Raised in the mountains of North Carolina, Drew Barton is a forest ecologist whose research focuses on how forests change over time in response to climate change and natural disturbances, such as fire. His fieldwork has taken him to Costa Rica, Arizona, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Maine, and he has published in a wide range of biology journals, including several articles with UMF students. He has recently devoted himself to also writing for general audiences, culminating in the release in 2012 of The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods. Drew is the co-founder of the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition and continues to promote environmental sustainability on campus and in the community as faculty co-coordinator of the group. He greatly enjoys teaching Plant Biology, Forest Ecology and Conservation, and Ecology and the Environment (for non-majors), especially when he gets to take students outside to meet wild plants and animals.
Anthony "Chris" Brinegar received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame (1977), MS in Food Chemistry from Cornell University (1979), and PhD in Agronomy from the University of Wisconsin (1983). Following post-doctoral training in plant molecular biology at the Plant Cell Research Institute in California, he joined the faculty of the Biology Department at San Jose State University in 1987 where he taught molecular biology, cell biology, botany and evolution. His research focused on the population genetics of coastal and forest plants of northern California, including coast redwoods. Chris and his wife Bonnie moved to Maine in 2006 after retirement from SJSU. At UMF, he teaches general education science part-time as an Adjunct Associate Professor and continues his research in plant genetics. Chris spent the Fall semester of 2008 as a Fulbright Scholar in the Biotechnology Department at Kathmandu University in Nepal.
Dan Buckley is an ecologist whose research interests are centered on freshwater ecosystems. His current research efforts include the long term temperature monitoring of over 25 Maine lakes and the effect of changing temperature regimes on lake water quality. Each summer for the past 12 yers he has employed student interns, the "UMF aquatic research team", to work with local/regional lake organizations to study water quality of local lakes as influenced by shoreline development, location and the physical dimensions of lakes. Students use high definition global positioning systems (GPS) in conjunction with sonar and geographic information systems (GIS) to develop accurate bathymetric maps of Maine lakes. This same equipment is also used to map the extent of invasive plant species as lakes were surveyed for aquatic plants. At UMF Dr. Buckley teaches aquatic biology, non-majors ecology, evolution and environmental impact analysis.
Dr. Ron Butler is a biologist with research interests in behavioral ecology, community ecology, and conservation biology. During the past 30 years, he has worked in Antarctica, Newfoundland, and Maine on a variety of projects concerning the ecology and conservation of seabirds, dragonflies, and butterflies. Because of his interest in ecologically important insect groups, he presently helps coordinate two state-wide citizen scientist initiatives: The Maine Damselfly and Dragonfly Survey and The Maine Butterfly Survey. Dr. Butler’s undergraduate research students work with him each summer in Maine on dragonfly and butterfly ecology, and a number of these students have gone on to graduate programs in ecology. In addition to teaching courses in Ecology, Entomology, Ornithology, and Conservation Biology, Ron also teaches Tropical Island Ecology each May-term in the US Virgin Islands.
Dr. Jean Doty is a microbiologist with research interests in both environmental and medical microbiology. When not in the classroom, you can find Dr. Doty in the lab guiding students in their class-required or independent research projects. These student-designed projects are very diverse in topic, ranging from the heritability of musicality to the bioremediation of heating oil contamination in soil. Her own research interests are in the interaction between humans and their microbiota. Dr. Doty teaches Cell Biology, Genetics and Microbiology for students in the major, and Introductory Microbiology and Human Genetics for students outside the major. When she isn't teaching or doing research, she's exploring the Canadian Maritimes with her husband, daughter and two very excited dogs.
Dr. Mariella Passarelli was trained as a synthetic organic chemist designing candidates, developing synthetic methods, and making promising molecules for use in the pharmaceutical industry. After her doctorate, Passarelli did postdoctoral work in toxicology where her synthetic skills were used to adduct DNA with carcinogens. This work catapulted Passarelli into the realm of biochemistry and now she uses enzymatic methods in synthetic work alongside organic chemistry methods. Her teaching responsibilities include both organic chemistry and biochemistry courses. Because she teaches science majors and non-majors, Passarelli has also contributed new ideas to the teaching of science. Her courses blend content, learning/teaching methodologies, and student research.
Nancy Prentiss teaches courses in Marine Biology, Tropical Island Ecology and Field Botany. Her research focuses on surveying marine worms (polychaete) in the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, USVI, where she is developing a database for polychaete biodiversity. She currently employs UMF students as research assistants to conduct polychaete taxonomy and to develop a UMF lab protocol for the DNA barcoding of new species found in the collection. Other interests include monitoring rare plant species in Maine.
Dr. Robinson received a B.S. in Biology and minored in Chemistry at Upper Iowa Univ. He received a Ph.D. in Zoology and minored in Chemistry at Montana State Univ. His research was on the rate of protein synthesis in the grasshopper egg and he taught several biology labs including human anatomy. He has had a long tenure at the Univ. of Maine at Farmington teaching many biology courses including human anatomy and physiology, genetics and biotechnology. His research interests have included veal heart pathology and detecting genetic variants in elastase inhibition that cause familial emphysema. Most recently he has started to investigate the natural history of cougars in the Americas and Maine with an eye on subspecies distribution and the genetic identification of them to species, subspecies and individuals. This is especially interesting in many states where cougar sightings are reported but no known breeding populations exist.
Dr. Mary Schwanke, Professor of Biology, has been at UMF for over 25 years, helping to prepare new generations of biology teachers, biomedical researchers, and health care providers. She introduces students to the marvels of the animal body - how it develops, how it is constructed, and how it functions. Her background in neurophysiology and interest in human health have led her to develop special topics courses in areas such as immunology, pathophysiology, and the neuroscience of learning and memory. Mary's research has included lobster neurophysiology, the effects of diabetes on heart cells, and ways to improve science teaching and learning. She enjoys painting, sailing the Maine coast, and cross-country skiing.