Skip to main content
Apply Now
Department of Biology
258 Science Building
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.2339

Faculty & Staff

Welcome to our department!
  • Jessica Allen, Ph.D.
    Jessica Allen, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    SCI 268
    Phone: 509-359-4727
    Fax: 509-359-6867

    Research: Lichen diversity, evolution, and conservation.

    I am a lichenologist who pursues two major areas of research. First, I am interested in understanding how rates of recombination in primarily asexual fungi shape genome evolution, population structure, and adaptation.  I use a suite of genomics and modeling tools to test evolutionary hypotheses on diverse, lichenized fungi.

    My second line of research is on biodiversity and conservation. Despite many incredible scientific achievements, like man having walked on the moon, we still have a hazy idea of what species we share this planet with and where they live. Projects in this area of my research involve documenting lichen biodiversity, with a specific focus on the Inland Northwest. As a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Committe on lichns, I apply my research to IUCN red-list assessments for lichens, one way of translating knowledge of a species to conservation applications.

  • Jason Ashley, Ph.D.
    Jason Ashley, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    SCI 236
    Phone: 509-359-4665
    Fax: 509-359-6867

    Eastern Since:  2016

    Research: Cellular and molecular biology of the skeleton. Research website:

    Undergraduate Degree: Tulane University, Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2006

    Graduate Degree:  University of Alabama at Birmingham, Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Cellular Pathology, 2011

    Postdoctoral fellowships:  Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2011-2013; Orthopaedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 2013-2016

    Research Interests:

    I am a cell and molecular biologist with an interest in mechanisms of bone physiology and pathology. Specifically, I investigate signaling pathways and molecules that govern the differentiation and function of osteoclasts - cells responsible for the breakdown and remodeling of bone. My lab uses animal models and cell culture systems in conjunction with molecular biology tools including gene and protein expression analysis, cDNA cloning, and transgene expression. For more information, please visit my website.


  • Richard Barido
    Richard Barido
    Instructional Classroom Support Technician 3
    SCI 176A
    Phone: 509-359-6867
  • Justin Bastow, Ph.D.
    Justin Bastow, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    SCI 260
    Phone: 509.359.2810

    Eastern Since: 2008
    Research:  "Ecosystem ecology with a focus on soil food webs and climate change."
    Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Berkeley, 1999, Integrative Biology
    Graduate Degree: University of California, Davis, 2007, Population Biology
    Post Doctoral Work: Bodega Marine Lab, 2007 - 2008

    Courses Taught:

    Ecology (Biol 440), Ecology Lab (Biol 441), Biological Investigation (Biol 270), Biology II (Biol 172), Capstone (Biol 490 Climate Change Biology), Current Topics (Biol 511, in Ecology), Entomology (Biol 324)

    Research Interests:

    I am an ecosystem ecologist interested in how food webs mediate ecosystem processes in terrestrial ecosystems. My current research focuses on the relationship between soil food webs and carbon cycling. Soils play an outsized role in the global carbon cycle, but the dynamics of soil food webs have historically been poorly understood. My research uses a combination of field and lab experiments to try to understand how nematodes, arthropods, bacteria, plants and fungi are interacting and what it means for the biosphere.

    If you are interested in working in my lab on my ongoing research or in developing your own project in the area of terrestrial ecosystem ecology, please contact me.

  • Prakash Bhuta, Ph.D.
    Prakash Bhuta, Ph.D.
    Faculty Emeritus

    I received Ph. D. in Microbiology from University of Southwestern Louisiana. Before that I obtained M. Sc. in Microbiology from Maharaja Sayajirao University at Baroda (India), a Diploma in Pharmacy from the Bombay College of Pharmacy and B. Sc. - major: Microbiology and minor: Chemistry - with Honors from Bombay University, Bombay (India).

