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 websites. Our faculty conduct research on campus in many different facilities: the Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Laboratory, the Institute for Sustainability Studies, and the New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology. Our reach extends beyond the campus in diverse locations both nearby and abroad in Ireland and St. Johns.

Faculty Research Interests

Matthew Aardema profile photo

Matthew Aardema

Assistant Professor

Phone
973-655-3584
Email
aardemam@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 129
Research Interests
Ecology and evolution of arthropod vectors and the pathogens they transmit
Sandra Adams profile photo

Sandra Adams

Professor

Phone
973-655-7527
Email
adamssa@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 123
Research Interests
Molecular virology, molecular biology, and biology education.

Kevin Bilyk

Assistant Professor

Phone
--
Email
bilykk@montclair.edu
Research Interests
Understanding how sharp shifts in selective pressure act to reshape highly conserved gene networks, and through the proteome.
Paul Bologna profile photo

Paul Bologna

Professor

Phone
973-655-4112
Email
bolognap@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 112
Research Interests
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 profile photo

James Campanella

Professor

Phone
973-655-4097
Email
campanellj@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 119
Research Interests
Molecular genetics
Population genetics, phylogenetics, and molecular evolution.
Ann Marie DiLorenzo profile photo

Ann Marie DiLorenzo

Professor

Phone
973-655-4396
Email
dilorenzoa@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 109
Research Interests
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 use of, excessive numbers of animals in scientific research. These projects all are within the scope of my expertise and continued research interest in the study of the effects of stress on in vitro systems as an indicator of the effects of stress on the human population. The ability to withstand and cope with environmental insult from xenotoxic agents has been seen to diminish with the added insult of either mental or physiological stress.
Chunguang Du profile photo

Chunguang Du

Professor

Phone
973-655-4405
Email
duc@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 124
Research Interests
Bioinformatics
Evolutionary Genomics
Colette Feehan profile photo

Colette Feehan

Assistant Professor

Phone
973-655-4248
Email
feehanc@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 132
Research Interests
Marine ecosystems
Host-pathogen interactions
Climate-change ecology
John Gaynor profile photo

John Gaynor

Professor

Phone
973-655-7253
Email
gaynorj@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 114
Research Interests
Molecular biology of Cnidarians
Jellyfish venomics
Reginald Halaby profile photo

Reginald Halaby

Professor

Phone
973-655-7982
Email
halabyr@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 120
Research Interests
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 profile photo

Lisa Hazard

Associate Professor

Phone
973-655-3418
Email
hazardl@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 121
Research Interests
Conservation physiology and physiological ecology
Reptile and amphibian physiology, ecology, and natural history (emphasis on northeastern and southwestern U.S. fauna)
Julian Keenan profile photo

Julian Keenan

Professor

Phone
973-655-2112
Email
keenanj@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 207
Research Interests
Neuroimaging
Self-awareness and theory of mind
Deception and deception detection
Evolutionary cognitive neuroscience
Jennifer Krumins profile photo

Jennifer Krumins

Professor

Phone
--
Email
kruminsj@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 118
Research Interests
Microbial Ecology
Biodiversity
Food web ecology
Lee Lee profile photo

Lee Lee

Professor

Phone
973-655-7164
Email
leel@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 108
Research Interests
Molecular Microbiology
Medical Microbiology
Environmental Microbiology
Heavy metal effects on cyanobacteria
Robert Meredith profile photo

Robert Meredith

Associate Professor

Phone
973-655-7800
Email
meredithr@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 133
Research Interests
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 profile photo

Carlos Molina

Professor

Phone
973-655-3302
Email
molinac@montclair.edu
Location
Center for Environmental & Life Sciences, 400
Research Interests
Cancer Research
Biology of Reproduction
Kirsten Monsen profile photo

Kirsten Monsen

Associate Professor

Phone
973-655-7788
Email
monsenk@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 135
Research Interests
Conservation Genetics
Molecular Ecology
Wildlife Disease
Robert O'Hagan profile photo

Robert O'Hagan

Assistant Professor

Phone
973-655-5337
Email
ohaganr@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 130
Research Interests
Molecular genetics of the nematode C. elegans, most interested in sensory neurobiology.
Elena Petroff profile photo

Elena Petroff

Associate Professor

Phone
973-655-2027
Email
petroffe@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 110
Research Interests
Molecular Neuroscience
Ion Channel Physiology
Matthew Schuler profile photo

Matthew Schuler

Assistant Professor

Phone
973-655-7191
Email
schulerm@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 113
Research Interests
Community ecology
Freshwater biology
Limnology
Physiological ecology
John Smallwood profile photo

John Smallwood

Associate Professor

Phone
973-655-5345
Email
smallwoodj@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 117
Research Interests
Ornithology
Ecology
Animal behavior
Conservation biology.
Quinn Vega profile photo

Quinn Vega

Professor

Phone
973-655-7178
Email
vegaq@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 122
Research Interests
Cellular Signal Transduction
Dirk Vanderklein profile photo

Dirk Vanderklein

Chairperson

Phone
973-655-5265
Email
vanderkleid@montclair.edu
Location
Science Hall, 116
Research Interests
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 profile photo

Meiyin Wu

Professor

Phone
973-655-7117
Email
wum@montclair.edu
Location
Center for Environmental & Life Sciences, 100D
Research Interests
Human impacts on aquatic ecosystems, such as impacts of urban development on rivers and watersheds
Watershed management, nonpoint source pollution reduction, storm water management and green infrastructures.
Flood prevention/mitigation strategies for NJ vulnerable communities

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). It’s important to know the safety protocols when in the lab. You can find this information on the Safety Manuals and 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). Alternatively, utilize Externship in Biological Research (BIOL-409) for real-world career experience in addition to research credit. You can also participate in research through the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.

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.