Department of Biology

Biology Lab

Department Programs

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Biology Lab
You can earn a Bachelors of Science or Bachelors of Arts in Biology. Chowan University also offers a biology minor.
Visit Program Page : Biology
Dr Yoon
Biology, Chiropractic
Chowan University has a dual degree program agreement with the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. 
Visit Program Page : Biology, Chiropractic
Biology, Pre-Nursing
Biology, Pre-Nursing
Students who complete the pre-nursing associate degree at Chowan University have completed a course of study equivalent to the first two years of a BSN.
Visit Program Page : Biology, Pre-Nursing
Adult Degree Completion Program Application
Biology, Pre-Professional
The pre-professional concentrations are appropriate for students who wish to apply to medical, dental, veterinary, or other professional programs.
Visit Program Page : Biology, Pre-Professional
Biology, Chiropractic
Chowan University offers a 20 credit-hour chemistry minor intended to provide students with an understanding of fundamental concepts in chemistry through a combination of coursework and laboratory experiences
Visit Program Page : Chemistry
Dr. Dilustro and student
Comprehensive Science (9-12) Education
Students majoring in Comprehensive Science Education who complete the requirements for licensure will be prepared to teach both general and advanced science courses at the secondary level (grades 9-12).
Visit Program Page : Comprehensive Science (9-12) Education

Pre-Health Professional Advisory Programs

Several pre-professional advisory programs are available at Chowan through the Department of Biology. Included in this category are areas of Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. Students planning to pursue studies in any of these fields must plan their degree programs carefully. Although all require a similar core of science courses with laboratories, specific entrance requirements, entrance examinations, and admissions procedures vary from program to program. Students interested in these programs should contact the Biology Department and meet with the advisor to the program as early as possible.

Learn by Doing

Biology Research & Internships

The Department of Biology encourages students to gain valuable professional experience in the classroom and outside. The Department’s educational framework integrates classroom study and field experience through career-enhancing internships. Students have completed internships in a variety of fields including:

  • Medical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Dental
  • Veterinary
  • Environmental
  • Natural Resource Management

The Biology faculty at Chowan is available to mentor student research. Our faculty to student ratio makes is possible for many Biology majors to conduct independent research with a member of our dedicated faculty. Research topics addressed by our students have included: zooplankton ecology, invasive species management, toxicology, chemistry, water quality, forest ecology, soil biology, animal behavior, predator-prey relationships, microbiology, and DNA fingerprinting to identify bacterial contamination of surface water.

Students are encouraged to present their research at the Chowan University Student Research Conference and other professional conferences.

Sea Grant Project

Spatial and Biogeomorphic Properties of Oligohaline Marshes in Currituck Sound: Implications for Response to Sea-Level Rise

The study is funded by North Carolina Sea Grant’s Community Collaborative Research Grant Program and is part of an ongoing partnership between Chowan University’s Department of Biology, Audubon’s Pine Island Sanctuary (located on the Outer Banks), and the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve.  Led by Bo Dame, Associate Professor of Physical Sciences, Heather McGuire, Professor of Biology and Chair, Department of Biology, and with Robbie Fearn of the National Audubon Society and Brandon Puckett of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve, the project will increase understanding of how marshes in Currituck Sound respond to sea-level rise.  Students will be involved in the project through class activities, work-study, and capstone research projects that assume responsibility for a portion of the overall study.    

The project is highlighted in Secrets of Currituck Sound (an episode of public television’s NC Science Now) and two issues of Coastwatch Magazine –  Coastal Collaborations (Summer 2016), and Collaborative Research on the Outer Banks (Winter 2017).    

The study will involve marshes at two locations, the Currituck Banks Reserve, part of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Audubon’s Pine Island Sanctuary, both located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Detailed habitat mapping and spatial analysis will be conducted along with an examination of variables contributing to elevation change in marshes experiencing sea level rise (including above and below ground biomass, decomposition, and sediment accretion).  Results will inform resource management decisions at both sites. 

