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The Pegasus Yearbook

Department of Biology

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Department Chair- Martin Connaughton

Dr. Connaughton is an Associate Dr. and Chair of the Biology Department.  He earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at Lafayette College in 1988, followed by his doctoral degree in Marine Studies from the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies in 1994.  He then completed post-doctoral studies at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston and at the University of Pennsylvania, which included summer work at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. 

Dr. Connaughton joined the faculty of the Biology Department at Washington College in 1997 and has been Chair of the Department since fall 2004.   He teaches courses in General Biology, Ecology, Marine and Estuarine Biology, Ichthyology and Evolutionary Biology as well as a popular two-week summer course, Community Ecology of Coastal Maine, in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine.  He has recently been involved in teaching the Estuarine Science course of the Chesapeake Semester.  Dr. Connaughton is also the academic advisor for the 3:4 pharmacy program on campus. 

Dr. Connaugton’s collaborative research with students on campus has focused on two major goals:  understand the mechanisms of and behaviors associated with sound production in marine fishes and, more recently, examining the environmental toxicology of pharmaceuticals in the water column through behavioral assays in zebrafish.  Dr. Connaughton’s research with students has lead to student presentations at national and international meetings across the country and to student authored publications in the scientific literature. 


Dr. Aaron Krochmal – Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Aaron R. Krochmal is a 5th-year Assistant Dr. at Washington College.  Dr. Krochmal received his B.S. in Biology with a minor in Classics from Union College (Schenectady, NY).  From there, he went on to earn a M.S. in Biology from New York University, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Systematics from Indiana State University. 

Before coming to Washington College in 2008, Dr. Krochmal served as a Visiting Assistant Dr. of Biology at Whitman College, and as an Assistant Dr. of Biology at the University of Houston – Downtown.

Dr. Krochmal is an integrative organismal biologist with a particular interest in behavioral, physiological, and evolutionary ecology of reptiles.   He teaches a variety of courses, including General  Biology I and II, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, and Comparative Animal Physiology.  In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Krochmal serves as the faculty advisor for the Washington College chapters of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He also serves as secretary of the Division of Ecology and Evolution of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. 


Dr. Elka Porter – Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Elka T. Porter has been teaching at Washington College for 3.5 years and greatly enjoys teaching. She has a PhD from the University of Maryland at College Park (1999) and a M.S. (1992) and B.S. degrees from the Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel, Germany. Before she came to Washington College she taught full time at American University and the University of Maryland at College Park. In her research, Dr. Porter has a special interest in the research of physical-biological-chemical interactions in estuarine ecosystems, environmental problems, and the ecosystem dynamics and has published two articles in the Marine Ecology Progress Series while at Washington College.


Dr. Donald Munson – McLain Professor of Environmental Studies; Curator, McLain Program in Environmental Studies, Professor of Biology

Donald A. Munson is the Joseph H McLain Dr. of Environmental Studies, Curator of the McLain Program in Environmental Studies, and Dr. of Biology at Washington College. He received his undergraduate degree at Colgate University, his M.S from Adelphi University, his Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire, and did postdoctoral studies as an NIH Fellow at Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine.

He began his career at Washington College in 1976, served as Chair of the Biology Department from 1984-1996 and resigned that position to become the Director of the Environmental Studies Program that he directed for 15 years. He is the recipient of two different outstanding teaching awards and belongs to several professional societies, among them being the American Microscopical Society, of which he is a past-president. He has held (and currently holds) other elected officer/committee positions in the American Society of Parasitologists and the International Society of Protistology. He is senior author/co-author of more than 60 professional presentations/publications.

At WC He teaches both Biology and Environmental Studies courses, including two summer courses (Ecuador and Bermuda). He has served on almost all faculty committees, and has been advisor to many student organizations. Currently he is Faculty Advisor to Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society, to Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, and to the WC Trap and Skeet Club.


Dr. Mindy Reynolds – Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Reynolds earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Wheaton College, followed by her doctoral degree in Pathobiology from Brown University.  She was a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University for one year during which time she was also taught a course at Salve Regina University.   She joined the faculty of the Biology Department at Washington College in 2008 and teaches courses in General Biology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Toxicology.

Dr. Reynolds research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity following co-exposure to heavy metals.  In order to understand these processes her lab uses molecular and genetic approaches in a human cell culture and zebrafish model.  This research has led to student presentations at national meetings and student authored publications in the scientific literature.

Dr. Reynolds is a member of many professional societies including: American Association for Cancer Research, Society of Toxicology, Council for Undergraduate Research and she is currently the 2012-2013 President of the Washington College Chapter of Sigma Xi.


Dr. Mariah Goodall

Dr. Goodall graduated from VMI in 2004 as a Distinguished Graduate with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry.  She attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed her Ph.D. in the Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology track of the Molecular Medicine program in December 2010.  Upon completion of her Ph.D., she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Orthopedics Department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. 

Dr. Goodall’s research efforts have revolved around studies in striated muscle: kinase signaling in normal and diseased hearts as well as the structural and functional evaluation of skeletal muscle branched myofibers.  The 21/13AY is her second teaching in the Biology Department at Washington College.


Dr. Jennifer Rowsell – Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Rowsell earned a B.S in Biology from Susquehanna University in 1998 and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Georgetown University in 2005.  She then went on to complete a 5 year post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.  She became a member of the Biology Department at Washington College in 2011 and teaches courses in General Biology, Developmental Biology and Neurobiology.  Dr. Rowsell is the faculty advisor for the student club, Doctor’s without Borders. 

Dr. Rowsell’s research at Washington College focuses on the development of the inner ear.  The primary goal is to understand the cell fate decisions that instruct cells to become auditory neurons that transmit information from the cochlea (organ of hearing) to the brain for interpretation.  Dr. Rowsell’s research with students has lead to student presentations on campus as well as national meetings. 


Dr. Kate Verville – Associate Professor of Biology, Chair, Premedical Committee

  • B.S. – College of Mount Saint Vincent, 1977
  • Ph.D. – University of Delaware, 1984
  • Research Program Summary

“My lab is involved in a microbiological analysis of small drinking water systems in Puerto Rico: a collaborative project with Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, the University of Delaware, and Washington College.

We have also analyzed oysters, mussels, and clams from the Chester River for bacterial indicators of fecal contamination and the pathogen Salmonella.”


Dr. Rosemary Ford – Associate Professor of Biology, Decker Professor in the Natural Sciences

Professor Ford earned a BS in Biology from New Mexico State University, and then both an MS and PhD in Plant Pathology from Virginia Tech, where she studied genetic variability within plant virus families. She then completed a post-doctoral study in the Biology Department at the University of Delaware.

In 1986, Professor Ford joined the faculty of the Biology Department at Washington College. The courses she teaches regularly include General Biology, Plant Biology, Biotechonology and Molecular Biology, and Genetics. Prof. Ford is also the academic advisor for the Pre-Nursing program on campus.

Prof. Ford’s recent collaborative research with students focuses on the molecular response to stress from the entire genome or specific genes using different model organisms including yeast and worms. In her spare time, she works on conservation projects in the mountains of the Southwest that emphasize restoration of the meadows. 


Prof. Nate Nazdrowicz – Lecturer in Biology

Prof. Nate has a BS in Ecology from the University of Georgia and an MS in Entomology and Wildlife Ecology from the University of Delaware. He has taught at Washington College since 2010 while completing his Ph.D. at the University of Delaware. His courses included Ecology, Invertebrate Zoology, and Vertebrate Zoology. Prof. Nate’s research interests focus on ecology and natural history of amphibians and reptiles of the Delmarva Peninsula.