    I have worked as a research fellow, at the Cancer Research Institute (Chemotherapy Division), Bombay(India). After graduating from the University of SW Louisiana, I carried out postdoctoral research at the Michigan Cancer Foundation (Chemistry Department); and at the University of Michigan (The Simpson Memorial Institute, Division of Hematology). After graduating with a Ph. D. degree, I have studied the mechanism of ribosomal peptidyltransferase and recombinant DNA techniques.

    At Eastern Washington University, I am involved in teaching undergraduate and graduate students through formal lecture classes, research projects and by directed studies. My students are also my co-authors in research presentations and publications.

    Last modified August 25, 2010

  • A. Ross Black, Ph.D.
    A. Ross Black, Ph.D.
    SCI 264
    Phone: 509.359.4815

    Eastern Since:


    I study the evolution and ecology of aquatic organisms.
    Undergraduate Degree:
    University of Washington, 1985
    Graduate Degree(s):
    University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1989, M.S.
    University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1991, Ph.D.

    Post Doctoral Work:
    University of Louisville, 1991-1993
    Environmental Biology
    Courses Taught:
    Ecology, General Biology, Biological Investigation
    Research Areas:
    Limnology; population biology; life histories; evolution; aquatic ecology

  • Rebecca L. Brown
    Rebecca L. Brown
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology
    SCI 254
    Phone: 509.359.2528


    I study plant community diversity and ecosystem function in a range of ecosystems, including riparia, Palouse Prairie, and the Channeled Scablands.  Recent projects include riparian restoration after dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington, Palouse Prairie Restoration on the EWU Campus, invasive winter annual grass distribution and management in eastern Washington, and studying the interacting effects of beaver and wildfire on riparian ecosystems in eastern Washington. 

    To visit my lab website, click below:

    CV available upon request.

  • Judd Case
    Judd Case
    SCI 102A
    Phone: 509-359-4029

    Research:  The evolution and dispersal of mammals, birds and dinosaurs on the southern continents.

  • Andrea Castillo, Ph.D.
    Andrea Castillo, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    SCI 291
    Phone: 509.359.2866
    Eastern Since:


    Undergraduate Degree:

    Albertson College of Idaho

    Graduate Degree(s):

    University of Colorado, Boulder

    Post Doctoral Work:

    Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
    University of California, Santa Cruz, CA


    Medical Technology Program

    Courses Taught:

    Microbiology, Current Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology (graduate studies)

    Research Areas:

    Bacteria Pathogenesis. Studying the molecules in Heliocobacter pylori uses to infect and cause gastric disease in humans.

  • David Daberkow, Ph.D.
    David Daberkow, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    SC 256
    Phone: 509.359.2259
    Fax: 509.359.6867

    Eastern Since:

    Undergraduate Degree:
    Southeastern Louisiana University, B.S. Zoology

    Graduate Degree(s):
    Utah State University, M.S. Biology
    University of Utah, Ph.D. Neuroscience

    Post Doctoral Work:
    Illinois State University, Program of Excellence in Neuroscience and Behavior (POENB)


    Courses Taught:
    Biological Investigation; Human Anatomy and Physiology; Animal Physiology; Neurobiology

    Research Areas:
    The focus of my research lab is on the neurochemical messenger dopamine and its role in brain function. Specifically, my research has explored how drugs (e.g., amphetamine and methamphetamine) impact dopamine mediated behaviors and cellular signaling molecules implicated in memory formation. More recent research elucidated amphetamine's cellular mechanism of action on dopamine neurotransmission. As a faculty member at EWU, my lab utilizes the technique of voltammetry which provides one the ability to monitor the activity of specific molecules (e.g., dopamine) in the brain. Future directions are to continue to investigate dopamine function, how drugs impact these processes, and dopamine dysfunction related to pathological conditions such as Parkinson's disease.


