Biology Professor coauthors environmental science textbook

E&Y2e_coverLissa Leege, Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Sustainability at Georgia Southern University coauthored an environmental science textbook, Christensen and Leege. 2016. Environment and You, 2nd Edition. Pearson, San Francisco. 700pp. that is now available for college level, non-majors, environmental science courses across the country. Leege has worked on the text over the past 1.5 years including a semester long educational leave in Fall 2013. “I am thrilled to be a part of this project with esteemed co-author Norm Christensen, the founding dean of the School of the Environment at Duke University. This text not only presents an in-depth look at environmental issues, but it inspires students to be part of the solution. Examples of “Agents of Change” on college campuses around the country, and a positive, solutions-oriented approach sends the hopeful message I have been trying to promote in my classes for years.” Georgia Southern University is featured in the final chapter, as are several case studies from around the state. Leege has been teaching Environmental Biology at Georgia Southern University for 17 years.

Announcing a New Scholarship in Biology

The Department of Biology is excited to announce the creation of the Dr. Bill and Martha Lovejoy Scholarship and Travel Grants. These are to be awarded yearly to rising junior, seniors or graduate students having a demonstrated interest in vertebrate zoology. Recipients will be awarded after going through a selection process. The Department is very grateful to Dr. Bill Lovejoy, Professor Emeritus, for establishing this scholarship. We are honored to remember Dr. Lovejoy and his wife Martha who contributed so much to the development and success of the Department of Biology.

Charles and Sandra Chandler Research Scholarship Program

The Department of Biology is very fortunate to receive funding from Mr. Charles and Mrs. Sandra Chandler to provide the Chandler Research Scholarship Program. Now in its seventh year, this very successful program has supported 30 students who have conducted research with 12 different professors. Our newest recipients are Aaron Muirhead (mentored by Dr. Tiehang Wu), Paula Paul (mentored by Dr. Christopher Cutler), and Lindsey Wells (mentored by Dr. William Irby). This scholarship is unique in providing funding that pays students to work in a professor’s laboratory for two semesters, provides a supply budget, and supports travel to present their results at a scientific meeting. Former recipients of the scholarship are attending medical schools, veterinary schools, graduate schools or are employed in a variety of biology-related positions. The department is very grateful to the Chandler’s for providing this opportunity that truly makes a difference in the student’s and professor’s lives.

The Department of Biology receives the Kay T. Reissing Terrestrial Snail Collection

The Department of Biology is fortunate to have recently received the Kay T. Reissing Terrestrial Snail Collection. Through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Ted and Kay Reissing, this collection will now be available for study by Georgia Southern University faculty and students. Such an expansive collection is rare and indicates the passion Mrs. Reissing has for these interesting mollusks—a passion that extends for over 60 years. We look forward to cataloging the collection and then securely displaying parts of the collection to students and to the public in the future. The collection is a great addition to our other vertebrate and invertebrate collections.


Image courtesy of Wikipedia


Dr. Laura Regassa, GSTA 2015 Teacher of the Year

regassa225x150The Georgia Science Teachers Association announces the winners of the Science Teachers of the Year. Dr. Laura Regassa, a professor at Georgia Southern University, has been selected as the 2015 University Science Teacher of the Year for the state of Georgia by the Georgia Science Teachers Association. Dr. Regassa joined the Department of Biology at Georgia Southern University in 1999, where she is a Professor and the Director of STEMstars. Regassa said, “My goal is to help students learn by doing science”. Dr. Regassa leads an educational research program at the university and partners with regional school districts to deliver inquiry-based STEM content in K-12 classrooms. Her outreach efforts are coordinated through the STEMstars program and funded by the National Science Foundation and Georgia Southern University ( Each year GSTA recognizes excellence in science teaching. The Science Teacher of the Year award recognizes ongoing excellence in science education and the commitment to its improvement. Outstanding achievement in elementary, middle, high school and university science teaching is recognized with the selection of a state winner. All GSTA award winners will be honored at a special awards banquet on February 6, 2015. This award and recognition program are part of the annual GSTA Science Conference in Macon on February 5-7, 2015. The Georgia Science Teachers Association is a professional organization dedicated to improving science teaching at all levels, pre-school through university. The mission of GSTA is to provide leadership and service for science education. The current membership of over 2,000 includes science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, and representatives of business and industry.

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY • P.O. Box 8042-1 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5487