Summer 2010



Professor John Morrissey is the recipient of the 2010 Connie Burwell White Excellence in Teaching Award.  Presented by the Student Government Association, the award is voted on by the entire student body.


Seniors who presented their work at the Biology Research Symposium on 29 April (left to right):

  • Kaitlyn Wieditz, Dots and stripes: Pattern learning in the angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare
  • Natalie Stapp, Age and growth of chain catsharks, Scyliorhinus retifer
  • Brittany Lindsey, Effect of white-tailed deer on Sweet Briar College's forests
  • Amey Landreth, Analysis of the white-tailed deer population at Sweet Briar College
  • Heather Critz, Determining the effectiveness of cisplatin and analogs on leukemia cell lines
  • Mary Rachel Taylor, Microsatellite identification in Harmonia axyridis
  • Helen Phillips, Histology and replacement rate of teeth in chain catsharks (Scyliorhinus retifer)
  • Alle Taylor (not in photo), Progenitor cell differentiation into mammalian coronary vessel cell types

In addition to the links on the left, we have gathered many of our favorite photographs in two pdf presentations.

Click here to download a pdf presentation on the Biology Department (3MB)
Click here to download a pdf presentation on Field Biology at Sweet Briar (4.5MB)

About the Biology Department

     We share a commitment to our students and the college, a fascination with the natural world, and enthusiasm for teaching and research.

  •  We provide a comprehensive biology curriculum for students interested in research, education, conservation and the health professions.  A strong program is never static, and we have recently added courses in Marine Biology, Biomathematics, Insect Biology and Conservation Biology.  In addition to a Biology major, we offer a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major jointly with the Department of Chemistry.
  •  Field biology is an important component of our curriculum.  We take advantage of our 3200 acre campus in Field Natural History, Plant Kingdom, Ecology, and Insect Biology.
  • Faculty research is supported through an institutional faculty grants program.  In addition, we have been successful in obtaining grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Jeffress Memorial Trust, LI-COR, the Virginia Academy of Sciences, and the Virginia Commonwealth Health Research Board. 
  • Our state-of-the-art equipment has been obtained through NSF-ILI, CCLI and research grants, Jeffress Research Grants, and an endowment from the Kresge Foundation.
  •  We encourage and support student research.  Biology majors gain research experience in lab courses before completing a semester or more of independent research.  Research is required for the B.S. degree and is optional for the B.A. degree.   Research students participate in a colloquium and present their research at a departmental symposium.  We continually increase our expectations for student research, and our students continually rise to the challenge.
  •  We enjoy collaboration with one another, as well as with faculty in other departments.  Members of the Biology Department have conducted joint research projects with members of the Chemistry and Environmental Studies Departments; have written a biomathematics textbook with members of the Mathematics Department and colleagues at the University of Virginia School of Medicine; and have taught interdisciplinary courses with colleagues in Studio Art, Creative Writing, Math and Chemistry.


Site maintained by L.S. Fink
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar VA 24595
Last modified May 2010