J. Dan Skean, Jr.
Professor of Biology
B.S., Western Kentucky University, 1980
M.S., North Carolina State University, 1982
Ph.D., University of Florida, 1989
Expertise Areas: plant systematics, Melastomataceae, floristics
Biology 195: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity
Biology 206: Tropical Forest & Reef Biology
Biology 207: Biology of Subtropical Florida
Biology 216: Vascular Plants
LA101: Plants and Human Affairs
Dr. Dan Skean is interested in the systematics of angiosperms, i.e., the classification and evolutionary relationships of flowering plants, especially those belonging to the family Melastomataceae. Skean has conducted floristic inventories in the eastern U.S. and Caribbean, and has current research projects in southern Michigan and on the island of Hispaniola. Skean's research involves data from many sources--morphology, anatomy, and field ecological studies, which are used in computer-assisted phenetic and cladistic analyses to estimate phylogeny, i.e., evolutionary history. Presently Skean is studying the systematics of the genus Calycogonium DC. Incorporating data from diverse approaches, Skean's research makes many different undergraduate projects possible.
Judd, W.S, J.D. Skean, Jr., Clase, T., and G. M. Ionta. 2008. Taxonomic studies in the Miconieae (Melastomataceae). IX. Calycogonium formonense, a new species from the Massif de la Hotte, Haiti.Brittonia 60: 265-270.
Michelangeli, F.A., W.S. Judd, D.S. Penneys, J.D. Skean, Jr., E.R. Becquer, R. Goldenberg, and C.V. Martin. 2008. Multiple events of dispersal and radiation of the tribe Miconieae (Melastomataceae) in the Caribbean. Bot. Rev. 74: 53-77.
Skean, J.D. Jr., W.S. Judd, T. Clase, and B. Peguero. 2010. Calycogonium bairdianum (Melastomataceae: Miconieae), a new species from the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic. Brittonia 62(3): 210-14.
Albion College Plant Image Database
Douglas W. White
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
B.S., Pennsylvania State University, 1976
M.S., University of Tennessee, 1978
Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1989
Biology 195: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity
Environment 102: Introduction to the Environment
Environment 201: Ecology and Environmental Field Trip
LA101: Art and the Environment
Dr. White is an ecologist whose research focuses on coevolutionary interactions between fruit-eating animals, particularly birds, and fleshy- fruited plants. He has studied the nutritional composition and physical characteristics of temperate and tropical fruits, avian feeding preferrences, seasonal patterns of fruit use, interactions between feeding capacities of birds and fruit size, and patterns of avian seed deposition. His other research interests are (1) avian population biology including studies of interspecific competition and nesting microclimate in cavity-nesting birds, (2) ptilochronology, using feather growth rates to assess nutritional status in birds, and (3) evaluation and conservation of remnants of native forest which are jeopardized by development. Outside biology, Dr. White enjoys building reproductions of Shaker furniture.
Kennedy, E. D. and D. W. White. 2002. Form and function: Feeding in birds. Wilson Ornithological Society's Manual of Field and Laboratory Exercises for Ornithology.
Kennedy, E. D. and D. W. White. 1997. Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii). In The Birdsof North America, No. 315 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
White, D. W. and E. D. Kennedy. 1997. Effect of egg covering and habitat on nest destruction by House Wrens. Condor 99:873-879.
Kennedy, E. D. and D. W. White. 1996. Interference competition from House Wrens as a factor in the decline of Bewick's Wrens. Conservation Biology 10:281-284.
Jeffrey C. Carrier
Emeritus Professor of Biology
B.S., University of Miami 1971
M.S., University of Miami 1973
Ph.D., University of Miami 1974
Expertise Areas: Reproductive behaviors, and growth and movements of nurse sharks of the Florida Keys
Dr. Carrier is a physiologist whose primary research interests concern aging, growth, migration, and reproductive biology of nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) in the Florida Keys. Carrier and his colleagues have systematically studied a breeding population of sharks for more than eighteen years and have documented the relationship between the breeding population and the research site, now a protected area. The studies have further revealed the gestation period for this species, demonstrated multiple paternity in litters, and have begun to unravel an intricate social order in this little studied group of marine fish. His most recent investigations have employed remote sensing technologies to track short and long-term movements of sharks and, in collaboration with the Remote Imaging Laboratory of the National Geographic Society, have used animal-borne video and data recording systems (CritterCam) to explore more intimate aspects of shark mating behaviors. Carrier and his students have appeared in 17 shows produced for network and cable television ranging from National Geographic Explorer, CritterCam Chronicles, and Discovery Channel specials to Florida Public Television documentaries and segments for Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures and Fox's Wild Animal Moments.
What you’ll study.
