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8 total posts. Showing results 1 - 8.

Marco Rhein

Marco Rhein

Rhein graduated from Ripon with a major in biology and a minor in education, before going on to earn his master of science degree in educational leadership from UW-Milwaukee. After obtaining his degree at Ripon College, he taught at both Markesan High School in Markesan, WI, and Brooklyn Center High School in Brooklyn Center, MN.

Coach Rhein currently resides in Ripon with his wife, Stephanie, and their dog, Ringo.

ben grady

Benjamin R. Grady

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.S., University of Northern Iowa-Cedar Falls
  • B.A., University of Northern Iowa-Cedar Falls

Nature has always been a central part of my life. I was lucky enough to turn this passion for the natural world into a career as a scientist and educator in the field of biology. My areas of research focus broadly on evolution, ecology and conservation. Specifically, I study a group of fascinating plants that inhabit some of the most inhospitable North American desert areas, the wild buckwheat (Eriogonum). Additionally, the complexity and rarity of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem have always interested me. Currently, students in my research lab at Ripon College are investigating the diversity of insect pollinators (bees, butterflies, etc.) in prairies of Wisconsin. There is still a lot we can learn from the species around us!

At Ripon College, I teach courses ranging from Introductory Biology and Environmental Studies to advanced courses in Plant Diversity, Flora and Vegetation, and Conservation Biology.

Robin Forbes-Lorman

Robin Forbes-Lorman

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, biology education research
  • Ph.D. in behavioral neuroendocrinology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A. in Biology, Earlham College

Hi! I teach biology, primarily Anatomy and Physiology. I carry out behavioral neuroendocrinology research (hormones on the brain and behavior) in rats. I am particularly interested in the role of steroid hormones in social and sexual behaviors, as well as the neuropeptides vasopressin and oxytocin in social behaviors. I also carry out pedagogy research on how students learn. I grew up in Madison, WI and got my B.A. from Earlham College, a school about the same size as Ripon. I got my MS and PhD from UW-Madison in behavioral neuroendocrinology, did a postdoc in biology education research, then taught for two years at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington. I currently live in Ripon with my husband, two kids, two dogs, and chickens. I am a runner and hope to get back into triathlons soon (I am a 2x Ironman).

Skip Wittler

George “Skip” Wittler

  • Ph.D., University of Texas
  • M.A., University of Montana
  • B.A., Carleton College
Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Aquatic Ecology), University of Washington
  • Ph.D. Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (Aquatic Ecology; Invertebrate Zoology)
  • B.S. University of Rhode Island, Kingston

I have two professional passions, teaching and research; both revolve around aquatic ecology and invertebrates. While I have retired from formal teaching, that calling continues after a fashion. For the past eight years I have been active in the Green Lake Association, whose singular focus is on improving water quality in Green Lake (WI). However, I am still an active researcher, specifically with rotifers. These tiny (≤2 mm), invertebrates play vital roles as consumers, scavengers, and predators, eventually falling prey to insects and fish. Thus, their energy and nutrients pass up the food chain. Rotifers may be found anywhere liquid water is present for even a few days. While some inhabit near-shore marine waters, most rotifers are commonly found in inland waters, including lakes, ponds, streams, ephemeral desert basins, irrigation ditches, tire tracks, glacial meltwaters, and the water film of soils and plants. My research has included many of those habitats, but recently it has focused on deserts. Aquatic life there is caught between a duality: wet now and evaporating, soon to be dry for an indeterminate time, but to be wet again.

During the wet phase, rotifers and other invertebrates must prepare for inevitable drought by producing resting stages that withstand prolonged dryness. Deserts are also windy places and when storms sweep across the landscape they kick up dust from the dry basins and can transport resting stages long distances. We are interested in who survives transport and whether they can successfully colonize a new basin.

Barbara Sisson

Barbara Sisson

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute (formerly Children’s Memorial Research Center), Chicago, Illinois
  • Ph.D., Northwestern University
  • B.A., Lake Forest College

I am a developmental biologist interested in how cartilage cells get their shape. My lab studies this using zebrafish as a model system for human facial birth defects. I teach Introductory Biology, Scientific Writing and Communication, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, and Cancer Biology.

Memuna Khan

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 science 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.

Mark Kainz

Mark Kainz

  • Postdoctoral scientist (plant virology), University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Postdoctoral fellow (bacteriology), University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (biochemistry, molecular and cell biology)
  • M.S., Washington State University, Pullman, Washington (plant pathology)
  • B.S., University of Portland, Portland, Oregon (biology)

I have been a faculty member at Ripon since 2008 and I love my job. I am interested in molecular biology and virology. My research students and I study the mechanics of how RNA is synthesized in bacteria and the factors that control how new virus particles are assembled in a virus infected cell. I teach Genetics and Microbiology every year and Molecular Biology and Virology every few years. I am also a member of the staff that teach our Introductory Biology and our Scientific Writing & Communication classes. I am a mentor for the Applied Innovation Seminar that is the capstone of our Catalyst curriculum. I teach another Catalyst class called “Bring out your dead: Infectious disease through history” that Professor Matzke from our history department and I developed together. I am part of the team that oversees the Catalyst curriculum, Ripon’s skill-based general education curriculum.