    Amphetamine Paradoxically Augments Exocytotic Dopamine Release and Phasic Dopamine Signals

    Methamphetamine neurotoxicity decreases phasic, but not tonic, dopaminergic signaling in the rat striatum

    Effect of Methamphetamine Neurotoxicity on Learning-Induced Arc mRNA Expression in Identified Striatal Efferent Neurons

    Arc mRNA induction in striatal efferent neurons associated with response learning

    Relation between methamphetamine-induced monoamine depletions in the striatum and sequential motor learning




  • Bradley Fillmore, M.S.
    Bradley Fillmore, M.S.
    Senior Associate Faculty
    SCI 270
    Phone: 509.359.2845
    Eastern Since:


    Undergraduate Degree:

    Brigham Young University, 1995, B.S.

    Graduate Degree(s):

    Idaho State University, 1999, M.S.

    Courses Taught:

    Human Anatomy and Physiology

    Field of Interest(s):

    Human Anatomy and Physiology; Health Professions; Pharmacology

  • David French
    David French
    Instruction & Classroom Support Technician 2
    SCI 286
    Phone: 509.359.6976
    Eastern Since:
    Major Interests:
    Experimental medicine, nervous system, math, skiing, sailing (hanging out around boats) Cynthia, Cooper and Dudley (pet parrot)
    B.S. in Molecular Biology and BS in Philosophy
    Major Responsibilities:
    Ordering, greenhouse, microbiology, helping students in Bio 270 and Bio 490 experiments, supervising work-study students
  • Amy Gray, M.S.
    Amy Gray, M.S.
    186A SCI
    Phone: 509-359-7401

    Research: I am interested in plant-pathogen interactions, myco-heterotrophy, and fungal endophytes of conifer needles.

  • James Hallett, Ph.D
    James Hallett, Ph.D
    Adjunct Professor
    TLES 4
    Phone: 509.359.4726
  • Charles Herr, Ph.D.
    Charles Herr, Ph.D.
    SCI 237
    Phone: 509.359.2038
    Eastern Since:
    Undergraduate Degree:
    University of Wyoming, 1979
    Graduate Degree(s):
    Washington State University, 1986, Ph.D.
    Post Doctoral Work:
    Australian National University, 1987-1991
    Advisor: Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, and Human Biology
    Courses Taught:
    Genetics(Biol 410 and 310), Embryology(Biol 477), General Biology(Biol 171, 172 and 173), Cell Biology (Biol 436), Biological Investigation (Biol 270), Premed Seminar (Biol 496) and Graduate Seminar (Biol 598)
    Research Areas:
    Developing universally applicable reproductive technologies primarily for the benefit of endangered species.
  • Bo Idsardi, Ph.D.
    Bo Idsardi, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    SCI 241A
    Phone: 509-359-6512
    Fax: 509-359-6867

    Eastern Since: 2018

    Research: "Science Education at K-12 and undergraduate levels."

    Undergraduate Degree:

    University of Florida, 2012, Biology

    Graduate Degree(s):

    University of Florida, 2014, M.S. Entomology

    University of Georgia, 2018, Ph.D. Science Education


    Biology Education

    Courses Taught:

    Science Teaching Methods, Biology Teaching Methods, Investigating Biology

    Research Areas:

    My research interests are in science education at both the undergraduate and K-12 level. I am particularly interested in undergraduate student learning in biology, undergraduate science faculty instructional approaches, and K-12 preservice teacher development in science.

    There are opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students interested in biology/science education to participate in on-going research and design independent projects. If you are interested please contact me by email to learn more about current education research opportunities.



  • Krisztian Magori, Ph.D.
    Krisztian Magori, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Science 266
    Phone: 509.359.2868


    Eastern Since:

    "Ecology of ticks and mosquitoes and other things that can make us sick."

    Undergraduate Degree:
    Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary

    Graduate Degree(s):
    Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary 1999, M.S. Ecology & Evolution
    Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary, 2004, Ph.D. Biological Physics

    Post Doctoral Work:
    North Carolina State University, 2004-06

    University of Georgia, 2008-2012

    Auburn University, 2012-2014


    Courses Taught:
    Data Analysis for Biologists (BIOL380), Biological Investigation (BIOL270), Senior Capstone in Disease Ecology (BIOL490), Advanced Biostatistics (BIOL511)

    Research Areas:
    I'm a disease ecologist, interested in the ecological relationships between hosts, pathogens, and vectors that transmit them, as well as with their abiotic and biotic environment. I'm particularly focused on vector-borne diseases, such as those transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes. Information about current and future research projects is provided on my webpage (

    I am actively recruiting undergraduate and graduate students to participate in on-going research and design independent projects. Please contact me if you are interested in participating in lab, computer or field-based research.


