Department of Biology and Geology

(440) 826-2262

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Imagine being the lead scientist among a group of peers as you study the intricacies of living systems. Or going into the field to work alongside a biology professor doing real-world research you'll later present at a national conference.

Biology is a career-versatile major focused on the study of life processes and living organisms (human, plant, animal and aquatic).

It is ideal preparation for medical and pre-professional programs, as well as teacher education and graduate school.

Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's biology program. You'll learn by doing. Starting freshman year, you'll have access to labs where you can gain valuable research experience.

Specialty laboratories include: anatomy, botany, ecology and field biology, physiology, invertebrate, molecular ecology, genetics, microbiology, neuroscience and development. Also available are labs dedicated to student-faculty research.

Around-the-clock access to bench space and equipment provide you with intense, impressive research experience at the undergraduate level.

Independent research studies, field experiences and internships bridge both theoretical and practical applications. Opportunities to work on research projects can lead to presentations at scholarly conferences and publication.

Students and faculty frequently apply for grants to support ongoing research projects. Students gain grant writing experience while supporting their research projects.

Impressive Facility, Dynamic Learning
BW’s biology modern laboratories are equipped with specialized instruments available to students. Research opportunities include pollination ecology, molecular control of animal development, human cadaver dissection, cultured neurons and population genetics. Among its amenities are an insect room, greenhouse, zebrafish aquaria, plant growth chambers, and outdoor native plant and rain gardens. BW also has fluorescent microscopes, thermocyclers, microinjectors and electrophoresis equipment to support a variety of research approaches.

Graduate School Research Opportunities
What does it mean to gain graduate school experiences at the undergraduate level? At BW, opportunities can be found throughout the biology complex.

In the gross anatomy lab, students can examine a cadaver while their professor looks on. Midway into the lesson, he directs their attention to magnified images of an abdominal cavity being displayed on multiple large projection screens positioned within the room. Ceiling-mounted cameras capture every move. An overhead surgical light illuminates the subject, adding to the feeling of being in an operating room of a teaching hospital.

Hands-on opportunities like these give BW students an advantage because at many schools students perform cadaver dissection only at the post-graduate level.

Medical School Pipeline
An exclusive pre-med track for aspiring primary care physicians, BW's primary healthcare advancement program is a rigorous program of coursework and hands-on learning that can lead to early acceptance to medical school.

An academically selective program, it blends the coursework of the public health major with a comprehensive foundation of medical science and healthcare. Its distinctive approach is linked to the first-year curriculum of primary care-focused medical schools.

Early assurance partnerships include Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Neuroscience Blends Brain, Biology
BW's nationally recognized neuroscience program is an interdisciplinary study unifying biology, psychology and chemistry. Its hallmarks include strong academics, hands-on research, one-on-one mentoring, and proven student and alumni success. Ninety-five percent of BW neuroscience students who apply to medical school or graduate programs receive acceptance. It was named the 2012 International Undergraduate Program of the Year by the Society for Neuroscience.

Interested in Becoming a Teacher?
If you would like to become a science teacher, BW has an outstanding teacher education program.

Career Opportunities

A bachelor's degree in biology can be a stepping stone to post-graduate education or can lead directly to a career, including:

  • Aquatic biologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physician
  • Dentist
  • Teacher
  • Ecologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Forensic scientist
  • Nurse
  • Medical technologist
  • Geneticist
  • Wildlife biologist
  • Naturalist
  • Pharmaceutical sales


A comprehensive, rigorous program, biology is offered as a major and minor. Related programs include neuroscience and primary healthcare advancement program.

Through coursework, research, field studies and more, you'll gain a strong, broad- based foundation in the principles of biology.

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. From the nearby Metroparks and Cleveland Zoo to opportunities outside of the United States, you can participate in extensive field experiences.

Student success is a top priority. As a BW student, you'll be encouraged to present at conferences, submit your research paper for publication and apply for coveted national summer research positions.

