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Biology and Wildlife Faculty

Photo of Brian Barnes

Brian Barnes (Professor of Zoophysiology and Institute Director)

311A IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of Washington

Research Interests: Environmental physiology; adaptation of animals to environments; physiology of hibernation; physiological and endocrinological reproductive mechanisms of mammals.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB, LARS, TFS

Photo of Andrea Bersamin

Andrea Bersamin (Associate Professor)

228 AHRB


Ph.D. - University of California, Davis

Research Interests: Role of nutrition and physical activity in the development and prevention of chronic diseases; epidemiology; prevention science; determinants of dietary and physical activity patterns; development and evaluation of theory-based interventions; minority health, particularly indigenous populations

Affiliations: B&W, CANHR, IAB

Photo of Richard D. Boone

Richard D. Boone (Professor of Biology)

122 AHRB


Ph.D. - University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Research Interests: Biogeochemistry of terrestrial ecosystems; soil organic matter dynamics; global change; land-use legacies.

Affiliations: B&W, BNZ-LTER, IAB

Photo of Bert Boyer

Bert Boyer (Professor of Molecular Biology; CANHR Director)

206 AHRB


Ph.D. - Louisiana State Medical Center

Research Interests: Molecular genetics; mammalian thermogenesis.

Affiliations: B&W, CANHR, Core Lab, IAB

Photo of Greg Breed

Greg Breed (Assistant Professor)

401 IRV 1


Ph.D. - Dalhousie University

Research Interests: Quantitative ecology, specializing in animal movement and behaviour.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of Syndonia Bret-Harte

Syndonia (Donie) Bret-Harte (Associate Professor)

122 AHRB


Ph.D. - Stanford University

Affiliations: B&W, BNZ-LTER, IAB, TFS

Photo of Todd Brinkman

Todd Brinkman (Assistant Professor)

323B Murie Building


Ph.D. - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Research Interests: Human-wildlife interactions

Affiliations: B&W, BNZ-LTER, EPSCoR, IAB, RAP

Photo of Abel Bult-Ito

Abel Bult-Ito (Professor of Biology)

307C Bunnell


Ph.D. - Wesleyan University

Research Interests: Brain regulation of behavior; evolution of brain function in natural populations.

Affiliations: B&W

Photo of Jack Chen

Jack Chen (Associate Professor of Virology; Deputy Director, Alaska State Virology Lab)

223B Murie Building


Ph.D. - Osaka University

Research Interests: Virus-host cell interaction, emerging viral pathogens

Affiliations: B&W, IAB, INBRE

Photo of Robert Coker

Robert Coker (Associate Professor)

323D Murie Building


Ph.D. Exercise Physiology - University of Mississippi

Research Interests: My primary research focus is directed at the mitigation of metabolic stress in clinical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, sarcopenia and alcohol abuse.

Affiliations: B&W, CANHR, IAB

Photo of Pat Doak

Pat Doak (Associate Professor of Biology)

415B IRV 1


Ph.D. - Cornell University

Research Interests: Spatial population dynamics; insect-plant interactions.

Affiliations: B&W, BNZ-LTER, Greenhouse, IAB

Photo of Devin Drown

Devin Drown (Assistant Professor)

224 WRRB


Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of Andrea Ferrante

Andrea Ferrante (Assistant Professor)

223E Murie Building


M.D. - University of Genoa Medical School

Research Interests:

The study of histocompatibility in man and in other vertebrates has led to the understanding of the mechanisms of immune recognition and to the discovery of novel molecules and cells involved in these processes, including class I and class II proteins encoded in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of all vertebrates examined and T cell receptors. The normal human response to bacterial and viral infection involves these molecules and results in either the generation of T helper cells and antibodies or of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. In addition, many important human autoimmune diseases are linked to particular alleles of the class I and class II proteins.

In particular, the recognition by CD4+ T cells of peptides bound to class II MHC (MHCII) and exposed on the surface of antigen presenting cells initiates an adaptive immune response. Antigen presentation is a multistep process involving the intracellular fragmentation of protein antigens, followed by binding of the derived peptide epitopes to MHCII with the participation of the peptide-editing molecule DM, and subsequent transport to the surface for recognition. Our long-term goal is to sufficiently characterize the stages of this process so that we can predict T cell responses.