  • Joanna Joyner Matos, Ph.D.
    Joanna Joyner Matos, Ph.D.
    SCI 234B
    Phone: 509.359.2361
    Fax: 509.359.6867

    Eastern Since:
    "How aquatic animals can survive in habitats that have stressful conditions, including toxic metals and invasive species."
    Undergraduate Degree:
    University of Utah, 2000 Honors, Biology
    Graduate Degree(s):
    Washington State University, 2002, M.S. Zoology
    University of Florida, 2007, Ph.D. Zoology
    Post Doctoral Work:
    University of Florida, 2007-2008, Evolutionary Genetics
    Courses Taught:
    Biological Investigation; Human Anatomy and Physiology; Animal Physiology; Biology of Aging; Biology of Symbiosis; Current Topics in Physiology

    Research Areas:

    My research interests are in comparative physiology, with the overall goal of understanding how the ecology and evolution of species are shaped by cellular-level processes. Information about current and future research projects is provided on my webpage (

    I am actively recruiting undergraduate and graduate students to participate in on-going research and design independent projects. Please contact me if you are interested in participating in lab-based or field research.

  • Luis F. Matos, Ph.D.
    Luis F. Matos, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    SCI 293
    Phone: 509.359.7082

    Eastern Since:
    Research: My lab studies host/pathogens interactions. We use Drosophila and Drosophila-specific viruses in a model system to learn about the evolution of virulence (harm to host) following host shifts by studying the genetics of the pathogen and pathogenesis in the host. We want to understand why pathogens are capable of moving across host species (e.g. pigs to humans in swine flu).
    Undergraduate Degree:
    California State University Stanislaus, Biology
    Graduate Degree(s):
    Washington State University, 2002, M.S. Entomology
    University of Florida, 2012, Ph.D. Entomology
    Biotechnology and Pre-Med/Pre-Dent
    Courses Taught:
    Biological Investigation; Fundamentals of Genetics; Molecular Biology; Biotechnology series; Human Genetics; Research Design and Literature; Current Topics in Molecular Biology.

    Research Areas:
    My research interests are in the evolutionary genetics of host/pathogen interactions. I am particularly interested in understanding how pathogen genetics and virulence change following host shifts to permit a successful long term infection of the novel host.

    Students interested in undergraduate or graduate research experiences should contact me by email to set up an appointment to meet and discuss current opportunities in the lab.

  • Heather McKean, M.S.
    Heather McKean, M.S.
    Senior Associate Faculty
    SCI 241
    Phone: 509.359.6589
    Eastern Since:
    Undergraduate Degree:
    Eastern Washington University, 1975
    Graduate Degree(s):
    Eastern Washington University, 1983
    Advisor: Biology/Education
    Courses Taught:
    Biology Education (Lab Management), Introduction to Biology, Investigating Biology, Biology and Society.
    Research Areas:
    Development of educational materials and activities for K-12; Integrating Math and Science.
  • Camille McNeely, Ph.D.
    Camille McNeely, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    SCI 275
    Phone: 509.359.7049

    Research:  Stream ecology, including water quality, ecosystem processes, food webs, and invertebrates.

    I am an aquatic ecologist with a strong interest in links between ecosystem processes and community interactions, and how these are affected by natural landscapes. I am particularly interested in how resource fluxes affect organisms' interactions, and conversely, how species traits and interactions affect pathways of nutrient and carbon cycling. My graduate research focused on how the ecological role of caddisfly grazers varied with watershed landscape position. I identified stream size thresholds associated with changes in grazing regimes. My findings also suggested that traits of primary consumers have consequences for whether algal energy is transferred up the food web to predators, or sequestered in predator-defended herbivores.

