Pharmacy, Natural & Health Sciences

Environmental Studies



Suzanne Beyeler, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
Environmental Studies Program Director
Office:   Science Center 213
Phone:  (260) 982-5507
At Manchester since: 2016
Education:  Goshen College, 1995 (B.A.); Miami University, 2000 (M.A.); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009 (Ph.D.)
Graduate research area: Factors Affecting Songbird Richness, Density, and Nest Survival in Riparian Forests in a Midwestern Agricultural Landscape.
Courses taught: Principles of Biology, Invertebrate Zoology, Environmental Science, Marine Biology.
Current research interests: using ecological indicators to improve our understanding of how ecological threats degrade environmental integrity, identifying methods for incorporating spatial and temporal scalability into models of habitat connectivity and ecosystem resiliency, and evaluating how exotic invasive species influence patterns of native biodiversity.

Jerry Sweeten

Jerry Sweeten, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
Office:  Science Center 237
Phone:  (260) 982-5079
At Manchester since:  2004
Education:  Manchester College, 1975 (B.S.); Ball State University, 1982 (M.A.); Purdue University, 1996 (Ph.D.)
Graduate research area: Stream ecology and the effect of suspended stream sediment on the growth and survival of sight-feeding warmwater fishes.
Courses taught: Principles of Biology, Limnology, Invertebrate Zoology, Environmental Science (Introductory and Advanced), Marine Biology, Ornithology, and a travel course to Andros Island, Bahamas.
Current research interests: Effects of non-point source pollution on stream fishes, long-term biological monitoring of coral reef fish, population trends and dynamics of Black-Capped and Carolina chickadees, nesting habitat and population dynamics of Eastern Towhees. Research regarding removal of low-head dams and fish passageway structures.  Freshwater mussel research.
Memberships & Affiliations:  American Fisheries Society, Ecological Society of America, Ecological Restoration Society.

David Hicks

David J. Hicks, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor of Biology
Office:  Science Center 212
Phone:  (260) 982-5309
At Manchester since:  1986
Education:  Colgate University, 1974 (B.A.); Cornell University, 1978 (M.S.); Cornell University, 1982 (Ph.D.)
Graduate Research Area:  Plant ecology
Courses Taught:  Non-majors Biology courses, Ecology, Botany (Ethnobotany, Plant Taxonomy and Plant Physiology), and Genetics.
Current Research Interests:  Structure and function of temperate forest plant communities.
Memberships & Affiliations:  Botanical Society of America, Southern Appalachian Botanical Society

Rachel Polando

Rachel Polando, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Office:  Science Center 217
Phone:  (260) 982-5107
At Manchester since:  2009
Education:  Hillsdale College, 2004 (B.S.); University of Notre Dame, 2009 (Ph.D. Immunology and Infectious Disease)
Graduate research area: The role of pattern recognition receptors in host cell signaling and phagosome maturation during infection with Leishmania.
Courses taught: Human Biology, First Year Seminar, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Parasitology, Virology, Science and Culture in Australia, and Immunology.
Current research interests: cell signaling during phagocytosis and phagosome maturation, effects of serum components on cell signaling and phagocytosis, cytokine effects and regulation during phagocytosis, and host-parasite interactions.
Memberships & Affiliations:  American Association of Immunologists, American Society for Microbiology, Consortium of Medical Laboratory Educators, Indiana College Biology Teachers Association, Beta Beta Beta, and Pi Beta Phi (Alumni board).

Aron Costello Harris
Aron K. Costello-Harris, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Office:  Science Center 215
Phone:  (260) 982-5308
At Manchester since:  Fall 2010
Education:  Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2002 (B.S.); Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2005 (M.S.); Miami University, Oxford, OH, 2010 (Ph.D. Zoology)
Graduate research area: Female characteristics that influence male mate preference in house mice (Mus musculus).
Courses taught: Principles of Biology II, Fundamentals of Human Physiology, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, and Vertebrate Physiology.
Current research interests: influence of physical quality on mate choice by males and females, altruism and kin selection theory, dominance rank/social status, predator detection and avoidance, maternal behavior, and behavioral trade-offs.

Kristen Short

Kristen H. Short, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Office:  Science Center 216
Phone:  (260) 982-5183
At Manchester since:  2011
Education:  Miami University, 2004 (B.S.); University of Cincinnati, 2010 (M.S.); University of Cincinnati, 2010 (Ph.D.)
Graduate research area: Population genetics of invasive geckos (Hemidactylus mabouia) during range expansion in Florida.
Courses taught: Principles of Biology, Introduction to Molecular Biology, DNA Science and General Biology.
Current research interests: landscape genetics, nonequilibrium genetic patterns, molecular ecology, dynamics of range expansion, urban ecology, invasive species behavior.
Memberships & Affiliations:  Indiana Academy of Science