My laboratory is currently focused on three main projects:

  • The biochemical and biophysical bases of binding of antigenic peptides to MHC II molecules and the correlation between binding thermodynamics, structure and biology of the peptide/MHCII complex.
  • The mechanism by which DM skews the repertoire of peptide/MHCII complexes presented to CD4+ T cells in favor of the most stable complexes.
  • Developing an in silico binding prediction algorithm based on the in vitro observations, with specific clinical application, such as development of inhibitors in Hemophilia A patients.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB, INBRE

Photo of Brad Griffith

Brad Griffith (Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology; Leader, AKCFWRU)

209C IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of Idaho

Research Interests: Habitat and nutritional ecology; stochastic population processes; endangered species management/planning; remote sensing; landscape processes.

Affiliations: AKCFWRU, B&W, IAB

Photo of Tamara Harms

Tamara Harms (Assistant Professor)

120 AHRB


Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of Michael Harris

Michael Harris (Professor)

113C Murie Building


Ph.D. - Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia (Canada)

Research Interests: Neurobiology of breathing, pathophysiology of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, comparative respiratory physiology, evolution of air-breathing, evolution and adaptations to mammalian hibernation.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of Falk Huettmann

Falk Huettmann (Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology)

419 IRV 1


Ph.D. - ACWERN/University of New Brunswick (Canada)

Research Interests: Wildlife Ecology, Seabirds, Predictive GIS Modeling, Web-based Wildlife Databases and Metadata, Spatial Aspects of Population Viability Analysis (PVA), Future Landscape Scenarios of Wildlife Habitat, Landscape Ecology, Russian Far East, Tropical Ecology, Conservation Steady State Economy.

Affiliations: B&W, EWHALE, IAB

Photo of Kris Hundertmark

Kris Hundertmark (Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology)

323D Murie Building


Ph.D. - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Research Interests: Wildlife conservation genetics; wildlife ecology; ecology and management of large mammals; Beringian phylogeography

Affiliations: B&W, ConsGen, Core Lab, IAB

Photo of Steffi Ickert-Bond

Steffi Ickert-Bond (Associate Professor of Botany; Herbarium Curator, UA Museum of the North)



Ph.D. - Arizona State University

Research Interests: Molecular systematics, phylogeny, biogeography and morphological evolution in vascular plants; revisionary and floristic work.

Affiliations: B&W, Greenhouse, IAB, UAMN

Photo of Jeremy Jones

Jeremy (Jay) Jones (Professor of Biology)

154 AHRB


Ph.D. - Arizona State University

Research Interests: Structure and function of stream ecosystems.

Affiliations: B&W, BNZ-LTER, IAB

Photo of Knut Kielland

Knut Kielland (Associate Professor of Ecology)

406 IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Research Interests: Plant physiological ecology; biogeochemistry; plant-animal interactions.

Affiliations: B&W, BNZ-LTER, IAB

Photo of Denise Kind

Denise Kind (Instructor; Biology and Wildlife Laboratory Coordinator)

223C Murie Building


Ph.D. - University of California, Irvine

Affiliations: B&W

Photo of Alexander Kitaysky

Alexander (Sasha) Kitaysky (Professor of Integrative Physiology)

413 IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of California, Irvine

Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of Mary Beth Leigh

Mary Beth Leigh (Associate Professor of Microbiology)

228 WRRB


Ph.D. - University of Oklahoma

Research Interests: Molecular microbial ecology, bioremediation, plant-microbe interactions, stable isotope probing

Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of Mark Lindberg

Mark Lindberg (Professor of Biology)

411 IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Research Interests: Waterfowl biology; upland game birds; mark-recapture theory; sampling design.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of David McGuire

David McGuire (Professor of Landscape Ecology; Assistant Leader, AKCFWRU)

211A IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Research Interests: Operation of ecological processes at large spatial scales; ecological modeling; global change biology.

Affiliations: AKCFWRU, B&W, IAB, SEL

Photo of Christa P. H. Mulder

Christa P. H. Mulder (Professor of Plant Ecology)

412 IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Research Interests: Relationships between species diversity and ecosystem processes; plant-animal interactions.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of Diane O'Brien

Diane O'Brien (Professor)

230 AHRB


Ph.D. - Princeton University

Research Interests: Nutritional Physiology of insects; Stable isotope ecology, Understanding patterns of stable isotope variation among biological compounds

Affiliations: B&W, CANHR, IAB

Photo of Kristin O'Brien

Kristin O'Brien (Associate Professor of Biology and Wildlife)

