Kirk Adams, Ph.D.
Dr. Kirk Adams is zoologist and molecular biologist that likes both basic and applied questions in science. He has focused on developmental biology, infectious disease, and veterinary/animal science at different points in his career.
Dr. Paul Bartels is a zoologist with broad interests in ecology, evolution, and behavior. He has interests in coral reef ecology and conservation, but his active research primarily focuses on a little known group of animals called “water bears” (Phylum Tardigrada). Dr. Bartels has studied this group in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as part of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory. To date, Dr. Bartels and his team have discovered 77 new records of tardigrade species for the park, including 13 species new to science. Dr. Bartels will be taking a break from teaching during the Fall of 2018 and Spring 2019, as he will be interim Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Dr. Amy Boyd is a self-proclaimed generalist at heart, fascinated by the wonderful breadth of biology and natural history, and has pursued specific study in plant ecology, evolution and plant-animal interactions. Her most recent research has focused on plant-pollinator interactions and floral biology.
Kim Borges, Ph.D.
Dr. Kim Borges is a biochemist and microbiologist. Her current research examines bacteria and viruses from rivers and drinking water. She has also studied beach water contamination and hot spring microbes. She enjoys working with students on projects involving plant natural products, compost biochemistry, and antibiotics.
Dr. Mark Brenner is an applied aquatic ecologist by training, but has research interests that extend more broadly. He has mentored more than 100 undergraduate research projects over his years at Warren Wilson, many of them in water pollution assessment, wastewater treatment, and aquaculture. More recently, he has developed an interest in mycology and using fungi for food production, waste treatment, and bioremediation.
Dr. Mary Saunders Bulan is an agroecologist with broad interests at the interface of farming, ecosystems and human society. Her work has ranged from applied on-farm agronomic research on cover crops and tillage reduction, to population genetics of crop plants, to econometric modeling of farmer behavior in an international context. Dr. Bulan is interested in participatory and community-based research approaches. She will be working closely with working lands managers at Warren Wilson College to develop projects on campus.
The focus of Dr. David Coffey’s personal research is developing next-generation solar cells. Students can join him in this work (in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden Colorado) or he is happy to advise students in a variety of other areas including physics topics, food science, and nanotechnology.
Dr. Dave Ellum is a silviculturist who specializes in the regeneration ecology of hardwood forests, especially the population dynamics and physiological responses of non-woody forest plants following forest canopy removal. He works with students on projects involving invasive plant species, forest medicinals (ecology, management, chemical constituents), forest management plans, agroforestry, carbon sequestration by forests and regeneration ecology.
Dr. Liesl Peterson Erb is a wildlife ecologist and conservation biologist. Her research centers on the impact of climate and land use change on wildlife, particularly mountain-dwelling mammals. Many of the questions she investigates address plant-animal interactions in a changing world, exploring topics such as changes in distribution, phenology, and foraging preference due to global change.
Dr. Jeff Holmes’ background is in microbiology and genetics. He is interested in projects about either weird organisms or weird biology, like whether single celled brain parasites drive shrews to open spaces before killing them.
Dr. Alisa Hove is a botanist who studies the evolution of plant reproductive strategies and plant phenology. Students who work with her pursue projects relating to mating system evolution, plant-pollinator interactions, plant phenology, and plant responses to stressful environments.
Dr. Langdon Martin is an organic chemist with interests including bioorganic chemistry and chemical biology, particularly involving peptides. He works with students on projects that include small-molecule synthesis, isolation and characterization of natural products, and biochemical assays.