The biology major is designed to provide a comprehensive study in several areas of modern biology, molecular biology and biochemistry. This major will serve as excellent preparation for graduate school, medical school, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or for employment in research labs, clinical labs or science education. Through broad offerings in the biological, chemical and physical sciences students will have a foundational understanding of biological systems at the molecular, organismal and ecological levels. Students will have a fundamental understanding of experimental design, execution and interpretation and will be introduced to research, reading and interpretation of scientific literature.

Explore the Biology Program

The mission of the Department of Biology is to provide a comprehensive introduction to experimental biological sciences. This is accomplished not only in rigorous classroom activities, but also through extensive exposure to experimental science in laboratory courses and research labs. Science is by its nature experimental. While a student can learn a great deal from hearing and reading about science, there is no substitute for the essential and rewarding experience of doing science. In the classroom and in the lab, emphasis is placed on experiment design, hypothesis formation, and the scientific process. The Biology at Ave Maria is designed to provide the biology student – from their very first experience in the lab – with a hands-on introduction to modern experimental techniques and state-of-the-art equipment. Through these class lab experiences, and especially through involvement in research studies mentored by one of the department faculty, students participate in the scientific process that is essential for their maturation as Biologists. We encourage you to browse our department website and explore the variety of exciting biological courses and research opportunities that are available at AMU.

The study of science is born from the conviction of the fundamental intelligibility of the world. Science at Ave Maria University testifies to the Catholic Church’s confidence in human reason and in its ability to know the truth about God’s creation even apart from the illuminating power of grace. The natural sciences are not simply technological disciplines, but are truly liberal arts education in which we seek to know truth for its own sake. By enabling us to enter the simultaneous complexity and simplicity of physical reality, science instills within the students a deep sense of wonder at the natural universe.

  • Bachelors of Science (B.S.) and Bachelors of Arts (B.A) degrees available.
  • Ave Maria Department of Biology faculty have expertise in a wide range of Biological fields including molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, marine biology, physiology, ecology, and anatomy.
  • AMU Department of Biology faculty maintains active research laboratories with opportunities for undergraduate research. Undergraduate researchers also regularly present their work at academic meetings and some have published in academic journals.
  • Ave Maria University Department of Biology faculty teach all lab sections, allowing students more personal attention and expert guidance. Most labs are smaller than 24 students.
  • AMU is home to a Tri-Beta National Biological Honors Society chapter, which exceptional students have the opportunity to join.
  • Student led organizations include the Biology club, Science Club, and pre-professional societies like the Ave Maria Pre-Dental Society.
  • The Department of Biology also offers degrees in Environmental Science (B.A.), Health Science (B.A.), Exercise Science (B.A.) and Health Science Administration (B.A.), and minors in Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Health Science, and Exercise Science.
  • Required Courses for the B.A. in Biology

BIOL 211 Biology I

BIOL 212 Biology II

BIOL 220 Zoology

BIOL 230 Botany

BIOL 303 Genetics

CHEM 211 General Chemistry

CHEM 212 General Chemistry

BIOL 413 Critical Analysis (or BIOL 497 directed research)

16 Biology upper level elective credits


  • Required Courses for the B.S. in Biology

BIOL 203 or BIOL 401 Microbiology

BIOL 211 Biology I

BIOL 212 Biology II

BIOL 220 Zoology

BIOL 230 Botany

BIOL 303 Genetics

BIOL Molecular Biology

BIOL 413 Critical Analysis (or BIOL 497 directed research)

CHEM 211 General Chemistry I

CHEM 212 General Chemistry II

CHEM 311 Organic Chemistry I

PHYS 211 or PHYS 221 Physics I

12 Biology upper level elective credits

  • Biology students at Ave Maria University have research opportunities with departmental faculty, and have participated in national summer research programs. In addition, students have received internships at local companies such as Arthrex.
  • A degree in Biology is ideal for students who wish to attend post-baccalaureate studies in fields of Research, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Marine Science, or other Biological related professions. In addition, Biology majors often pursue careers in health care, academia, museums and zoos, education, governmental agencies, environmental conservation, forensic science, industry, and public policy.

Ernesto Quintero, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., California State University; Ph.D., University of Maryland.
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 2048
Office Phone: (239) 280-1666
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Stephen Cronin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego.
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 3051
Office Phone: (239) 280-1617
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Thomas Smith, Ph.D.

Chair, Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Education: B.S., Plymouth State University, Plymoth, New Hampshire; M.S., Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Ph.D., University of Louisville, Kentucky.
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 3048
Office Phone: (239) 280-2536
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Ladislav Sallai, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
Education: M.A., Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia; Ph.D., University of North Dakota.
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 3028
Office Phone: (239) 280-2418
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Brett Feger, M.S.

Instructor of Biology
Education: B.A., Biology, Knox College; M.S. Zoology, Western Illinois University
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 2066
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Nicholas Curtis, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
Education: B.S., Marine Science/Biology, University of Miami; Ph.D., Biology, University of South Florida
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 3067
Office Phone: (239) 304-7132
Fax: (239) 280-1637

James Adames, D.P.T.

Instructor of Biology
Education: B.A., Theology, Franciscan University; D.P.T., Physical Therapy, Wheeling Jesuit University
Office: Canizaro Library 234
Phone: (239) 280-1590
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Jacob Blanchard

Instructor of Biology
Education: B.A., Biology, Ave Maria University; Ph.D. (Candidate), Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University
Office: Henkels Academic Bldg. 3032
Office Phone: (239) 304-7130
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Cynthia Chandler

Adjunct Professor of Biology

Rafael Loureiro, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor of Biology & Lab Coordinator