Funding from North Carolina Sea grant will allow the team to significantly expand their partnership.  Currently, Chowan University’s Department of Biology conducts an annual field ecology course on the Outer Banks that is based out of the Pine Island facility and utilizes Currituck Banks National Estuarine Research Reserve in Corolla and Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve in Kitty Hawk.  For several years, there has been a discussion of expanding the activities to include a research component.  Support from North Carolina Sea Grant will provide field equipment and instrumentation allowing the team to conduct research useful for resource management activities and get students involved in meaningful field experiences.

The team’s study will increase understanding in a region where little data is currently available, provide opportunities for under-represented groups in coastal research, and will lay the foundation for future work.  The team is already discussing plans to continue the project beyond the 1-year funding time frame through periodic habitat mapping and field studies to document change and establish trends.  There are also plans to expand activities including, documenting the impact of dune/beach migration into adjacent vegetation and aquatic communities, prioritizing sites for restoring living shorelines, and developing metrics to measure success in habitat restoration.  All of these efforts will involve student participation, and could not be initiated without support from North Carolina Sea Grant. 

academic headlines

Study Abroad Group
Academics, Alumni & Friends, Campus News

Studying Abroad in Spain and Portugal

Story and photos by Zoe Beale ’18 Chowan University, English Professors Dr. Timothy Hayes and Catherine Vickers led 29 Chowan University students, staff, faculty, and friends to explore the countries of Portugal and Spain. The ten-day itinerary featured over a dozen historical landmarks in nine different cities. From stepping off the plane, the group embarked.

Keep Reading “Studying Abroad in Spain and Portugal”
Deborah Hinton receives retirement gifts from Chuck Taylor
Academics, Alumni & Friends, Campus News

Chowan Announces Retirement of Disabilities Services Coordinator, Deborah Hinton

On May 31, Deborah Hinton will retire from Chowan University. Hinton, an elementary education major, graduated from Chowan in 2000. She came to Chowan in 2017 in a full-time capacity as the Disabilities Services Coordinator after retiring as a teacher at Willis Hare Elementary in Northampton County. For several years, she worked during Chowan’s Upward.

Keep Reading “Chowan Announces Retirement of Disabilities Services Coordinator, Deborah Hinton”
Academics, Alumni & Friends, Campus News

Chowan Congratulates Debbie Joyner on her Retirement

Debbie Joyner has faithfully served Chowan University for over twelve years in multiple departments and is now retiring as the Secretary to the Dean of the School of Business & Design and Administrative Assistant to the Department of Sport Science.  Joyner is known throughout campus for her patience, kindness, and attention to detail.   During the.

Keep Reading “Chowan Congratulates Debbie Joyner on her Retirement”
Dr. Heather McGuire Distinguished Professor of Biology; Chair, Department of Biology 252-398-6334

Our diverse and experienced faculty are committed to personalized instruction, lecturing and teaching labs – something that doesn’t happen for freshmen-level courses at large institutions. We have a long tradition of preparing students for professional positions and graduate programs in the medical, pharmaceutical, dental, veterinary, industrial, environmental, and natural resource management fields.

As a Biology major, you can connect your classroom knowledge with real-world experience. Our internships provide students with opportunities to gain practical experience in professional settings. The Chowan University chapter of the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society and the Science Club offers students additional educational, service, and fellowship opportunities.

Meet Biology

Bo Dame
Dr. James “Bo” Dame
Professor of Biology & Physical Science
Meet Dr. James “Bo” Dame
John Dilustro
Dr. John Dilustro
Associate Provost; Professor of Biology; Dean School of Graduate Studies; Title IX Coordinator
Meet Dr. John Dilustro
Torrence Gill
Dr. Torrence Gill
Assistant Professor of Biology
Meet Dr. Torrence Gill
Kyung - Hoon Lee
Dr. Kyung-Hoon Lee
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Meet Dr. Kyung-Hoon Lee
Dr. Heather McGuire
Distinguished Professor of Biology; Chair, Department of Biology
Meet Dr. Heather McGuire
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Amy Swain
Meet Amy Swain
Dr. Lia Walker
Assistant Professor of Biology
Meet Dr. Lia Walker