Department of Biology
New Mexico Tech

Department of Biology

The Biology Department offers cutting-edge research opportunities in high-tech laboratories. Students engage in research projects in molecular biology, microbiology, ecology, cell biology, and physiology. NMT biology graduates are also well-prepared for medical, dental, and veterinary school.

   Scroll down for department seminars and events.

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Biology Department News

Newly graduated Masters Student Bridie Alexander-Lawrie also has her first paper published - "Inhertance through the cytoplasm" in Heredity. Read it here!

♦ Asst Professor Joel Sharbrough awarded prestigious NSF CAREER Award!

♦ The Biology Department is excited to announce that New Mexico Tech will be the first college in New Mexico to join over 200 other colleges in over 40 states as part of the SEA-PHAGES program which is part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Alliance (HHMI-SEA).  The first group of students will be freshman from the Biology and Biomedical Sciences programs. During this year-long course, students will hunt down, capture, and characterize viruses that infect bacteria (called “bacteriophages”) from the environment.  Each student has the opportunity to name their novel phage, and contribute a sample to the national data bank at the University of Pittsburgh. The class as a whole will select one phage that will have its DNA sequenced, and in the second semester, this sequence will be fully analyzed and annotated by the class. Phages discovered by undergraduate students through this program have been used to treat patients suffering from multi-drug resistant bacterial infections (see this link). While only a few students are able to participate in this pilot course, the Biology Department plans to expand enrollment next year as part of our mission to increase opportunities for students to participate in authentic research experiences.

Cassandra Skaar earns prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.

♦ BMS graduate Wayne Vigil, Jr, now at UC-Riverside has published his first paper "Spectral deconvolution of redox species in the crotonyl-CoA-dependent NADH:ferredoxin oxidoreductase from Megasphaera elsdenii. A flavin-dependent bifurcating enzyme" in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics

♦ Congratulations to graduate students Marina Hein and Katie McLain for seeking out funding opportunities and being awarded a grant from the Native Plant Society ofNew Mexico to further their research. 

♦ We are proud to announce that new Biology Accelerated MS student Catherine Batchelder is the recipient of a Macey Scholarship for 2020-2021!

♦ Biology Acellerated MS student Kasandra Velarde applied for and received her own grant under PI Dr. Linda DeVeaux to fund her own project. This is the article the NM Water Resources Research Institute wrote about it.

♦ El Defensor Chieftain article on the new licensing agreement withParnell Pharmaceuticals to develop an anti-viral nasal spray to prevent COVID-19 that comes out of biology department research.

Click here for a list of scholarships for women


Summer 2023

July 17, 2023 Master Thesis Defense. Raymond Castillo, Biology Masters student advised by Dr Joel Sharbrough, will be defending his thesis “LoFFFS: An R-Package to Infer Functional Loss-of-Function Frequency Spectra” Monday, July 17, 2023 at 10 am in Jones Annex 101 or via Zoom.  Please contact the biology department for a Zoom link.

Biology Department Events Fall 2023 / Spring 2024

The Fall 2023 NM-INBRE Sponsored Biology/Biomedical Seminar Series is held on Mondays from 4:30pm to 5:30 pm in MSEC 195 and via Zoom unless noted otherwise. Email for a Zoom link.

9/18/2023 Dr Ellen Martinson, Asst Prof  of Biol UNM "Variation in Extended Phenotypes"
10/2/2023 Marilyn Wells, Phd Candidate. U of TX - Austin Blood vs. Bacteria: Viscoelasticity of the biofilm matrix and clearance by immune cells
10/9/2023 Student Talks Summer REUs
10/16/2023 Dr Brett Seymoure, UTEP The dark side of light: Consequences of disrupting natural light for the behavioral ecology of arthropods.
10/23/2023 Dr Matthew Scholfield, GlaxoSmithKline (and alumni) "My Unexpected Journey to Pharmaceutical Development"
10/30/2023 Joseph Ulbrich, MS Thesis Defense "Characterization of viral communities from Cavern pools in Carlsbad Caverns"
11/6/2023 Dr David Skaar, NCSU The Human Imprintome: Survival in the Postgenome Era
11/13/2023 Student Talks Summer REUs
11/20/2023 No Seminar Thankgiving Break
12/4/2023 No Seminar Finals


 Click for printable pdf directions to the Biology Department 

Past Events 2018-2019

Past Events 2019-2020

Past Events 2020-2021

Past Events 2021-2022

Past Events 2022-2023

NMT Isopod

Biology Staff

Dr. Kaarin Goncz Instructor, Lab Manager 575-835-5098 Biology Jones Annex 221
Vanessa Quinones Department Specialist 575-835-5612 Biology Jones Annex 219