Biological Sciences Major


A hands-on education is all yours when you embark upon a biological sciences major at UW-Parkside. If you’re considering a career in the health field, we offer plentiful experiences and expertise to set you on the right path! 


As a high-quality, world-class educational institution, Parkside has a reputation for outstanding student preparation for careers in biology, molecular biology, pre-med, health sciences, and nursing. Professors provide one-on-one attention, taking a personal interest in you, and building lasting relationships. We offer state-of-the-art technology and opportunities for students to conduct research right alongside these renowned faculty members.

Upon graduation, you will go on to top-tier professional, medical, and graduate schools, with 90 percent of our students accepted to the graduate or professional schools they’ve applied to. The national average is only 40 percent.

Premiere regional, national, and global employers seek out Parkside graduates. The preparation, research, and faculty attention biological sciences majors receive at Parkside all pays off!

Tanesha Norris (’09) took the initiative to find out what her research professors were pursuing and looked for opportunities to assist them with lab work. As a result, she’s now working with a $3.6 billion global bio-technology company. Tanesha works with robots on the automation team and hopes to branch out into stem cell research.

She was the first person in her family to attend college and set an example for others to follow. Now, Tanesha’s sister and other relatives have pursued higher education.

Biological Sciences graduates are succeeding at some of the top schools in the nation, such as the Medical College of Wisconsin UW-Madison, the University of Chicago, Washington University School of Medicine, and Johns Hopkins.

In their professional careers, Parkside graduates play key roles at leading employers, including Abbott Laboratories, SC Johnson, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Aurora Healthcare, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, and many more.

Sylvia Burns and Valerie Riehl are two sisters from Racine, Wisconsin who are on the same path here at Parkside. Sylvia came to Parkside because of the reputation of the Molecular Biology program, she said "They have one of the best Molecular Biology programs in the state and Parkside is a great commuter school." Aside from enjoying the convenience of being able to commute, Sylvia also said that Parkside is a very friendly school for non-traditional students like herself. After completing her undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology she decided to continue on in pursuit of a Master of Science in Applied Molecular Biology. 

While Sylvia was attending school here at Parkside her sister Valerie was looking for another option to attain her degree. After transferring to Parkside she also decided complete her degree in Molecular Biology switching from her originally intended business degree. After Valerie graduated with her degree in Molecular Biology in May of 2015, she also decided to continue her studies with the intention of getting a Master's degree in Molecular Biology. Valerie appreciates the shorter commutes from Racine to Parkside and is enjoying going through the degree program with her sister, she said "It's nice to have someone encourage you to go to class and support you."

Both sisters mentioned that aside from the support that they receive from each other, the support that they receive from professors has been helpful while completing their degrees and why they would recommend Parkside to others. Valerie said that, "The biology department is a good department to be in. They have a close set of professors and it makes it easier to connect with them." She went on to say that when she was at a different university her degree seemed unattainable…"At UW-Parkside, I have had an encouraging experience with my professors telling me, 'You can do it!' "


Daphne Pham | (262) 595-2172 |

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. 


  • 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.Sc. 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. 

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