Faculty Research Projects


Dr. Jennifer Busch

Dr. Jennifer Busch

Dr. Busch’s research focuses on a family of enzymes called kinases.  Her interests lie in  studying mechanisms by which kinase activities are regulated and in elucidating the roles that specific kinases play in modulating cellular responses.  Currently, she is examining the role of a specific kinase in the stress response of hydroid Cordylophora, an invasive aquatic organism.

Nadine Rorem

Dr. Nadine C. Folino-Rorem

Marine & Invertebrate Zoologist
Dr. Rorem and her research students are studying the ecology and molecular taxonomy of the invasive colonial hydroid, Cordylophora. Current areas of interest are how physiological adaptations may explain the global distribution of this invasive hydroid and the predatory role of this hydroid in aquatic systems.  She is also interested in cnidarian biology with a focus on freshwater cnidarians.

Vanya Koo

Dr. Vanya Koo

Dr. Koo is primarily interested in how bacteria regulate gene expression. She uses a model bacterium, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, a close relative of the plague-causing Yersinia pestis, to understand the molecular mechanism of how small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) turn genes “on” and “off.” One of the specific goals in Dr. Koo’s research is to identify genetic factors that control the expression and stability of previously identified sRNAs and their targets.

Ray Lewis

Dr. Raymond J. Lewis

Dr. Lewis' research involves characterizing the factors that control the growth and reproduction of marine brown algae. Specifically, growth and gametogenesis of microscopic gametophytes of the large and ecologically significant kelps are characterized in response to salinity, pheromones, pH, and nutrients.

Kristen Page

Dr. L. Kristen Page

Dr. Page’s research involves answering questions about how diseases are transmitted, and trying to understand how disease transmission changes as humans alter landscapes and habitats. Many of the projects conducted with her research students investigate the transmission dynamics of raccoon roundworm in urban landscapes.

Rodney Scott

Dr. Rodney J. Scott

Dr. Scott uses techniques of molecular biology to conduct studies in conservation genetics. In his work in Illinois, he uses these markers to study a phenomenon called “multiple paternity” in an endangered species called Blanding’s turtle. The goal of this study is to learn how frequently multiple paternity (a phenomenon that increases genetic variation in populations) occurs in habitats where populations of Blanding’s turtles are highly fragmented. He has also initiated new studies using molecular markers to assess the population genetics of several species of freshwater turtles in Costa Rica and one tropical bird species. These studies represent the first studies of this kind to be conducted with these tropical species. He also works in collaboration with a Costa Rican colleague in molecular "barcoding" studies of tropical squirrels and he is working with another Costa Rican colleague to study a fungus that infects honey bees.

Dr. Nathaniel Thom

Dr. Nathaniel Thom is interested in modifying factors that promote an adaptive response to stress. More specifically, he uses psychophysiological and neuroimaging methods to better understand how physical and mental training programs alter brain-behavior relationships in ways that promote a healthy response to and recovery from stress. Dr. Thom’s research evaluating interventions to promote physical activity, has also provided an interest in advanced statistical techniques including meta-regression and structural equation modeling, which he employs when analyzing brain imaging data. 

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