Department of Biology
Raised in the southern Appalachians of western North Carolina, Drew Barton is a forest ecologist and science writer. His fieldwork has taken him across the U.S., and he is the author of many scholarly and popular publications. His current research focuses on forests, wildfire, and climate change in the American Southwest. He is the author of the book, "The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods” and co-editor of the upcoming "Ecology and Recovery of Eastern Old-growth Forests.” Drew co-founded the Michigan National Forest-Watch and the UMF Sustainable Campus Coalition, a group that promotes environmental sustainability on and off campus. He was a leader of the Mt. Blue-Tumbledown Conservation Alliance, which protected 30,000 acres of forest in western Maine. Drew greatly enjoys teaching ecology and environmental science to majors and non-majors, especially when he gets to take students outside to meet wild plants and animals.
Dr. Ron Butler is an ecologist with research interests in behavioral ecology, community ecology, and conservation biology. During the past 40 years, he has worked in Antarctica, Newfoundland, and Maine on a variety of projects concerning the ecology and conservation of seabirds, dragonflies, butterflies, and native pollinators. Because of his interest in ecologically important insect groups, he presently helps coordinate three state-wide citizen scientist initiatives: The Maine Damselfly and Dragonfly Survey, The Maine Butterfly Survey, and The Maine Bumble Bee Atlas. Dr. Butler’s undergraduate research students work with him each summer in Maine on dragonfly, butterfly ecology, and bee 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.
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.