Graduate Faculty


Amy K. Schmid

Assistant Professor of Biology

Office: 125 Science Dr, French Family Science Center 4105, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 613-4464

Although life science research has entered the post-genomic era, we still understand little about the diversity of microbial life on earth. Information is particularly lacking on microbial extremophiles, which thrive at the limits of life. Extremophiles can be found in deep-sea hydrothermal vents under high pressure and temperature, saturated salt lakes, and polar icecaps. Many of these organisms are members of the third domain of life, the archaea. How do these microorganisms cope with an... Full Profile »

A. Jonathan Shaw

Professor of Biology

Office: Rm 139, Bio Phy Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 660-7344

My research centers on the evolution and diversity of bryophytes. Current projects in the lab include molecular phylogenetic analyses of familial and ordinal level relationships in the arthrodontous mosses, studies of hybridization using molecular and morphological markers, and investigations of cryptic speciation within geographically widespread species... Full Profile »

David R. Sherwood

Associate Professor in the Department of Biology

Office: Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-1000

Phone: (919) 613-8192

Our research is directed at elucidating mechanisms underlying morphogenetic processes in development. We primarily use the model system C. elegans in our research, and combine powerful genetic and systems biology approaches with live-cell imaging to address three main topics:   Tissue Remodeling and Connection A major focus of the lab is the understanding of mechanisms underlying uterine-vulval attachment. A key aspect of this process is the invasion of a single uterine cell,... Full Profile »

Nina Tang Sherwood

Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Biology

Office: Box 90338 137 Bio Sciences, 130 Science Drive, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Science Drive, 371D Biosci, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 684-8658

We use Drosophila melanogaster as a model to understand nervous system development and function. In a genetic screen for molecules important to these processes, we discovered the fly ortholog of the spastin gene, which when mutated in humans leads to a progressive neurodegenerative disease called Autosomal-Dominant Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (AD-HSP). Individuals with AD-HSP have difficulty walking, sometimes from as early as childhood, and can end up confined to wheelchairs. We have shown... Full Profile »

James N. Siedow

Professor Emeritus of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, 3105 French Science Centre, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Duke Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708

Phone: (919) 684-5445

Physiological, biochemical and molecular studies of plant oxidative processes. Research in my laboratory studies metabolic processes related to aerobic respiration in plants and fungi. Specifically, this research involves isolating and characterizing the structural and regulatory features of the cyanide-resistant "alternative" oxidase associated with all plant and many fungal mitochondria. The mechanism of action of a regulatory sulfhydryl-disulfide system on the alternative oxidase and its... Full Profile »

Kathleen Kovalevski Smith

Professor of Biology

Office: 130 Science Drive, Room 122 Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 684-3402

I am interested in the functional and evolutionary morphology of vertebrates. My research has included the functional and phylogenetic significance of variations in form of craniofacial structures in squamate reptiles and mammals, the biomechanics of a class of structures called musculohydrostats, and the roles of adaptive evolution and constraint in morphological diversification. My current focus is on the relation between evolutionary and developmental processes, with particular focus on... Full Profile »

Tai-ping Sun

Professor of Biology

Office: 3104 French Family Science Center, Durham, NC 27708

Campus Box: Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338

Phone: (919) 613-8166

The diterpenoid phytohormone gibberellin (GA) plays pivotal roles in regulating growth and development throughout the life cycle of higher plants. Mutations affecting GA biosynthesis or GA response were the key to control plant stature in wheat and rice that led to dramatically increased grain yield and contributed greatly to the success of the ‘Green Revolution’ in the 1960s. Although the GA biosynthetic pathway had been characterized biochemically, little was known about the sites of GA... Full Profile »