Chemistry and biochemistry. Meaning: molecules; theories of molecular structure and function; quantum mechanical models; intermolecular forces; reaction dynamics and kinetics; complex biological and inorganic chemical equilibria; and more. Plus, you’ll consider how chemistry contributes to our understanding of the world. All within an American Chemical Society-accredited program. Majors and minors.
What you’ll do.
Synthesize new molecules. Make nanoparticles. Find the calorie content in snack foods. Use lab instruments highlighted in your favorite CSI program. Ask big questions and learn to solve big problems. Conduct research. Think, act and communicate like a molecular scientist. Share results with other scientists at a national meeting. Student opportunities.
Where you’ll go.
Work in the chemical or pharmaceutical industry. Go to graduate school. Continue study in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, public health, nutrition, forensics, or law. Save the environment. With your problem-solving skills and liberal arts background, you can also pursue careers in business, marketing, Hollywood, and elsewhere. Potential career paths.
1 year Visiting Professor position in Chemistry
ONE-YEAR VISITING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR POSITION
POSITION: A one year position for the 2012 – 2013 school year.
QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants should have experience in teaching introductory chemistry at the college or university level. A Ph D. is preferred, but consideration will be given to an advanced graduate student desiring teaching experience.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Teaching responsibilities include introductory general chemistry (lecture and laboratory) as part of the general chemistry program with the possibility of participating in the teaching of advanced classes/ labs.
DEPARTMENT: The Chemistry Department at Albion College is certified by the American Chemical Society and provides a stimulating teaching environment. The eight faculty members have a long tradition of commitment to quality teaching of undergraduates. Two majors are offered by the department: Chemistry and Biochemistry. The curriculum, although traditional in many respects, has some novel features including a unique general chemistry sequence that includes a systematic introduction to inorganic chemistry in the second semester and a second-year organic course emphasizing mechanism. Extensive use of discovery and research-based experiments is made throughout the laboratory curriculum. Departmental instrumentation includes a 400 MHz NMR, GC-MS (2), HPLC, LCMS, IC, Biochromatography system, digital polarimeter, ICP-AES, FTIR (3), scanning UV/Vis, diode array UV-Vis (3), UV/Vis-Fluorescence microplate reader, fluorescence spectrometer, and electroanalytical instruments. See www.albion.edu/chemistry for more information about our department and facilities including our recently completed Science Complex.
INSTITUTION: Albion College is a private liberal arts college of 1500 students. It is situated in a culturally diverse community in south-central Michigan within an hour's drive of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Western Michigan University. Albion is dedicated to the highest quality in undergraduate education and committed to diversity as a core institutional value. The College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is especially interested in candidates who will contribute to a campus climate that supports equality and diversity. A member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, Albion is also associated with the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (formerly the "Oberlin 50") and the Annapolis Group - national organizations of Liberal Arts colleges. Visit our Web site at www.albion.edu.
APPLICATION: To apply, send curriculum vitae, photocopies of graduate and undergraduate transcripts, a statement of teaching philosophy, and three letters of recommendation to the address below. Review of applications will begin March 8th, 2012, and will continue until the position is filled.
Dr. Lisa B. Lewis, co-Chair
Department of Chemistry Phone: 517-629-0252
Albion College FAX: 517-629-0264
Albion, MI 49224 Email:
Thinking about graduate school in chemistry? Check out this article from the American Chemical Society (ACS).The ACS has also put together a great website devoted to helping you get in to the school of your dreams. Come and talk to any of the chemistry department faculty for more information about graduate school!
A few of things you can do to help prepare for graduate study:
- Gain experience in the laboratory by looking for chemistry related summer positions. See our Summer Opportunities web page for more information.
- Register your information on the Council on Undergraduate Research - Registry of Undergraduate Researchers database. Fill out a form with some of your information so grad schools can recruit you!
Scholarships and Awards
Stay in touch with your former colleagues and professors. Keep us informed on changes in your careers by connecting through e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. A list of graduates from recent years are below:
Graduates from the 2010s
Class of 2011
Class of 2010
Graduates from the 2000s
Class of 2009
Class of 2008
Class of 2007
Class of 2006
Class of 2005
Class of 2004
Class of 2003
Class of 2002
Class of 2001
Class of 2000
Graduates from the 1990s
Class of 1999
Class of 1998
Class of 1997
Class of 1996
Class of 1995
Class of 1994
Please let us know about any updates!
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Albion Students Prepare for Ironman Event
Chris Omerza, ’12, is devoting a sizable chunk of his summer to science. As a participant in Albion College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (FURSCA), the biochemistry major is trying to determine which groups of electrons should be used to maximize magnetic interactions.
When Omerza does get out of the lab, however, it’s often not for rest and relaxation. Rather, he is most likely training for the Sept. 11 Ironman event in Madison, Wis. Omerza, who completed the Racing for Recovery half-Ironman in Monroe on June 5, will be joined in the Wisconsin race by Luke Holly, ’12. Omerza and Holly will be tested by a 2.4-mile swim on Lake Monona, a 112-mile bike ride that includes two 40-mile loops through rural Dane County, and a 26.2-mile marathon through downtown Madison streets and the University of Wisconsin campus.
