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Meet Memuna Khan

  • Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic & State University , Blacksburg, Virginia (biology)
  • B.A., University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (biology with honors)

I joined the faculty as an avian ecologist in 2006. My education started in Brooklyn, New York reading Ranger Rick, watching urban wildlife, and learning about the outdoors as a Girl Scout. I landed in Wisconsin after earning an undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago (B.A. Biology 1992), a doctorate at Virginia Tech (Ph.D. 1999), and a post-doctoral position at Princeton University. As an undergraduate, courses in Field Ecology and Animal Behavior introduced me to the wonderful world of birds and I haven’t gotten bored yet.

At Ripon my students and I study the behavior and ecology of a local population of Eastern Bluebirds. Since 2007, we have individually color-marked adult and nestling bluebirds and tracked their histories of movement and reproduction. My students have examined the impact of mealworm supplementation on nestling growth rates, double brooding, and overwintering behavior. These students have presented their work at undergraduate research symposia held by Sigma Xi and Beta Beta Beta, national cience and biological honor societies. My current research interests include a study of the movement of overwintering bluebirds at feeders in Ripon, and the efficacy of wren guards in preventing House Wren predation on bluebird nests.

At Ripon I teach Vertebrate Zoology, Biology of Birds, Animal Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, Scientific Writing, Environmental Studies, and Catalyst 120. I also take students on In Focus courses on Conservation and Biodiveristy in Costa Rica.


Icon for: What is your teaching philosophy in 8 words or fewer? Shockingly awesome examples make biological concepts stick.

What is your teaching philosophy in 8 words or fewer? Shockingly awesome examples make biological concepts stick.

Icon for: Briefly describe a favorite assignment or in-class activity. Students in Vertebrate Zoology preparing interpretive signs for the animals at the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh, WI.

Briefly describe a favorite assignment or in-class activity. Students in Vertebrate Zoology preparing interpretive signs for the animals at the Menominee Park Zoo in Oshkosh, WI.

Icon for: What’s your workspace like? Piles of paper, lots of books, some comfortable chairs, bright colors.

What’s your workspace like? Piles of paper, lots of books, some comfortable chairs, bright colors.



Recent News Updates

Mariah Stiemsma '20

We’re still here: Mariah Stiemsma ’20

After graduation, Mariah Stiemsma ’20 of New Berlin, Wisconsin, plans to continue work on the board of directors of the Saving Sully Dog Rescue and […]

Biology professor Memuna Khan quoted in article about bluebirds

Memuna Khan, associate professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology, was featured in an article, “Eastern bluebirds find a home at UW-Oshkosh,” […]

Awards Convocation recognizes outstanding achievements of faculty, staff and students

Each year, thanks to the support of generous donors, Ripon College is able to recognize the outstanding achievements of faculty, staff and students at the […]