On campus, biology students are regularly recognized for their achievements. Recognitions include:

  • The Ruegsegger Prize in Biology (in honor of James M. Ruegsegger '22, whose research on polio, pneumonia, diphtheria, meningitis and tetanus and service to country earned him recognition).
  • John W. Miller Zoology prize (in honor of John W. Miller for service as a dedicated teacher and faculty advisor from 1963-2001).
  • The Edward C. & Diane White Scholarship (an endowed fund that supports two separate awards, one of which is offered to outstanding students who will be attending medical school).
  • Calvin A. Smith Botany Prize (in honor of Calvin A. Smith for his service as a dedicated teacher and faculty advisor from 1963-1998).

Student Clubs & Organizations

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:

This organization provides knowledge, experience and networking opportunities to students interested in zoology-related fields. It also informs and advises them on graduate and veterinary school options.

Pre-Medical Society
Delta Omega Chi, the Pre-Medical Society, sponsors medically related volunteer activities, guest speakers, tours to institutions with professional programs, and mentoring with pre-medical upperclassmen and the faculty advisor. This organization is ideal for students interested in health care professionals such as physicians, physician assistants, and dentists.

Squirrel Patrol
Two BW undergraduates conduct important research as they go on "squirrel patrol" with biology professor Karen Munroe. 

Real-world Research
BW biology professor Chris Stanton and more than a dozen students have spent five years sampling water quality in nearby Baldwin Creek as part of a research study. The results have been shared at the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference and the Ohio Natural History Conference.

Field & Stream Experience
BW students joined Mike Durkalec, aquatic biologist for Cleveland Metroparks and BW alumnus, in a recent assessment of the Metropark waterwaysWatch the video where students study fish diversity in the Rocky River.


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Recent BW Biology majors are finding their success at:

Professional and Graduate Schools attended by recent biology graduates:

  • Case Western Reserve University
    • School of Dentistry
    • School of Medicine
    • Department of Molecular Biology
    • Department of Pharmacology
  • Cleveland State University
    • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
  • George Washington University
    • School of Public Health
  • Lake Erie College of Medicine Medical
  • University of Ohio (Medical College of Ohio) Miami University of Ohio
  • New York Chiropractic College
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
  • The Ohio State University School of Dentistry
  • The Ohio State University
    • School of Pharmacy
    • School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Ohio University
    • Department of Environmental Studies
    • School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Oklahoma State University
    • College of Podiatric Medicine
  • University of Cincinnati School of Medicine
  • University of Michigan
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Xavier University

Companies hiring recent biology graduates:
Aqua Tech Environmental Laboratories, Inc.
Aultman Hospital
Boston Scientific
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Copernicus Therapeutics
Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Dermik Laboratories, Inc.
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center
Southwest General Health Center - University Hospitals
Trillium Creek Dermatology
University of Cincinnati Department of Toxicology
WIL Research


Michael E. Kovach, Ph.D.
Department Chairman and Associate Professor of Biology
Office: Telfer 114
Phone: (440) 826-2041

Michael J. Bumbulis, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Office: Telfer 204
Phone: (440) 826-2271

Natalie M. Barratt, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Office: Telfer 104
Phone: (440) 826-2261

R. Christopher Stanton, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Office: Telfer 200
Phone: (440) 826-2294

Jacqueline K. Morris, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Office: Telfer 112
Phone: (440) 826-6527

Kathryn M. Flinn, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Office: Telfer 109
Phone: (440) 826-2263

Karen E. Munroe, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Office: Telfer 202
Phone: (440) 826-8562

Carrie Davis Todd, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Geology
Office: Telfer 211
Phone: (440) 826-2731

Joseph P. Yavornitzky, DDS
Associate Professor, Physician Assistant Program and Director of Primary Healthcare Advancement Program
Office: Telfer 331
Phone: (440) 826-3539
Dr. Yavornitzky

Barbara A. Rethas, BA
Administrative Specialist
Office: Telfer 113
Phone: (440) 826-2262

Paul Hilston
Lecturer II - Geology
Office: Ward 104
Phone: (440) 826-3453

Angela Heilman
Lecturer I - Geology
Office: Ward 100
Phone: (440) 826-3309

Ann Simon
Lecturer I - Geology
Office: Ward 100
Phone: (440) 826-3309