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Dr. Brian Koehler

Associate Professor, Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Advisement
College of Science and Mathematics

Office: Office of the Dean, Engineering Building 2141E
Phone: (912) 478-5111



  • B.S. Presbyterian College (1992)
  • Ph.D. University of Georgia (1999)

Dr. Koehler came to Georgia Southern in 1999 after earning his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Georgia, where his research focused on analysis of enzymes from hyperthermophilic bacteria (bacteria that live at temperatures above 100 C). Since arriving at Georgia Southern, Brian has put much of his time working on educational improvements in the general chemistry laboratory program and also has an ongoing group of research students analyzing foods for compounds with known health-related effects. Outside of class Brian enjoys time spent with his two children, working with a local boy scout troop, and battling with model warships.

Dr. Koehler’s Other Pages:


My research involves the analysis of compounds occurring naturally in food-plants, with a focus on those common in the typical Southern diet. Of current interest are “phytosterols” (plant-derived sterols), which are reported to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the occurrence of certain forms of cancer. Although the exact mechanism is not fully understood, these plant-sterols are believed to function by inhibiting intestinal absorption of cholesterol, thereby decreasing the levels in the blood. The project will focus on identifying and quantifying the sterol content in the foods studied so that the health benefits can be assessed.

My second research interest revolves around using spectroscopic techniques to study the transition metal or metal-cluster in the active-site centers of metalloenzymes. Using ultraviolet/visible/near-infrared absorption, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), magnetic circular dichroism (MCD), and resonance raman (RR) spectroscopies, the type of metal center in the active site and its coordination in the enzyme can often be determined. Current research focuses on collaborative work with Dr. Michelle Davis (Georgia Southern) on the marine metabolite, Adenochrome. This research currently necessitates travel to the University of Georgia (Athens) in order to use equipment located in facilities there.

Another project of mine has been in improving the educational experience in the general chemistry laboratories. The object has been to design on-line tutorials to illustrate concepts and guide students through the experimental procedures before entering the lab. It is hoped that by better preparing students in the techniques and use of the equipment that will be needed, that students will be better prepared to focus on the chemical concepts and advanced understanding of the material.

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 1145 Principles of Chemistry I
  • CHEM 1146 Principles of Chemistry II
  • CHEM 1147 Comprehensive Chemistry
  • CHEM 2031 Introduction to Research Methods
  • CHEM 3140 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM 4890 Chemical Research Experience
  • CHEM 7090 Special Topics (Developing CBL Experiments for MS and HS Science Teachers)

Selected Publications

  • LoBue, James M. and Brian P. Koehler. “Teaching Physical Chemistry-Let’s Teach Kinetics First” In Physical Chemistry Curriculum Reform: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going? Ellison, M. and Schoolcraft, T. Eds. ACS Symposium Series 973; American Chemical Society, Washington, DC 2007, pp. 111-112.
  • Koehler, Brian P.; Orvis, Jessica. N. Internet-Based Prelaboratory Tutorials and Computer-Based Probes in General Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education 2003, 80, 606-608.
  • Kooter, Ingeborg M.; Koehler, Brian P.; Moguilevsky, Nicole; Bollen, Alex; Weaver, Ron; Johnson, Michael K. The Met243 Sulphonium Ion Linkage is Responsible for the Anomalous Magnetic Circular Dichroism and Optical Spectral Properties of Myeloperoxidase. Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry 1999, 4, 684-691.

Awards & Recognitions

  • 2009 Outstanding faculty Advisor – National Academic Advising Association
  • 1997 Martin Reynolds Smith Prize for Outstanding Graduate Research Paper
  • 1996 Regents Merit Supplement for Outstanding Performance in Teaching & Research

Last updated: 8/17/2019