Learn about life! Biology is one of the most popular majors at TLU for good reasons. Our highly-trained faculty interact daily in classrooms and labs with our students, helping them to develop their knowledge and skills in biology. We prepare students for dynamic and challenging careers in medical professions, environmental science, scientific research, industry, education, and more. Please read more about becoming a biology major at TLU on these web pages.

Biology programs

Bachelor's Degrees in Biology

  • Major in Biology (B.A.)
  • Major in Biology (B.S.)
    • with specializations in: molecular biology, environmental biology

Minors in Biology

  • Biology
  • Business of Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Medical & Health Communications

Health-Related Pre-Professional Programs

View the Course Catalog for degree requirements and courses offered.
Why TLU?
Undergraduates are encouraged to collaborate and actively participate in original research with the faculty. Each senior participates in a seminar that may include an original research project, a poster presentation and an oral presentation using the latest technology in visual aids. TLU's Irvin G. Patterson Biology Station at Lake McQueeney offers a wide range of field equipment and includes water access on a reservoir on the middle Guadalupe River in South Central Texas. Students interested in tropical biology and environmental studies can study abroad in Central and South American countries. Aquatic Biology, Plant Biology, Plant Taxonomy, and Ecology courses take trips to local ecosystems. Students can also participate in the Health Professions Club, the TLU chapter of Texas Academy of Science and biology honor society Beta Beta Beta.  The TLU Biology Department has developed a wide reputation for excellence in preparing students for professional schools and graduate schools.
Biology Faculty
Alan Lievens
Professor; Department Chair
Alan W. Lievens, doctorate (M.D.) from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, doctorate (Ph.D.) from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Professor and chair of biology.  Dr. Lievens earned a medical degree and worked as a pediatrician before going to graduate school in botany. After receiving his Ph.D. in botany, he worked at the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.

Dr. Lievens teaches plant biology, advanced plant biology, evolutionary biology and biological systems. His research with students focuses on the plants and lichens of Guadalupe County.  He is working to develop a complete list of the plants of the Weston Ranch in Guadalupe County. Dr. Lievens' areas of expertise are plant taxonomy, botany, and medicine.  He serves on the health professions advisory committee.

Danielle Grove
Assistant Professor
Danielle Grove, doctorate (Ph.D.) from Tufts University. Assistant professor of biology. Dr. Grove teaches biological systems, human anatomy and physiology, and genetics. She was a post-doctoral fellow in neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and has taught biology at the University of Minnesota and at the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University. Her areas of expertise include bioinformatics, endocrinology, molecular genetics, and neuroscience. Her current research focuses on the effects of an environmental estrogen, BPA, on mammalian neurons.

Mark Gustafson
Mark P. Gustafson, doctorate (Ph.D.) from Duke University. Professor of biology, director of Patterson Biology Station at Lake McQueeney, director of environmental studies. Dr. Gustafson teaches biological systems, aquatic biology, environmental science, comparative anatomy, general ecology, and tropical ecology. He has led students on field trips throughout Texas and to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico and Belize.

Dr. Gustafson's current research focuses on the distribution and abundance of aquatic insects in central Texas and he also has also done field research in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho and the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia.  He is working with Dr. Lievens at TLU to develop a complete list of the plants and lichens of the Weston Ranch in Guadalupe County, Texas.

Robert Jonas
Professor; Holder of the Adolph Krause Professorship in Natural Science
Robert M. Jonas, B.S. From Michigan State University, M.S. From Eastern Michigan University. doctorate (Ph.D.) from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Professor and holder of the Adolph Krause Professorship in Natural Science. Dr. Jonas did his postdoctoral research at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, supported by a Public Health Service grant. His research in microbial genetics at TLU has been funded by the National Science Foundation and private foundations.

Dr. Jonas teaches biological systems, microbiology, bioethics, advanced microbiology, and biochemistry. His areas of expertise are microbiology, infectious disease, bioethics, biochemistry and recombinant DNA.

Stephanie Perez
Assistant Professor
Stephanie Perez joins TLU as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology. Perez received her bachelor’s degree in biology from TLU and her Ph.D. in cellular and structural biology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Prior to TLU, she was an instructor of biology at Southwest Texas Junior College. Her teaching interests include human anatomy and physiology, molecular biology and cellular biology, and her primary research interests are in the field of hematology. Specifically, she is interested in effects of chemicals on the bone marrow microenvironment and the role the bone marrow microenvironment plays in the development of hematopoiesis diseases. Her recent work, published in Blood Journal was awarded the 2012 University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Cancer Therapy and Research Center Discovery of the Year.

Rissa Springs
Rissa Springs (M.S. Texas A&M University) teaches laboratories in basic biology and biological systems.

William Squires
William G. "Bill" Squires Jr., doctorate (Ph.D.) from Texas A&M University. Professor of biology, professor of kinesiology, Elliot Chair in Health, Fitness and Nutrition. Dr. Squires has received funding from NASA, the U.S. Air Force, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and many private foundations. He worked for NASA and is an expert in the physiology of humans in space.  

Dr. Squires' current research focuses on the public health issues related to lack of exercise. He has been an active leader in an effort to build walking trails at all the Seguin schools. He teaches general physiology, human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and exercise physiology.  He is a co-author of the textbook Exercise Physiology.

Janis Wenzel
Janis Wenzel (M.S. University of Houston-Clear Lake) teaches laboratories in the biological systems classes.  She has conducted environmental research in the Amazon basin.

Bryan Wilson
Visiting Instructor of Biology
Bryan Wilson (M.S. University of Texas at San Antonio) teaches laboraties in human anatomy and physiology.