Omerza, who hails from Honor and graduated from Leelanau High School, became Holly’s roommate during their sophomore year after Holly’s original roommate joined a fraternity. The two met during their first semester at Albion and made the decision to pursue an Ironman event and become training partners. Despite training together while participating in FURSCA last summer, the timing of registration forced them to wait for this year to actually begin competition.
“Luke had randomly mentioned that his life goal was to complete an Ironman by the time he was 25 years old,” Omerza said. “We tried to do it last summer, but we found that all of the races for the summer of 2010 were closed because registration typically closes 364 days before the event.”
Holly’s training was made more difficult by a challenging academic load during the 2011 spring semester. The biology and economics and management double major from Cadillac, who is also active in the Chapel and Campus Crusade leadership teams and serves as treasurer of the hockey club, devoted the bulk of his time to studying for the Medical College Admission Test, which forced him to reassess his original performance goal.
“My training suffered a bit, but studies come first,” Holly said. “I had made a goal of finishing in less than 12 hours. I have let go of the time goal and I’m just going to finish the race and take that as an accomplishment.
“The [December-January] break between fall and winter semesters was the best [training] time for me,” Holly added. “Training didn’t have to compete with all of the things I’m involved in.”
Omerza, meanwhile, was 21st in a field of 150 individuals to complete the Monroe event. His time of 5 hours, 5 minutes has placed him in the category he calls “competitive hobbyists,” and he has established a long-term goal of qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
“Qualification in the World Championship is based on your rank and the number of competitors in your age group,” Omerza said.
The Tie That Binds
For Omerza and Holly, rising early is a prerequisite for carving training time into their schedules. Holly said he wakes at 5 a.m. to get his running in before heading to his full-time summer job; he completes his biking or swimming session in the evening.
“I try to do each sport four days a week with each sport having its own long day,” Holly said. “By the max portion of training I’ll be doing bike rides of 40 miles, with 60-80 miles on the long days, runs averaging eight miles, with longer runs up to 15 miles, and the swimming distance depends on what I’m doing [with the other two sports].”
Omerza added, “I get up early and do homework in every five- and 10-minute time shot I have. I’m never sitting around doing nothing.”
Omerza and Holly were not roommates during the 2010-2011 academic year, so a heavy-sleeping roommate is crucial during the winter months. Omerza said that while he can run outdoors in a T-shirt in the cold, biking is done on a trainer in his room. To pass the time while pedaling, he has watched every episode of Dexter available on DVD and has lost count of the number of movies he has seen.
“I would get up at 7 or 8 on Saturday and I could ride to noon or 1 o’clock and my roommate could sleep through it,” Omerza said. “Biking inside really stinks.”
‘Legendary’ Runs to the Grocery Store
Nutrition is just as important as the physical training, and Omerza and Holly report a diet high in carbohydrates and protein.
“We buy as much chicken as Sam’s Club will let us,” Omerza joked.
Holly added, “I’ve always been a big eater, but we have had some legendary Sam’s Club runs for chicken and pasta.”
Recent publications of Albion College Chemistry faculty and students:
"Transformation of Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) by Permanganate" C. Chokejaroenrat, S.D. Comfort, C.E. Harris, D.D. Snow, D. Cassada, C. Sakulthaew, and T. Satapanajaru, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011, 45 (8), pp 3643–3649 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es104057v
- "Real-time dissociation dynamics of the Ne2Br2 van der Waals complex" J.M. Pio, M.A. Taylor, W.E. van der Veer, C.R. Bieler, J.A. Cabrera, and K.C. Janda, J. Chem. Phys., 133, 014305 (2010). http://link.aip.org/link/doi/10.1063/1.3456550
- "Clean, Green Chiral Reactions-Just Add a Salt" A.N. French, SCIENCE, 328(5984), 1365 (2010). http://www.sciencemag.org/content/328/5984/1365.full
- "NeCl2 and ArCl2: Transition from Direct Vibrational Predissociation to Intramolecular Vibrational Relaxation and Electronic Nonadiabatic Effects" C.R. Bieler, K.C. Janda, R. Hernandez-Lamoneda, and O. Roncero, J. Phys. Chem. A, 114(9), 3050 (2010).
- "Building Blocks for Molecule-Based Magnets: Radical Anions and Dianions of Substituted 3,6-Dimethylenecyclohexane-1,2,4,5-tetrones as Paramagnetic Bridging Ligands" A.W. Misiolek, A.S. Ichimura, R.A. Gentner, R.H. Huang, V.P. McCaffrey, J.E. Jackson, Inorg Chem 48(18), 9005 (2009).
