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  • Meet the Biology Faculty

  • bakershStefanie H. Baker, Associate Professor, Biology
    B.S., Clemson University
    M.S., North Carolina State University
    Ph.D., Clemson University
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    Dr. Baker received her B.S. in microbiology from Clemson University, her M.S. in microbiology from North Carolina State University, and her Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University. Her master’s work focused on protein phosphatase type I in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and her Ph.D. work involved characterization of carboxysomes in Halothiobacillus neapolitanus (formerly Thiobacillus neapolitanus). Baker conducted a post-doctoral research project at Clemson University in the Food Science Department investigating bacteriocins from Propionibacterium.

    Before joining the faculty at Wofford College in 2008, Baker taught at Erskine College. She has collaborated for several years with Dr. Lesly Temesvari at Clemson University studying protein-protein interactions between Rab proteins and other proteins in Dictyostelium discoidium and Entamoeba histolytica.

    Baker teaches introduction to genetics and development (212) and human genetics (421).

    davisgrG.R. Davis, Professor, Biology
    B.S., Campbell University
    Ph.D., University of North Carolina
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    Dr. Davis received his B.S. in biology from Campbell University and his Ph.D. in physiology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He conducted two years of post-doctoral research on anatomical and behavioral recovery from spinal cord injury at the University of Missouri. Previously an assistant professor of biology at Wingate College, Davis came to Wofford in 1993.

    Dr. Davis teaches Human Physiology and Histology to junior and senior Biology majors. He teaches second-semester freshmen in the newly created and highly innovative Biology 150-151 series for which Wofford is receiving national acclaim.

    Since coming to Wofford, Dr. Davis has co-sponsored a dozen January travel study projects to thirteen countries in South America, Europe and Africa with colleagues from Art History, Foreign Languages, and Biology.
    An avid photographer, Dr. Davis enjoys sharing that passion with his students and has recently published several books of photographs and essays.
    goldeyesEllen S. Goldey, William R. Kenan Professor and Department Chair, Biology
    B.S., University of the South, Sewanee
    M.S., Ph.D., Miami University
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    Ellen Goldey is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Wofford College. She earned the BS degree from the University of the South (Sewanee) and the MS and PhD degrees from Miami University. Prior to coming to Wofford in 1995, Goldey was a developmental neurotoxicologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She served as principal investigator (PI) on two projects funded by NSF. The project "Seeing the Big Picture: Linking the Sciences and the Humanities" combined two general education courses into learning communities for first year students. More recently, she and her colleagues transformed their first year curriculum in the project "Biological Inquiry: A Model Course and Assessment Program.” In this project Goldey, her biology colleagues, and four undergraduate students worked together to design the course.Taken by over half of Wofford's incoming students (regardless of BA or BS track), Biological Inquiry builds core competencies using pedagogies of engagement (e.g., guided inquiry). Embracing the SENCER ideals, malaria is a recurring course topic through which students explore subject areas from ecology to molecular biology. The project’s strong assessment plan has guided further refinement of the course since its implementation in 2009. This work received the 2012 Exemplary Program Award from the Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS). Ellen co-led the development of Wofford's Environmental Studies major, and she is co-PI on a two-institution (with Elon University) grant from the Teagle Foundation to build ethnic and religious pluralism on campus (in partnership with the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core). She is a member of the cadre of Wabash Teagle Assessment Scholars that assist campuses in their efforts to use assessment evidence to guide improvement. Twice Wofford's Faculty Member of the Year (1998 and 2004), she was named Outstanding Educator of the Year by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (2002) and is the inaugural recipient of the Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science. She was awarded the William R. Kenan Professorship and assumed the Biology Department Chair position in 2010. Ellen has been a SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) Leadership Fellow since 2002. In 2012 Ellen was named one of 40 Vision and Change Leadership Fellows by the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE), an initiative sponsored by NSF, NIH, and HHMI, whose goal is to “inform the development of an implementation framework that will transform undergraduate education in the life sciences." She is married to Dr. Byron R. McCane, the Albert C. Outler Professor and Chair of Wofford’s Department of Religion.