    Currently I am collaborating with researchers from the University of California, University of Minnesota, and Simon Frasier University on projects linking stream community and ecosystem processes to the landscape of a northern California watershed. Projects include 1) measuring nutrient regeneration by dominant invertebrates, 2) determining landscape controls on stream primary productivity and terrestrial carbon inputs, 3) using stable isotopes and diet analysis to compare how energy moves through food webs in productive and unproductive streams.

    I have also become interested in using measurements of basic ecosystem processes, such as primary productivity and nutrient cycling, as tools to evaluate stream ecosystem health. Anthropogenic impacts to streams are often assessed through labor-intensive biological monitoring based on invertebrate or algal communities. Measurements of ecosystem processes may be cheaper and less labor-intensive, and provide more insight into functional changes that may have occurred. However, their application to biological assessment has not been well-tested. I have begun some preliminary work comparing measures of nutrient uptake to conventional biological assessment using invertebrates, which I hope to expand

  • Javier Ochoa-Reparaz, Ph.D.
    Javier Ochoa-Reparaz, Ph.D.
    Asst. Professor
    SCI 295
    Phone: 509.359.2348
    Fax: 359-6867

    Eastern Since: 2015

    Undergraduate Degree: University of Navarra, Spain, 2000

    Graduate Degree: University of Navarra, Spain, 2004

    Post Doctoral Work:

    Montana State University, 2005 - 2007

    Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, 2007 - 2011

    Courses Taught:
    Microbiology (BIOL301), Principles of Microbial Physiology(BIOL353), Capstone (BIOL409, The Microbiome), Immunology (BIOL430), Current Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology (BIOL513).


    Research Interests:
    Host-microbial gut interactions and the mechanisms of immunomodulation induced by gut symbionts in the context of autoimmune diseases. 


  • Margaret O'Connell, Ph.D.
    Margaret O'Connell, Ph.D.
    Professor and Co-Director Turnbull Laboratory for Ecological Studies
    SCI 262
    Phone: 509.359.6812
    Eastern Since:
    Undergraduate Degree:
    Precott College, 1973
    Graduate Degree(s):
    Texas Tech University, 1975, M.S.
    Texas Tech University, 1981, Ph.D.
    Post Doctoral Work: Smithsonian Institution; National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C.

    Advisor: Zoology, Wildlife Biology/Management/Conservation, Environmental Biology
    Courses Taught:
    Vertebrate Zoology, Wildlife Management, Ornithology, Mammalogy, Conservation Biology.
    Research Areas:
    Animal population ecology and community structure; conservation wildlife-habitat relationships.

  • Robin O'Quinn, PhD
    Robin O'Quinn, PhD
    Associate Professor
    SCI 234C
    Phone: 509.359.6118

    Eastern Since:
    Research: Plant systematics including speciation, biogeography, taxonomy and evolution of morphology.
    Undergraduate Degree:

    University of California, Davis, 1998, Botany
    Graduate Degree:
    Washington State University, 2005, PhD, Botany
    Post Doctoral Work:

    Mississippi State University, 2005-2006, Population Genetics; Portland State University, 2006-2007, Population Genetics
    Plant Sciences
    Courses Taught:
    Biological Investigation; Introductory Biology for Majors (171, 172, 173); Summer field course (Geology/Biology); Molecular Ecology

    Research Interests:

    I am deeply curious about patterns and processes that shape organismal diversity. I am interested in the evolution of morphological diversity in plants (e.g., plant architecture), historical biogeography and aspects of evolutionary ecology, such as habitat preferences, pollinator-mediated hybridization and introgression. My approaches have included developmental and comparative morphology, molecular systematics, population genetics and field pollination biology. My primary study system has been the small tribe Montieae (Portulacaceae), but additional systems have included Loasaceae and more recently Asclepias (Apocynaceae). With my research, I aim to synthesize evidence in a phylogenetic framework from diverse fields to understand plant species diversity.

