The Biology Department provides students an outstanding and comprehensive education in the life sciences through immersive experiential methods in the laboratory and in the field. We strive to provide our students a fundamental understanding of the processes that govern living systems and the techniques necessary to study them. We prepare students to pursue careers in the life sciences, and we offer pre-medical and pre-veterinary programs of study as well as an ecology degree program. Biology students are empowered to solve complex biological issues and incorporate scientific thinking throughout their lives.
Student development occurs through a rigorous course of study that emphasizes interdisciplinary, experience-based classes and research projects. Faculty accessibility to students is a priority; therefore, we endeavor to offer small classes with integrated laboratory and field research experiences that promote student and faculty interactions. Students gain occupational experience through internships and/or thesis research that are supervised by faculty and professional mentors.
At Montana Western, Dr. Morrow and his undergraduate student researchers are studying some of the proteins that play roles in the early secretory pathway of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. Since protein secretion is important for this organism to cause infection, a better understanding of the machinery involved in protein secretion could lead to the identification of future drug targets to prevent and treat Candida infections
Wendy Ridenour is an ecologist and assistant professor of biology at The University of Montana Western, where she has taught experiential classes full time since 2009. Her current research focuses on whole community dynamics in alpine systems, including plant-plant and plant-herbivore interactions and how alpine communities respond to anthropogenic climate change.
Gilbert developed the first inducible promoter system available for use in B. burgdorferi, which allowed researchers to artificially regulate gene expression in this pathogenic spirochete. Gilbert is currently working to optimize this system in order to regulate B. burgdorferi genes, in vivo, in an experimental tick-mouse infectious cycle. Gilbert teaches introductory biology classes and general chemistry, as well as biochemistry, genetics and parasitology.
The faculty provides the support to be able to be successful in school and in the future, while experiencing hands-on learning in places like Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.Colter Feuerstein, Ecology with option in Fish and Wildlife Ecology
– Colter Feuerstein, Ecology with option in Fish and Wildlife Ecology
The professors are very good at teaching during labs and encourage exploration and self-discovery of knowledge.
– Caleigh Buckmaster, Biology
The professors are incredible to work with.
– Dennara Gaub, Ecology with integrative ecology option
The department ensures that the students have exciting science-related experiences.
– Cassandra Van Atta, Integrative Biology and Natural Horsemanship
Block Hall 320