    Goldey’s primary teaching responsibilities include biological inquiry (Bio 150) and comparative and human anatomy (440). January Interim course topics have included travel to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Costa Rica as well as on-campus courses on Science and Religion, and on Earning Your EMT Certification.
     

    hettessrStacey R. Hettes, Associate Professor, Biology
    B.S., King's College
    Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
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    Dr. Hettes earned her B.S. degree from Kings College in 1996 and her Ph.D. from the University of California-Riverside in 2003. She is a native of Lake Wallenpaupack, Penn. In August 2003, she came to Wofford, where her dream job to teach in a liberal arts curriculum awaited her. She credits exceptional teachers at both King’s and UC- Riverside, most notably Dr. Joan Coffin and Dr. Glenn Stanley for cultivating her passion for teaching.

    Hettes believes whole heartedly in liberal arts education. Her interest in teaching extends well beyond traditional classroom lecture and laboratory exercises. Thus, she is excited to work with students on research investigating the neurobiological basis of feeding behavior. Her work aims to elucidate how neural activity in the area of the brain known as the hypothalamus initiates complex goal oriented behaviors such as eating. Through teaching an introduction to research course, she has the opportunity to work with many of our bio majors on hands on scientific investigation. Some projects have resulted in the opportunity for students to continue with advanced research and to present their findings at scientific meetings spanning the nation from Washington, D.C., to San Diego, Calif.

    Beyond the Department of Biology, Hettes encourages hands-on learning across the curriculum and is a proponent of rolling up our sleeves and learning by doing. During Interim, she offers a pottery course to students to experience wheel throwing pottery. She is involved with active and service learning opportunities with the Beta Beta Beta Biology Club and the Wofford College Coalition for the Arts. She strives to balance intellectual inquiry, experiential learning, freedom of expression, and pursuing new areas of knowledge and understanding. She received the Roger Milliken Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Science in 2009.

    Her passion for her students’ education is matched only by her love of her dogs, Russet and Max, and her desire to spend time with her family.

    Hettes teaches neurobiology (445, 446), introduction to research (250), advanced topics in research (Bio 450), and introduction to molecular and cellular biology (214).

     

    Tracie IvyTracie M. Ivy, Assistant Professor
    B.S., University of Illinois M.S., Illinois State University Ph.D., Illinois State University  
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    Dr. Ivy grew up in Central Illinois and stayed close to home for her B.S. at University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and her M.S. and Ph.D. at Illinois State University. She also completed graduate work at New Mexico State University. Her Master’s and Ph.D. work focused on the evolution of mating behavior in crickets, with behavioral and quantitative genetics work in the lab and field work at Grand Teton National Park, along with collecting expeditions across the country. She spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow at Universität Zürich studying the behavioral genetics of dung fly mate choice and development. She then traveled back to the U.S. to research the genetics of ethanol tolerance in fruit flies at the University of Rochester before joining the faculty of Wofford in 2010. She is currently collaborating with colleagues at Illinois State University on maternal investment in house wrens.

     

    Ivy enjoys hiking, motorcycling, knitting, and hanging out with her numerous cats.

     

    She teaches Biological Inquiry (150), Biological Development (151), and Introduction to Biostatistics (241).

    kusherdiDavid I. Kusher, Professor, Biology
    B.S., University of California, Santa Barbara
    M.S., San Francisco State University
    Ph.D., University of Georgia
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    Dr. Kusher joined the Wofford in the fall of 1996.  He received his B.S. degree in aquatic biology from the University of California Santa Barbara, his M.S. in marine biology at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (through San Francisco State University), and his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Georgia.

    Prior to coming to Wofford, Kusher was a National Institute of Health Immunology Research Fellow at Emory University, with continued immunology research at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and All Children's Hospital (Tampa & St. Petersburg, Florida). Previous field and laboratory research interests included studies in environmental contamination, toxicology (cellular and molecular responses to heavy metals and hydrocarbon exposure), and stress induced immunosuppression in fish and humans as it relates to cancer development. Present research interests include studies in aquatic biology and fish immunology.