    Research opportunities for students are the central focus of my research agenda. I frame many of my research questions in "bite-sized" chunks, so that they are attractive and doable to students who may have limited time, but substantial interest. This approach produces project ideas that are perfect for student research because they can be accomplished as individualized units, but effectively contribute to my broader research objectives. However, providing projects from my own research are not the sole aim of my research agenda. I am equally motivated to mentor student-initiated independent projects. Students with an interest in plant systematics, population biology, biogeography or morphology are encouraged to contact me.

    Select Publications:

    O'Quinn, R. and L. Hufford. 2005. Molecular Systematics of Montieae (Portulacaceae): Implications for taxonomy, biogeography and ecology. Systematic Botany. 30:314-331.

    O'Quinn, R. and M. Fishbein. 2008. Isolation, characterization and cross-species amplification of polymorphic microsatellite loci in Asclepias (Apocynaceae). Conservation Genetics. In press, DOI 10.1007.

    Eppley, S.M., O'Quinn, R., and A.L. Brown. 2009. New sequence-tagged site molecular markers for identification of sex in Distichlis spicata. Molecular Ecology Resources. 9:1373-1374.

  • Mark Paluch, M.S. Fisheries Biology
    Mark Paluch, M.S. Fisheries Biology
    Research Associate
    SCI 194
    Phone: 509-359-7498
  • Jenni Probert
    Jenni Probert
    Operations Manager
    SCI 258A
    Phone: 359-4768
    Fax: 359-6867
  • John Shields
    John Shields
    Instructional Classroom Support Technician 3
    SCI 286C
    Phone: 509.359.6868
  • Paul Spruell, Ph.D.
    Paul Spruell, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    SCI 186B
    Phone: 509.359.7006
  • Jenifer Walke, Ph.D.
    Jenifer Walke, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    SCI 289A
    Phone: 509.359.4750

    Eastern Since: 2017

    Research: "Microbial Ecology, including host-microbiome-pathogen interactions and wildlife conservation."

    Undergraduate Degree: James Madison University, 2006, Biology

    Graduate Degree: Virginia Tech, 2014, Biological Sciences

    Post Doctoral Work: Virginia Tech 2015-2017

    Courses Taught: Microbiology (BIOL 301)

    Research Interests: microbial and disease ecology; host-microbe interactions; community structure-function relationships; probiotics to promote host health and for wildlife conservation

    Selected Publications:

    Walke JB, MH Becker, MC Hughey, MC Swartwout, RV Jensen, LK Belden. (2017) Dominance-function relationships in the amphibian skin microbiome. Environmental Microbiology. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13850.

    Walke JB and LK Belden. (2016) Harnessing the microbiome to prevent fungal infections: lessons from amphibians. PLoS Pathogens 12(9): e1005796. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005796.

    Becker MH, JB Walke, S Cikanek, A Savage, N Mattheus, C Santiago, KPC Minbiole, RN Harris, LK Belden, B Gratwicke. (2015) Composition of symbiotic bacteria predicts survival in Panamanian golden frogs infected with a lethal fungus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282(1805): 20142881. 

    Harris RN, RM Brucker, JB Walke, MH Becker, CR Schwantes, DC Flaherty, BA Lam, DC Woodhams, CJ Briggs, VT Vredenburg, KPC Minbiole. (2009) Skin microbes on frogs prevent morbidity and mortality caused by a lethal skin fungus. The ISME Journal 3: 818-824.

    Banning JL, A Weddle, GW Wahl III, MA Simon, A Lauer, RL Walters, RN Harris. (2008) Antifungal skin bacteria, embryonic survival, and communal nesting in four-toed salamanders, Hemidactylium scutatum. Oecologia 156: 423-429.


  • Lisa Gaye Williams
    Lisa Gaye Williams
    Department Secretary
    SCI 258
    Phone: 509.359.7499
© 2019 Eastern Washington University
EWU expands opportunities for personal transformation through excellence in learning.