May 19, 2024  
2014-2015 General Catalog 
2014-2015 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Sciences (Graduate Program)


For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here. 

Program Overview

The Department of Biological Sciences offers research-oriented Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in two areas: Biochemistry and Biological Sciences. A major goal of the faculty in Biological Sciences is to provide training for graduate students who are interested in independent careers in the biological sciences and biochemistry. Biological sciences graduate students prepare for careers that emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to biology and undertake their degrees in one of the three divisions within the department. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) offers research opportunities in areas such as the analysis of structure and function of complex carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins; DNA repair; and study of extremophiles. In Cellular Developmental and Integrative Biology (CDIB), faculty conduct research in sensory and endocrine systems at the molecular, cellular, and systems level; developmental biology and cell differentiation; transcriptional regulation; intra- and inter-cellular signaling; functional and comparative morphology; neurobiology; comparative and environmental physiology. The interests of the Systematics, Ecology and Evolution (SEE) division facilitate advanced study of the ecological and evolutional processes of a broad range of organisms and habitats across the globe. Our biochemistry graduate degrees prepare students for professional careers in biochemical research and teaching in the areas of cell and molecular biology; virology; plant biochemistry; enzymology; protein/DNA interactions, structural biology and biophysics.


Joe Siebenaller, Chair
Michael E. Hellberg, Associate Chair and Graduate Advisor
TELEPHONE 225-578-1556
FAX 225-578-7299


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School: Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Student Services, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

Applications for admission are received and evaluated by the department in early January for fall admission and in early May for spring admission. Applicants must adhere to the application deadlines established by the Graduate School. It should be noted the department deadlines are earlier than those of the Graduate School. It is suggested that applications for fall admission be submitted by December 31. The spring admission deadline is April 30.

Students seeking admission must be admitted to the Graduate School at LSU and have earned one of the following degrees: BS, BA, or MS in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or related fields. Candidates holding other degrees (e.g., DVM or MD) may also apply. Three letters of recommendation are required, and a minimum GPA from the undergraduate program of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 is expected. Prospective students are required to take the GRE general test, and a score of 316 (verbal and quantitative combined) or better is expected. International students whose native language is not English must also submit an acceptable TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to all full-time students in the form of research or teaching assistantships or fellowships. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all application materials should be submitted in accordance with deadlines established by the LSU Graduate School.

Graduate Faculty

(check current listings by department by clicking this link)