    During Interim, Kusher has taught courses in marine fisheries biology with field studies in the beautiful South Carolina estuaries; coral reef biology and SCUBA diving in Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, San Salvador Bahamas, Roatan Honduras, and four times to the Dutch Island of Bonaire (Netherland Antilles, southern Carribean).

    Kusher teaches introductory animal biology (111), marine biology (385), freshwater biology (386), exotoxicology (480), and case studies in environmental issues (497).
    moellerjfJohn F. Moeller, Associate Professor, Biology
    B.A., University of California, San Diego
    Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
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    Dr. Moeller received his B.A. in animal physiology from the University of California, San Diego, and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His graduate work focused on the sensory physiology, anatomy, and behavior of deepwater crustaceans of the Pacific Ocean. Moeller conducted a post-doctoral research project at Florida State University investigating the role chemosensory systems play in reproductive behavior. These studies focused on the neural pathways that mediate chemosensory signals in sharks and stingrays. He also has participated in projects developing aquaculture techniques for Pacific sturgeon and in studies examining retinal development in amphibians.

    Moeller has taught for six years at St Andrews Presbyterian College and served as chair of the department for five years. While at St. Andrews, his research shifted to communication and behavior in various species of insects, especially wasps. His current research focuses on the stridulation of the wingless wasps commonly known as velvet ants. Most of these organisms are solitary parasites on the larvae of ground nesting bees and wasps. Future research will focus on how these velvet ants locate the nests of their hosts.

    Moeller teaches biology concepts and methods (104), cell and development (214),  and human physiology (342).
     
    Moss-tonedRobert E. Moss, Professor, Biology
    B.S., University of Pennsylvania
    Ph.D., Harvard University
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    Dr. Moss received his B.S. degree in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. degree in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University. His research focused on how genes guide development. After completing his degree, Moss worked at the National Headquarters of the American Cancer Society for two years; cancer always has been one focus of his studies. Before coming to Wofford in 1992, Moss taught at Columbia, Fordham, and Yeshiva Universities in New York.

    Moss chairs the Health Careers Advisors Committee, and coordinates off-campus internships for students with health-related career interests through Wofford's Interim Program.

    Past Interims include in depth studies of cancer, clinical internships with hospitals and physicians nation-wide, and Getting into Medical School. He also plans to take travel Interims to the Northeast (Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York), as well as to Israel.

    Moss teaches current topics in biology (480+), introduction to genetics and development (212), human genetics (421), immunology (423), advanced topics in molecular biology (436), current topics in biology (481), and seminar on human disease (482).

     

    Doug RaynerDouglas A. Rayner, Professor, Biology
    B.S., University of New Hampshire
    M.A., Ph.D., University of South Carolina
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    Dr. Rayner received his B.S. degree from the University of New Hampshire and his M.A. and Ph.D. in biology (botany and ecology emphasis) from the University of South Carolina. Rayner also is an adjunct professor of biology at Clemson University. Previously, he was employed as botanist and inventory coordinator with the Non-game and Heritage Trust Program of the South Carolina Wildlife Department, where his responsibilities included conducting statewide inventories for plants and unique natural areas. His present research interests include the population biology of rare and endangered plants, the identification of unique natural areas, and the effect of deer browse on plant diversity. Rayner is also a private biological consultant on endangered plants, animals and wetlands; a member of the board of directors of the Spartanburg Science Center; a scientific advisor to the S.C. Nature Conservancy and SPACE (the local land conservation trust); and he is active in committee work for the Association of Southeastern Biologists and the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society. Rayner came to Wofford in 1989.

    One of Rayner's recent Interims introduced students to economic botany, with an emphasis on plants affecting human health.

    Rayner teaches introduction to plants and the ecosystem (113), ecology (382), field biology (370), the plant kingdom (360),  field botany (372), and evolution (399).
     

