. Ashworth, R.A. Yeager, C.H. Martin, S.R. Manning, R.A. Shroat-Lewis, L.S. Ruhl. 2019. Anchialine lakes of the Bahamas support unusually dense populations of Acetabularia spp. And other Dasyclad

Rebecca Taylor

Dr. Rebekah Taylor

Department Chair/Associate Professor

Office: Compton Science Center 303
Telephone: 301-687-4355


Ph.D. Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis
B.A. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Molecular Biology; Theatre

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    Immunology, Virology, Cell Biology, Advanced Microscopy, General Biology, Seminar in Biology, Biotechnology Laboratory
    Special Topics: Host-Pathogen Interactions


    Dr. Taylor's research interests are centered on immunology, especially host-pathogen interactions and mucosal immunology. Currently, Dr. Taylor and several undergraduate and graduate students are currently investigating the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, in Western Maryland. Ticks are collected and tested for the presence of Borrelia by PCR analysis, and blood and tissue samples from wild mice are also tested by ELISA and PCR. These data along with environmental information will allow a broad picture of the emergence of Lyme in the regional area.

    Dr. Taylor mentors undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in learning advanced biological techniques such as fluorescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, dissection and cryopreservation, tissue sectioning, histochemical staining, ELISA, PCR, and cell culture.

    Curriculum Vita

Clara Thiel

Clara Thiel


Office: Compton Science Center 202


M.S. Frostburg State University, Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology
B.S. James Madison University, Biology

  • Additional Information
    Courses Taught:

    Dendrology, Plant Taxonomy, Economic Botany, Scientific Investigation and Communication


    My current research focuses on rare plants and ecosystems throughout Appalachia and the mid-Atlantic region. I have strong interests in the biogeography and evolutionary ecology of insular ecosystems and endemic plant species, as well as the resilience of these biodiversity hotspots towards anthropogenic impacts, shifts in disturbance regime, and climate change.