323E Murie Building


Ph.D. - University of Maine

Research Interests: Mitochondrial biology; oxidative and nitrosative stress; adaptation to cold temperature

Affiliations: B&W, IAB

Photo of Link Olson

Link Olson (Associate Professor of Systematic Biology; Curator of Mammals)

016 Museum


Ph.D. - University of Chicago

Research Interests: Systematics, phylogenetics, and evolutionary biology of mammals; biogeography; molecular evolution.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB, UAMN

Photo of Andrej Podlutsky

Andrej Podlutsky (Associate Professor of Molecular Biology)

232 WRRB


Affiliations: IAB

Photo of Abby Powell

Abby Powell (Professor of Wildlife Ecology; Assistant Leader, AKCFWRU)

210A IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of Minnesota

Research Interests: Avian Ecology, Endangered Species, Conservation Biology

Affiliations: AKCFWRU, B&W, IAB

Photo of Roger Ruess

Roger Ruess (Professor of Ecosystem Ecology)

414 IRV 1


Ph.D. - University of North Dakota

Research Interests: I am interested in regional consequences of changing climate-disturbance interactions for the resilience of Alaska's boreal forest.

Affiliations: B&W, BNZ-LTER, Greenhouse, IAB

Photo of Derek Sikes

Derek Sikes (Associate Professor of Entomology, Curator of Insects)



Ph.D. - University of Connecticut

Research Interests: Taxonomy, morphological and molecular based phylogenetics, conservation, and faunistics of Insects, especially Coleoptera.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB, UAMN

Photo of Naoki Takebayashi

Naoki Takebayashi (Associate Professor of Biology)

226 WRRB


Ph.D. - Indiana University

Research Interests: Theoretical population genetics; evolutionary biology; molecular evolution; plant reproductive biology; computational biology.

Affiliations: B&W, Greenhouse, IAB, INBRE

Photo of Barbara Taylor

Barbara Taylor (Associate Professor of Biology in Neuroscience)

113D Murie Building


Ph.D. - University of British Columbia

Research Interests: My research interests center around mechanisms by which exogenous metabolites (nutriceuticals and toxins) influence neural function. I am the Principal Investigator for two research programs derived from this interest. One investigates the influence of nicotine and alcohol on development, dysfunction and plasticity in control of breathing by neural networks of the vertebrate brainstem. Another research program investigates the beneficial influence of phytochemicals and detrimental effects of alcohol on mechanosensory and locomotory neurons and networks as modeled by transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans. Each research programs addresses Alaska-relevant health issues and serves as training arenas for postdoctoral fellows and graduate as well as undergraduate students.

Affiliations: B&W, IAB, INBRE

Photo of Diane Wagner

Diane Wagner (Associate Professor of Biology, B&W Department Chair)

163 AHRB


Ph.D. - Princeton University

Research Interests: Herbivory; insect-plant-soil interactions; mutualism; and evolutionary ecology.

Affiliations: B&W, Greenhouse, IAB

Photo of Donald Walker

Donald (Skip) Walker (Professor of Biology)

262 AHRB


Ph.D. - University of Colorado at Boulder

Research Interests: Environmental biology; disturbance and recovery of arctic ecosystems; global tundra ecosystems; hierarchical geographical information systems; landscape ecology; landscape response to climate change; quantitative ecology methods.

Affiliations: AGC, B&W, IAB, TFS

Photo of Kevin Winker

Kevin Winker (Professor; Curator of Birds)

038 Museum


Ph.D. - University of Minnesota

Research Interests: Avian evolution, population genetics, and systematics; ecology, evolution, and behavior.

Affiliations: B&W, Core Lab, IAB, UAMN

Photo of Mark Wipfli

Mark Wipfli (Professor of Freshwater Ecology; Assistant Leader, AKCFWRU)

138 AHRB


Ph.D. - Michigan State University

Research Interests: Freshwater Foodwebs, Marine-Derived Nutrients in Riverine Ecosystems, Trophic Relationships, Riparian-Stream Interactions

Affiliations: AKCFWRU, B&W, IAB

Photo of Diana Wolf

Diana Wolf (Associate Professor of Biology)

240 WRRB


Ph.D. - Indiana University

Research Interests: Plant evolutionary genetics. How the genetic basis of traits shapes their evolution, and how natural selection acts on genes.

Affiliations: B&W, Greenhouse, IAB


University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Biology and Wildlife ©2010-15

101 Murie      907.474.7671

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