Biological Sciences Department

The Biological Sciences Department offers two undergraduate majors: A Biological Sciences major features a balanced understanding of the broad field of biology while our Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics (or MBB) major program delivers a strong research focus in the fast-paced field of molecular biology and bioinformatics. 

Whether you are interested in continuing your education in professional or graduate school, or plan to begin your career immediately following degree completion, research experience is a valuable asset you will get at UW-Parkside. That experience will help to differentiate you from others and offer you a competitive edge. 

Our programs lead to successful careers. Upon graduation, many of our students find employment in this region and the majority of our MBB graduates go on to graduate and/or medical school. Over 85 percent of our master's students work in their chosen field upon graduation.

Many of our students are part of UW-Parkside’s successful Pre-Health program. If you are considering a health profession for a career, you can schedule appointments with a pre-health adviser through our Pre-Health Program Assistant Lisa Lee (located in Greenquist Hall, room 302) to learn about career options and ways to prepare yourself for different health professions.

The Biological Sciences Department office is located in Greenquist Hall, room 344. Contact the Biological Sciences Program Associate Katy Aiello if you have questions.

Biological Sciences Major Program Objectives

  1. Biological complexity and evolution: students demonstrate expertise regarding the nature of living organisms and biological processes. 

  2. Inquiry and research methods: students develop analytical and critical thinking skills, including hypothesis generation and testing, and engage in the practice of biology. 
  3. Scholarship and communication: students develop the capacity to engage in current thinking, discoveries and methodologies via reading the scientific literature and communicating (discussion, writing, presentation).

Molecular Biology & Bioinformatics Major 
Program Objectives


  1. Knowledge of the Natural World: Breadth of scientific knowledge, specifically, the ability to think beyond one’s area of concentration.
  2. Critical and Creative Thinking Skills: Experiential and problem solving skills as well as higher order qualitative and quantitative reasoning.

  3. Effective Communication Skills: Competence in speaking, reading, and writing abilities.

  4. Individual, Social and Environmental Responsibility: Civic knowledge and engagement (both local and global), ethical reasoning, and action; ability to interact and work with people under standard civility and professional norm.

MBB seniors complete a full year of independent research culminating in a written thesis and public seminar. We also offer a research-focused master's-level program in applied molecular biology.There is an accelerated "3+2" program available to qualified MBB majors in which they can attain both a bachelor of science degree (in molecular biology and bioinformatics) and a master of science degree (in applied molecular biology) in as little as 5 years. 

ASBMB accreditation blue color logo

Faculty and Staff

You can view our faculty and staff page to learn about the wide array of research and/or teaching specialties of our faculty and staff. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with anyone of us to discuss career options in our fields of expertise or about the possibility and/or requirements for conducting independent study research projects.

Faculty Highlights

  • Robert Barber
    Associate Professor

    Raised in the northern Illinois town of Freeport, home of the "Pretzels", Robert credits an outstanding group of primary and secondary public school teachers with providing him with both the ambition and education to pursue higher education at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Robert has completed an undergraduate research thesis in the laboratory of Dr. Abigail Salvers, working on the transmittance of antibiotic resistance among human commensal bacteria. Currently, his research focuses on the application of genetic, biochemical, and informatics strategies to understand evolutionary relationships. 


  • Traci Lee
    Associate Professor

    Traci received her B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Traci then attained her PH.D. in Oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Dr. Peggy Farnham's laboratory. Traci continued her training as a postdoctoral fellow at the Samuel Lunefeld Research Institute in Dr. Mike Tyer's laboratory in Toronto Canada.

  • Catherine "Cathy" Mossman
    Distinguished Lecturer

    Even as a child, Cathy always had a passion for animals. She has spent many summers in rural Missouri identifying local fauna and developing observation skills that served her well as she matured as a scientist. She received her PhD from Purdue University in Ecology, studying molecular effects of habitat fragmentation on deer mice. 


  • Chris Noto headshot on black background

    Christopher Noto
    Associate Professor

    Christopher grew up in upstate New York, where he developed a passion for fossils and natural history at an early age. Christopher received his B.S. from the University of Chicago, where he worked with paleontologist Paul Sereno as a fossil preparatory. While there, he helped prepare species of the dinosaurs Suchomimus, Jobaria, and Afrovenator, and the giant crocodilian Sarcosuchu. Christopher has also worked as a research assistant with geologist Fred Ziegler, where he had the opportunity to help revise a chapter for the second edition of "The Dinosauria".

  • Jessica Orlofske
    Assistant Professor

    Jessica spent the summers of her under years studying dragonflies in local wetlands before graduating with her B.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her interest in insects motivated her to continue her education at Iowa State University. Her M.S. research focused on insect and spider comminutes of remnant and restored tallgrass prairies. Jessica completed her PH.D. and spent a short time as a postdoctoral fellow with the Canadian Rivers Institute examining the insect communities of the St. John River in New Brunswick. Jessica plans to continue her work on aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates both at home in Wisconsin and abroad. 

  • Fabian Preuss
    Assistant Professor

    Fabian Preuss was born in Wolfsburg, Germany. He obtained his bachelor in Science at the university of Odense, Denmark. After entering the United States in 1999 he completed both his Masters and PhD in Missouri. He moved to Chicago, IL in 2006 and conducted research at Northwestern University.  

  • David Rogers
    Associate Professor

    David grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, roaming the northwoods as much as possible. He received his B.S. in Biology at UW-Stevens Point. After years of botany and forestry fieldwork around the U.S., David earned his M.S. in Landscape Architecture at UW Madison where he studied the distribution and community structure of the Atlantic Coastal Plain flora in Central Wisconsin. He stayed at Madison to then earn his PhD in Botany where he used historic baseline data to estimate changes in Wisconsin plant communities since 1950.

  • Natalia Taft
    Assistant Professor

    Natalia is a vertebrate evolutionary and functional morphologist. She received her PhD in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009. She conducted postdoctoral work at the University of Chicago with Dr. Neil Shubin from 2009-2011. Natalia also spent one year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at DePaul University in Chicago. 


Daphne Pham | 262-595-2172 |



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