Biology is the science of life. And, much like itself, biology is complex, fascinating and full of limitless opportunities. At Mercyhurst University, our rigorous, comprehensive curriculum will prepare you to excel academically; that’s why 89 percent of biology majors experience job placement or are accepted into an advanced degree program after graduation.
Your classroom may start in a modern biology laboratory, but you’ll also venture into local habitats — from Lake Erie to Presque Isle State Park and the 10-acre farm with accompanying small vineyard in Northeast Pennsylvania — to gain firsthand experience in the field. One of our more recent additions is the Hirtzel Human Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology Lab located on the Mercyhurst North East campus. This state-of-the-art resource facility features a cadaver lab, a room for processing human remains, a digital x-ray system, a combination anatomy lab and a classroom equipped with stations for cadaver dissection, a “green” energy recovery and air ventilation system, and a high-tech security system.
With a 14-1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 20 students, you’re never just a number at Mercyhurst. In fact, many upper level courses average 10 or fewer students. We keep our classes small so you can get individualized attention from professors to ensure your success in class and beyond.
At Mercyhurst, we believe that an education in biology happens not just in the classroom and the lab, but also in the field. That’s why we’re committed to making it happen in a variety of ways that include:
A degree from Mercyhurst prepares you for this exciting and dynamic career.
|Major(s)||2+3 Accelerated Pharmacy|
|3+4 Accelerated Medicine|
|4+1 Accelerated Program, M.S. in Secondary Education|
|Concentration(s)||Medical Technology Concentration|
Ready to begin your journey in biology? Apply online today -- it's free and getting your application started takes only a few brief minutes. Interested students may also consult the course catalog for more information. As a liberal arts institution, all undergraduate students complete Mercyhurst's core curriculum.
The primary goal of the Department of Biology is to provide thorough and basic training in the broad field of biology through a forward-looking and comprehensive curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and the development of a scientific perspective. This includes instruction by dedicated faculty in each of the principal areas within biology and supporting coursework in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Central to the program is the department's commitment to experiential learning through rigorous laboratory exercises, hands-on field experiences, and the opportunity to participate in faculty-student collaborative research, travel courses, professional conferences, community service, and professional practicum training. Personal attention and close interaction between faculty and student provides the biology major with a solid core of learning, experience, and preparation, and the means to secure fulfilling employment or continue their education at the graduate and professional level.
The Department of Biology is a small and close-knit community where students benefit from one-on-one interaction with their supervising faculty member and have the opportunity to work with professors from other scientific disciplines such as Chemistry, Psychology, Public Health and Physics. This provides a unique perspective on biological systems and provides students with a skill set that sets them apart from other graduate school and job applicants.
Student Learning: Students learn practical methods of low input food production and sound principals of experimental design.
Career Training: graduate school or work in the biotechnical industry
Student Learning: Sterile techniques, harvesting protocol, water quality, and quantitative growth measurements
Career Training: Marine or freshwater science, environmental, graduate school
Student Learning: neuroanatomy, microscopy, camera lucida drawing, immunocytochemistry and tract-tracing
Career Training: graduate school, medical school, research job
Student Learning: ecological field techniques, dissection, fluorescent microscopy, biochemical assays, lipid/protein isolation, assessment of physiological tolerance
Career Training: graduate school, medical school, veterinary school, research job
Student Learning: DNA isolation, PCR, gel electrophoresis, DNA and fragment analysis, reading and analyzing scientific data
Career Training: wildlife/fisheries management, graduate school, biotechnology
Amy BurnistonInstructor of Biology Office: Zurn 109A Phone: (814) 824-2437
Christopher DolancPh.D. Assistant Professor of Biology Office: Zurn 102 Phone: (814) 824-2540
Darlene MelchitzkyM.S. Laboratory Director and Research Associate Office: Zurn 101 Phone: (814) 824-3342
David HylandProfessor Office: Zurn 115 Phone: (814) 824-2177
J. Michael CampellPh.D. Professor of Biology Office: Zurn 100 Phone: (814) 824-2374
Larry GauriloffPh.D. Associate Professor of Biology Office: ZURN 111 Phone: 824-2375
Michael ElnitskyPh.D. Chair, Biology Department, Associate Professor of Biology, Pre-Health Advisor Office: Zurn 104 Phone: (814) 824-2346
Mike FoulkAssistant Professor of Biology Office: Zurn 219C Phone: 814-824-3644
Sara TurnerPh.D. Assistant Professor Office: Zurn 219A Phone: (814) 824-3089
Sarah BennettM.S. Lecturer of Biology Office: Zurn 216 Phone: (814) 824-3611
Stephen JohnsonM.S., M.T. (ASCP) Program Director, School of Medical Technology, Saint Vincent Health Center Phone: (814) 452-5365
Summer Ekelund-WeaverM.A. Instructor of Biology Office: Zurn 109A Phone: (814) 824-2050