Christopher C. Austin (M) • Herpetology, systematics
Sue G. Bartlett (M) • Chloroplast protein biogenesis, synthesis, and transport
John R. Battista (M) • Mechanisms of mutagenesis in Deinococcus radiodurans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Mark A. Batzer (M) • Comparative genomics and molecular genetics, mobile element biology, computational biology, human genome organization, human population genetics
Meredith Blackwell (M) • Mycology, fungal-insect associations, fungal molecular evolution
Terry M. Bricker (M) • Structural and functional properties of photosystem II
Jeremy M. Brown (6A) • Computational phylogenetics, phylogeography, and molecular evolution
Kenneth M. Brown (M) • Aquatic ecology
Robb Brumfield (M) • Genetic resources and ornithology
Michael Brylinski (6A) • Computational molecular biology
John T. Caprio (M) • Neurobiology, olfaction and taste
Kevin R. Carman (EM)
Prosanta Chakrabarty (6A) • Ichthyology, biogeography, systematics
Brent C. Christner (M) • Microbial ecology, physiology, and diversity; microbiology of the cryoshere
James T. Cronin (M) • Population and community ecology, plant-herbivore interactions, biological pest management
Maheshi Dassanayake (6A) • Genomic and transcriptomic resources, comparative genomics, and stress absorption
Thomas H. Dietz (EM)
Patrick J. DiMario (M) • Interactions of nucleolar proteins involved in RNA and ribosome processing and assembly
Huangen Ding (M) • Regulatory function and metabolism of iron sulfur proteins
William T. Doerrler (M) • Membrane biogenesis in Escherichia coli
David Donze (M) • Chromatin structure and gene expression
Jessica Eberhard (3F) • Behavior, molecular systematics and mitochondrial genome evolution, especially of parrots
Brett Elderd (6A) • Quantitative population, disease, and community ecology
Jake Esselstyn (6A) • Mammalogy, biologeography, and evolution
John W. Fleeger (EM) • Benthic and marine ecology
Fernando Galvez (M) • Integrative fish biology, environmental physiology, aquatic toxicology
Evanna L. Gleason (M) • Cellular and synaptic neurophysiology of the vertebrate retina
Christopher Gregg (3P) • Science education
Anne Grove (M) • Protein-nucleic acid interactions, DNA bendability, RNA polymerase III from yeast
Mark S. Hafner (M) • Molecular systematics, mammalogy
Steven C. Hand (M) • Bioenergetics, environmental control of gene expression, comparative biochemistry
Kyle Harms (M) • Tropical evolutionary ecology of plants and their interactions with other organisms
Craig M. Hart (M) • Chromosome organization, chromatin structure, gene expression
Michael E. Hellberg (M) • Marine invertebrate speciation and molecular evolution
Dominique G. Homberger (M) • Functional morphology of vertebrates, especially birds
Naohiro Kato (M) • Visualization of genomic function dynamics
Morgan W. Kelly (6A) • Marine evolution and ecology
Joomyeong Kim (M) • Mammalian genomic imprinting, genome evolution and function
Gary King (M) • Roles of gas-producing or consuming bacteria
Roger A. Laine (M) • Carbohydrate, glycolipid, and glycoprotein structural analysis
John C. Larkin (M) • Molecular plant developmental biology
Yong-Hwan Lee (M) • Macromolecular x-ray crystallography, environmental regulation of cellular metabolism, protein chemistry
Vincent LiCata (M) • Protein structure and function, energy management in proteins, solvent in protein function and stability
David J. Longstreth (M) • Stress physiology, photosynthesis and carbon balance, adaptations to high salinity
Rui Lu (6A) • RNAi mediated antiviral mechanisms and transmembrane protein signaling
Bing-Hao Luo (M) • Signal transduction, cancer pathology and immunology
John W. Lynn (M) • Fertilization and early development
Karen P. Maruska (6A) • Neural basis of social behavior
Thomas S. Moore (EM)
James V. Moroney (M) • Role of membrane transport and CO2 fixation in photosynthesis and bioenergetics
Marcia Newcomer (M) • Protein crystallography
Gregg S. Pettis (M) • Mechanism of conjugation in the gram positive bacteria Streptomyces and Mycobacteria
William J. Platt III (M) • Population and community ecology, fire ecology
James V. Remsen Jr (M) • Ornithology
Frederick H. Sheldon (M) • Molecular systematics of birds
Joseph F. Siebenaller (M) • Comparative biochemistry of marine organisms
Aaron P. Smith (6A) • Environmental control of gene regulation, biotechnology
Jacqueline M. Stephens (M) • Signaling and gene expression in obesity and Type 2 diabetes, adipocyte development
William B. Stickle Jr (M) • Physiological ecology, marine environmental physiology
Ryoichi Teruyama (6A) • Neuroendocrinology
J. Cameron Thrash (6A) • Biogeochemical roles of microorganisms in environmental systems
Lowell E. Urbatsch ( M) • Systematics and evolution of vascular plants
Grover L. Waldrop (M) • Mechanistic enzymology and structure/function relationships in proteins
G. Bruce Williamson (M) • Plant community ecology, tropical biology of Amazonia
E. William Wischussen (3A) • Role laboratory experiences and intensive orientations on student learning and success in biological sciences

Other Faculty:

Vishwa Deep Dixit (3F) • Aging, immunology, and the role of immune cells in obesity
Konstantin G. Kousoulas (M) • (Department: Pathobiological Sciences) Virology and biotechnology, molecular biology and pathogenesis of herpes virus and coronaviruses, application of viral vectors for gene therapy, development of DNA-based methods for diagnosis of infectious disease pathogens and genetic diseases
Paul A. Larock (M) • (Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences) Estuarine pollution, microbiology, geomicrobiology, and oceanography
Irving Mendelssohn (EM-Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences) Wetland and barrier island plant ecology, plant physiological ecology
Heike Muenzberg-Gruening (3F) • Biology of social insects
Randall L. Mynatt (3F) • Regulation of adipocyte development and function
Kevin Matthew Robertson (3F) • Disturbance ecology & plant ecology
Matthew G Slocum (3F) • Disturbance ecology & plant ecology