Pearson Hall Level 1 Entrance Area
Artist rendering of Pearson Hall's renovated entrance area
Support Biology
Pearson Hall
You can support biology with gifts of money, wisdom, or opportunity. Your financial gifts can be designated for student scholarships, travel and research, or for named professors and facilities.
Unrestricted gifts help support areas of greatest need in our programs. We also encourage campus visits by alumni for departmental seminars or classroom visits that inform our students about your professional experiences and career paths. We greatly appreciate your support!
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Letter from the Chair
Thomas Crist
Greetings Alumni and Friends!
This past year has been a period of rapid growth and change in biology. We have a growing number of undergraduate majors, several changes in our faculty and staff, and will soon begin the renovation of Pearson Hall.
Biology has over 1,100 students in our three undergraduate majors, and 75 graduate students in four M.S. and Ph.D. programs. Project Dragonfly also offers global field programs and inquiry-based science education for 1,000 graduate students in M.A./M.A.T. programs geared towards zoo professionals and in-service teachers. Last year, the biology faculty won over $2.9 million in external grants and produced over 80 publications with graduate students or undergraduates as coauthors. Over 85% of our undergraduates gain research experiences using state-the-art instrumentation and techniques in labs and centers, and at field sites, which provide them with hands-on skills that are valued by employers as well as graduate and professional schools. Our students continue to have successful careers in academics, industry, government and non-profit organizations.
The renovation of Pearson Hall will support our changing needs for teaching and research, create new cutting-edge teaching and research labs, and provide a more open, collaborative and inviting environment for our students and visitors.  Renovation plans for the first two years of the project are nearly completed, and construction will begin in May 2017. 
As the fall semester draws to close, we are celebrating the careers of Dr. Rick Lee and Dr. Jim Hickey and their outstanding contributions as teachers and scholars. Last year, Dr. Don Kaufman retired as director of the Hefner Museum of Natural History, followed by Cecilia Franz Berg, assistant director. Together, their vision and creativity brought environmental education and natural history to thousands of university and K-12 students, teachers, and visitors. Our new director Steve Sullivan, along with project manager Julie Robinson, will build on these successes to forge new ways of connecting science and environmental education to broad audiences. We are also excited to be searching for tenure-track faculty in plant developmental biology and global change biology.
I wish you the all the best in the holiday season and in the New Year!
Tom Crist
Professor and Chair

Pearson atrium
Pearson atrium
Pearson teaching lab
Pearson teaching lab
Pearson Hall Renovation
The design development for the first phase of the Pearson Hall renovation is nearing completion. The first phase will include all teaching labs, student and faculty collaborative spaces, departmental offices, and 20% of the research labs. The teaching labs will be designed for more interactive instruction and inquiry, while the research labs will be more open and flexible. The bulk of the renovation will be funded by $25 million from the state and $10 million from the university, which will support the costs for teaching and research labs. 
Some additional transformative features, such as the conversion of the courtyard to a flexible atrium space, will depend on private donor contributions. The beloved Charley Harper “Web of Life” mosaic will be preserved intact and relocated within a more spacious main entrance to the building. We are excited about a future Pearson Hall that provides a more open and collaborative environment for our students and faculty.  
There are several donor opportunities for named spaces or facilities. Please contact Tom Crist, Chair of Biology, or Evan Lichtenstein, Senior Director of Development, College of Arts and Science.
Malory Owen
Malory Owen
Biology in the News
Hannah Devens, a Botany and Zoology double major with an Environmental Science co-major, and Blake Rasor, a Biology and Microbiology double major, were named as Goldwater Scholars >>
Jordan Martin, a Biology and Psychology double major, was awarded the Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Prize, which supports independently designed postgraduate experiences >>
Joseph Baumgartner and David Linz were among the recipients of the top oral and poster presentations, respectively, at the 2016 Graduate Research Forum.  Joseph is a Ph.D. student with Susan Hoffman, Associate Professor of Biology, as his faculty advisor; David is a Ph.D. student with Yoshi Tomoyasu, Associate Professor of Biology, as his faculty advisor.
Malory Owen, a Zoology Major and Environmental Science Co-Major, developed educational signs for Miami University butterfly gardens with Nancy Solomon, Professor of Biology, as her faculty advisor. There are now six butterfly gardens on campus >>
Craig Williamson, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Ecosystem Ecology, was part of a collaborative study involving 225 lakes worldwide that showed lakes have warmed faster than air over the last 25 years >> 
Susan Hoffman, Associate Professor of Biology, was given the faculty recognition award by the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education in appreciation of her commitment to advising and support of students >>
Michael Vanni, Professor of Biology, and Craig Williamson, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Ecosystem Ecology, were each coauthors of studies that were recognized as the top 60 papers from the first 60 years of the journal Limnology and Oceanography >>
Yoshi Tomoyasu, Associate Professor of Biology, was highlighted in a story on student research that provided evidence for the protective role of beetle elytra against predators >>
The Hefner Museum of Natural History, in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center, held a STEM Girls Day Out for elementary and middle-school girls at Miami University to learn about science, technology, engineering and math fields >>
The Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education sponsored a lecture by Dr. Don Francis, a world-renown epidemiologist, who was involved in the global eradication of smallpox and has been involved in the study and control of AIDS, Ebola, and other diseases >>
The Roger Wilson Lecture in Botany was given by Dr. Katherine Suding, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado Boulder, on the topic of restoration ecology >>
The Ethel Belk Lecture in Botany featured Gary Martin, founder and director of the Global Diversity Foundation, who shared his experiences in ethnobotany and community development >>
The Hefner Lecture was delivered by marine biologist Dr. Helen Bailey of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory of the University of Maryland, who has tracked sea turtles and whales during their migrations across the world’s oceans >>
Come Visit Us 
We welcome alumni back to campus for seminars, class visits, career events, or just informal conversation.  Let us know when you are in the area.  We would love to hear about your careers and professional accomplishments.  Send a message to
College of Arts and Science at Miami University
212 Pearson Hall 
Oxford, OH 45056 
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