student in water testing lab using microscope

Research

Our department is made up of highly skilled faculty with national and international recognition as researchers in their fields. Information about their research areas can be found below, or the faculty’s individual web sites. Our faculty conduct research on campus in many different facilities: the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research, the Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Laboratory, the Institute for Sustainability Studies, and the Passaic River Institute. Our reach extends beyond the campus in diverse locations both nearby, at our field research station at the New Jersey School of Conservation and other New Jersey habitats, and abroad in Ireland and St. Johns.

Faculty Research Interests

Matthew Aardema

Matthew Aardema
Science Hall room 123 | aardemam@montclair.edu

Ecology and evolution of arthropod vectors ​and the pathogens they transmit


Sandra Adams

Sandra Daise Adams
Science Hall room 123 | adamssa@montclair.edu | 973-655-7527

Molecular virology, molecular biology, and biology education.

Paul Bologna

Paul Bologna
Science Hall room 112 |  | 973-655-4112

Seagrass Ecosystems: New Jersey and in the U.S. Virgin Islands; Stinging Sea Nettles: Population Biology and Impacts on food webs in New Jersey; Invasive Jellyfish in New Jersey


James Campanella

James J Campanella
Science Hall room 119 | campanellj@montclair.edu | 973-655-4097

Molecular genetics, Population genetics, phylogenetics, and molecular evolution.


Ann Marie DiLorenzo

Ann Marie Marie DiLorenzo
Science Hall room 109 | dilorenzoa@montclair.edu | 973-655-4396

Utilizing in vitro techniques to study the effects of environmental chemicals on toxicity, mutagenicity or carcinogenicity. All projects study cells or organs grown in culture under normal conditions as well as conditions of stress. All research falls within the area of “Alternatives to Whole Animal Testing” and strives to reduce the need for, and … Read More


Chunguang Du

Chunguang Du
Science Hall room 124 | duc@montclair.edu | 973-655-4405

Bioinformatics, Evolutionary Genomics

John Gaynor

John J Gaynor
Science Hall room 114 | gaynorj@montclair.edu | 973-655-7253

Molecular biology of Cnidarians; jellyfish venomics

Colette Feehan

Colette Feehan
Science Hall room 114 | feehanc@montclair.edu | 973-655-4248

Marine ecosystems; host-pathogen interactions; climate-change ecology

Reginald Halaby

Reginald Halaby
Science Hall room 120 | halabyr@montclair.edu | 973-655-7982

Induction of lysosomal-mediated cell death in apoptosis-resistant human breast and prostate cancer cells using triptolide (Thunder God Vine), a Chinese herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over two centuries.


Lisa Hazard

Lisa C Hazard
Science Hall room 121 | hazardl@montclair.edu | 973-655-3418

Conservation physiology and physiological ecology; Reptile and amphibian physiology, ecology, and natural history (emphasis on northeastern and southwestern U.S. fauna)


Julian Keenan

Julian P Keenan
Science Hall room 207 | keenanj@montclair.edu | 973-655-2112

Neuroimaging; Self-awareness and theory of mind; Deception and deception detection; Evolutionary cognitive neuroscience


Jennifer Krumins

Jennifer Adams Krumins
Science Hall room 118 | kruminsj@montclair.edu | null

Microbial Ecology; Biodiversity; Food web ecology


Lee Lee

Lee H Lee
Science Hall room 108 | leel@montclair.edu | 973-655-7164

Molecular Microbiology; Medical Microbiology; Environmental Microbiology; Heavy metal effects on cyanobacteria


Robert Meredith

Robert W Meredith
Science Hall room 133 | meredithr@montclair.edu | 973-655-7800

Vertebrate evolution, bristletail evolution, molecular and morphological systematics including the incorporation of extinct organisms, paleontology/paleobiology, biogeography, molecular dating, molecular evolution with particular interest in teeth, olfactory, and eye genes, pseudogene evolution, morphological evolution


Carlos Molina

Carlos Antonio Molina
CELS 400 | molinac@montclair.edu | 973-655-3302

Cancer Research; Biology of Reproduction


Kirsten Monsen

Kirsten J Monsen
Science Hall room 135 | monsenk@montclair.edu | 973-655-7788

Conservation Genetics; Molecular Ecology; Wildlife Disease


Elena Petroff
Science Hall | petroffe@montclair.edu | 973-655-2027

Molecular Neuroscience; Ion Channel Physiology


Mitchell Sitnick

Mitchell Sitnick
Science Hall 134 | sitnickm@montclair.edu | 973-655-3516

Dr. Mitch Sitnick is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Molecular Biology and a new hire to the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research. Dr. Sitnick received a B.S. in Biology from The College of New Jersey, and his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Sitnick is a skeletal musc… Read More


John Smallwood

John A Smallwood
Science Hall 117 | smallwoodj@montclair.edu | 973-655-5345

Ornithology, ecology, animal behavior, conservation biology.


Quinn Vega

Quinn C Vega
Science Hall 107A | vegaq@montclair.edu | 973-655-7178

Cellular Signal Transduction


Dirk Vanderklein

Dirk W Vanderklein
Science Hall room 116 | vanderkleid@montclair.edu | 973-655-5265

The impact of Japanese knotweed (an invasive plant) on our water supply, how carbon and water cycle through a thinned and unthinned hardwood forest, what is the status of the street trees in Montclair, NJ, and how to help first-year first generation students succeed in science and college.


Meiyin Wu

Meiyin S Wu
CELS 100D | wum@montclair.edu | 973-655-7117
Human impacts on aquatic ecosystems, such as impacts of urban development on rivers and watersheds. Wu’s team studies water chemistry, soil chemistry, hydrology, geomorphology, pathogen indicators, aquatic flora and fauna, and riparian habitat. This research extends to watershed management, nonpoint source pollution… Read More

The Department of Biology is housed in Science Hall, a facility that includes well-equipped research laboratories, teaching laboratories and prep rooms, a greenhouse, and faculty/staff offices. Research is funded by agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), SeaGrant, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). When using the labs it is important to know the safety protocols, information which can be found on the Safety Manuals & Resources page.

Student Research Opportunities

As a student in our department, you have many opportunities to pursue independent scientific research with faculty members. The first step is to find faculty members that are doing research exciting to you. Each faculty member has a web page that describes their research and publications. Contact and visit those faculty members you find interesting – you might get a chance to conduct exciting new experiments!

Undergraduates can get academic credit for independent research by enrolling in Biology Independent Research (BIOL-418) or utilize our strong externship program through which students get real-world career experience in addition to research credit, Externship in Biological Research (BIOL-409). You can also participate in research through the Science Honors Initiative Program (SHIP) and Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) programs.

Graduate students can take Introduction to Biological Research (BIOL-599) or Master’s Thesis (BIOL-698). Both involve independent research under the direction of a faculty member; the thesis involves a longer, more in depth research experience. Graduate students in our programs are strongly encouraged to conduct thesis research.

Scholarships may be available to support students conducting research; see our scholarship page to see available scholarships. Student researchers have the opportunity to present their findings at local, regional, national and even international research conferences. They have also authored and co-authored papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.