    George ShifletGeorge W. Shiflet, Dr. and Mrs. Larry Hearn McCalla Professor, Biology
    B.A., Furman University
    M.S., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
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    Dr. Shiflet received his B.S. degree from Furman University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in biology (zoology and botany) from Vanderbilt University. For 13 years he taught at Erskine College, where he also served as chairman of the department for 10 years. Shiflet came to Wofford in 1987 and was named chair of the Department of Biology in 1992. Originally trained as an aquatic ecologist, Shiflet has expanded his research interests into the areas of molecular/cellular biology, simulation and modeling of biological systems, and genetics. For many summers, Shiflet was a visiting researcher in the Department of Zoology, University of California-Berkeley, where he studied the control of gene expression in the early embryos of sea urchins. He helped to develop a rapid screening test for Fragile X Syndrome at the Greenwood Genetic Center and was a visiting scientist at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA Medical Center. There he studied regulation of arginase, an enzyme of the urea cycle, that may also play a role in the development of several types of cancer.

    For the past few years, Shiflet has worked with Dr. Warren Derrick, professor and chair of pediatrics at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, on a case-based course in biomedicine. Selected students consider real medical cases, much as real physicians do. The tremendous impact of this course on biology majors has encouraged Shiflet to develop two other case-based courses — Public Health and Environmental Problems. Case Studies in Public Health also will be offered continuously. The environmental course was offered for the first time in the fall of 2005.

    Shiflet has maintained a strong interest in environmental and tropical biology. He has conducted numerous Interim courses in tropical areas (Ecuador/Galapagos, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Kenya, Australia, Hawaii and various Caribbean islands).

    Shiflet has collaborated with his wife, Dr. Angela B. Shiflet, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, to develop computational modules for the Keck Foundation. During the summer of 2004, he and his wife completed the draft of a textbook in computational science. The book, "Computational Science: Modeling and Simulation for the Sciences," was published by Princeton University Press in March, 2006.

    Shiflet served as department chair for many years until 2010, when he passed that baton on to Dr. Ellen Goldey so that he could pursue other interests.

    Shiflet teaches microbiology (324), advanced topics in cell biology (433), case studies in biomedicine (495), case studies in public health (493),  nutrition (490), and case studies for environmental issues (497).

     

    smithcfCharles F. Smith, Assistant Professor, Biology
    B.S., University of South Carolina
    Ph.D., University of Connecticut
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    Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and his B.S. in biology from the University of South Carolina in Columbia magna cum laude.

    Prior to joining the Wofford faculty in 2009, Smith held an appointment as a National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow and concurrently taught in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where he combined his work on snake mating system evolution with teaching upper-level and introductory courses such as vertebrate biology and biological principles.

    Smith’s research interests center on the evolution of mating systems, especially in the links between spatial ecology, behavior, morphology and physiology, and the fitness benefits and costs arising from each of these attributes at the population level. His research combines field (e.g., radio-tracking, GIS analysis) and laboratory (e.g., endocrinological, histological, molecular) approaches to address hypotheses about the spatial ecology and reproductive physiology of crotaline snakes. He is using these data, along with phylogenetic information, to develop an integrated framework to study the ecology and evolution of mating systems and sexual selection in these and other snakes. As part of his research program, Smith has been collaborating for the past five years with Dr. Gordon W. Schuett (Georgia State University) and Drs. Michael and Marlis Douglas (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) in applying molecular genetics techniques to directly measure male fitness in free-ranging crotalines.

    Along with teaching and conducting research, Smith serves as director for the Connecticut Meshomasic Rattlesnake Conservation Project, a long-term intensive field study that provides base-line natural history data on the State-Endangered Timber Rattlesnake that will allow land managers to set priorities for land protection and to develop better public outreach to area residents; holds an appointment as a research scientist with Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut; and serves as a peer-reviewer for scientific journals such as Copeia, Journal of Experimental Zoology, and Animal Behaviour.  

    spiveynwNatalie W. Spivey, Assistant Professor, Biology
    B.S., Emory University
    Ph.D., Duke University
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    Dr. Spivey grew up in Orlando, Fla. She spent her first two years of college at Oxford College of Emory University. Her final two years of college were spent on Emory’s main campus, where she received a B.S. in biology. Following graduation, she entered the cell and molecular biology graduate program at Duke University. Her dissertation research focused on the interaction between plants and pathogens. Using microarray technology, she investigated the changes in gene expression that occur when Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant model organism, is infected with the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. This led to the discovery of novel transcriptional regulators that control the plant’s immune response. Spivey joined the biology faculty at Wofford in 2009.