Commencement will be indoors at Flood Arena due to weather. Congratulations to the Class of 2023.

Tawnya Cary

Academic Specialties and Other Interests

I am a professor and integrative biologist in the Biology Department. I teach “big biology” courses that focus on organismal to ecosystem-scale biology (Aquatic Biology, Zoology, Ecology, and Ecotoxicology). I also teach Biometrics, which introduces the statistical tools we use to evaluate experimental results in biology.

My research investigates how environmentally-relevant levels of pollutants affect the immune function in frogs, which is incredibly similar to human immune function. My type of research is called ‘applied biology’, or biological research that aims to directly solve a problem at-hand. I enjoy contributing to a body of scientific evidence that can be used to regulate human behavior (i.e., change chemical manufacturing processes that have been deemed environmentally harmful). For me, the highlight of my research program is mentoring students through the process of science and witnessing their growth and development as critical thinkers and problem solvers. The scientific community needs curious minds from all walks of life to generate a diversity of questions and answers that guide science discovery into the future.

Outside of teaching and research, I enjoy being outdoors. You can often find me hiking/skiing, camping, canoeing, or tending my garden as I chase after my energetic daughter and menagerie of pets.

I am fortunate to interact with students in a variety of contexts and get to know my students and their interests. Outside of the classroom, I direct two programs on campus that aim to prepare future STEM scholars: the Wisconsin Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (Wisconsin LSAMP) and the Pakula Biomedical Fellowship program. This also means I work with community members across campus to build relationships that support our students’ progress toward their goals. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your goals, and helping you find your path to success at Beloit!

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