"Gastrointestinal biodurability of engineered nanoparticles: Development of an in vitro assay" P.N. Wiecinski PN, K.M. Metz, A.N. Mangham AN, K.H Jacobson, R.J. Hamers, J.A. Pedersen, Nanotoxicology, 3(3), 202 (2009). http://search.ebscohost.com/
"Engineered Nanomaterial Transformation under Oxidative Environmental Conditions: Development of an in vitro Biomimetic Assay", K.M Metz, A.N. Mangham, M.J. Bierman, S. Jin, R.J. Hamers, and J.A. Pedersen, Env. Sci & Tech, 43(5), 2009, 1598-1604. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es802217y
- "Quantum Dot Nanotoxicity Assessment Using the Zebrafish Embryo" T.C. King-Heiden, P.N. Wiecinski, A.N. Mangham, K.M. Metz, D. Nesbit, J.A. Pedersen, R.J. Hamers, W. Heideman, R.E. Peterson, Env. Sci Tech, 43(5), 1605 (2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es801925c
- "Catalytic Enantioselective alpha-Oxysulfonylation of Ketones Mediated by Iodoarenes" S.M. Altermann, R.D. Richardson, T.K. Page, R.K. Schmidt, E. Holland, U. Mohammed, S.M. Paradine, A.N. French, C. Richter, A.M. Bahar, B. Witulski, T. Wirth, Euro J Org Chem. 31, 5315 (2008). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejoc.200800741/abstract
- "Product state resolved excitation spectroscopy of He-, Ne-, and Ar-Br2 linear isomers: Experiment and theory" J.M. Pio, W.E. van der Veer, C.R. Bieler, K.C. Janda J. Chem Phys., 128, 134311 (2008).
- "Three-component synthesis and anticancer evaluation of polycyclic indenopyridines lead to the discovery of a novel indenoheterocycle with potent apoptosis inducing properties" Madhuri Manpadi, Pavel Y. Uglinskii, Shiva K. Rastogi, Karen M. Cotter, Yin-Shan C. Wong, Lisa A. Anderson, Amber J. Ortega, Severine Van slambrouck, Wim F. A. Steelant, Snezna Rogelj, Paul Tongwa, Mikhail Yu. Antipin, Igor V. Magedov and Alexander Kornienko, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 5, 3863-3872 (2007). Link to article
- "Time and frequency resolved dynamics of ArBr2" Jose Cabrera, Craig R. Bieler, Natalie McKinney, Wytze E. van der Veer, Jordan M. Pio, Kenneth Janda, and Octavio Roncero J. Chem. Phys. 127, 164309 (2007). http://link.aip.org/link/doi/10.1063/1.2794332
- "Enantioselective alpha-oxytosylation of ketones catalysed by iodoarenes" Richardson, Robert D., Page, T. Keri, Altermann, Sabine, Paradine, Shauna M., French, Andrew N., Wirth, Thomas SYNLETT 4, 538-542 (2007).
- "New insights from MALDI-ToF MS, NMR, and GC-MS: mass spectrometry techniques applied to palynology" Moore SEM, Hemsley AR, French AN, Dudley E, Newton RP PROTOPLASMA 228(1-3), 151-157 (2006).
- "Time-dependent pump-probe spectra of NeBr2" Jose A. Cabrera, Craig R. Bieler, Benjamin C. Olbricht, Wytze E. van der Veer, and Kenneth C. Janda J. Chem. Phys. 123, 054311 (2005).
- "Chemically induced dynamic electron spin polarization-detected energy transfer. Substrate size effects and solvent dependence" V. P. McCaffrey, M.D.E. Forbes, J. of Physical Chemistry A 109 (22): 4891-4898 JUN 9 2005.
- "Time-resolved EPR studies of main chain radicals from acrylic polymers. Structural characterization at high temperatures" V.P. McCaffrey, M.D.E. Forbes Macromolecules, 38 (8): 3334-3341 APR 19 2005.
- "A curriculum skills matrix for development and assessment of undergraduate biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory programs" B. Caldwell, C. Rohlman, M. Benore-Parsons, Biochem Molec Bio Educ., 32(1), 11 (2004).
- "Tetrahydrofuranylation of Alcohols using Hypervalent Iodine Reagents", Andrew N. French, J. Cole, and Thomas T. Wirth, Synlett, 2004, 13, 2291.
- "Iodine Electrophiles in Stereoselective Reactions: Recent Developments and Synthetic Applications" Andrew N. French, S. Bissmire, and T. Wirth, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2004, 33, 354.
- "Novel Lactonization with Phenonium Ion Participation Induced by Hypervalent Iodine Reagents" Amanda C. Boye, D. Meyer, Crystal K. Ingison, Andrew N. French, T. Wirth, Organic Letters, 2003, 5, 2157-2159.