Interim Department Chair

 Dave Westenberg

Welcome to the Department of Biological Sciences at Missouri S&T. This is an exciting time for our department as we embark on a new era - searching for a new department chair, exploring the development of a PhD program in Integrative Biosciences and making plans for a new building ( The faculty, staff, and students in our department look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Our department is aligned with the Missouri S&T Mission to integrate education, research, and application to create and convey knowledge that serves our state and helps solve the world’s great challenges. Our department goals include:

  1. Provide outstanding undergraduate instruction in biology, preparing students for careers in research, health care, teaching, and applied biology;
  2. Prepare graduate students to make fundamental discoveries in biology; and
  3. Make new discoveries of significant impact in the biological sciences, especially in cell/molecular biology, bioinformatics, microbiology, and environmental sciences.

We are proud of our undergraduate curriculum with core courses that expose students to the breadth of the biological sciences. Students then have the opportunity to explore specific areas in greater depth through upper level electives. While the university has recently required experiential learning for all students, biology students at Missouri S&T already have a history of actively participating in different forms of experiential learning. From leadership opportunities in student organizations to undergraduate research, from study abroad programs to design teams, students in our department have been leaders in experiential learning. Because we want our students to grow and be challenged throughout their time at Missouri S&T, we know we cannot stand still and rest on our past success. As we look forward, we are assessing how our curriculum meets the guidelines established by Vision and Change in undergraduate biology education ( and enacting plans to get closer to our goals.

Our graduate program in Applied and Environmental Biology reflects the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of our department and campus. Our graduate students are involved in a wide-breadth of research, spanning multiple disciplines on campus.  Our unique environment and campus allows students to learn and conduct research in an interdisciplinary, innovative manner on a STEM-centric campus.

On the research front, our faculty and students are making fundamental discoveries in areas that include bioinformatics, environmental microbiology, metabolism, fungal aquatics, sleep biology, nanotoxicology, and tissue engineering,

Please join us on our journey of discovery!


Dave Westenberg

Associate Professor and Interim Chair