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Biological Sciences

Nina Baghai Riding, Joe Bentley,
John Tiftickjian

Associate Professors
Eric Blackwell, Barry Campbell,
Alina Gabryszewska-Kukawa, Ellen Green,
Jira Katembe, Tanya McKinney,
Charles Smithhart

Assistant Professors
James Gerald, Séverine Groh,
Sharon Hamilton, Christopher Jurgenson,
A.H.M. Ali Reza, Yongqin Zhang

Lacey Fitts, Jill Harper

Adjunct Instructor
Jeff Reed

Departmental Secretary
Barbara Knight

Biological Sciences Chair:

Dr. Ellen Green

Physical Sciences Chair:

Dr. Joe Bentley

Department Offices:

Gibson-Gunn Hall 127

Mailing Address:

Box 3262
Delta State University
Cleveland, MS 38733


662-846-4798 (FAX)

Former students – Please complete our alumni feedback form

About the Division

The mission of the Division of Biological and Physical Sciences is to provide quality instruction in the natural sciences, to encourage students to perform to their full potential, and to instill a scientific attitude that will develop scientifically literate, educated professionals.

The Division seeks to develop the technical competence and the broad intellectual foundation needed to understand the impact of science and technology on humans and to make informed decisions on social, ethical, and environmental questions.

The Division also endeavors to meet the general educational needs of the University; to contribute new knowledge in science, and science education; and to serve the needs of educators, other professionals, and communities within the service area. Today’s accelerated pace of research aided by new instruments, techniques, and points of view imparts to the sciences a rapidly changing character as new discoveries are made. The up-to-date programs at Delta State University are sensitive to the promises and problems that this new knowledge and these new technologies will bring. Curricula are revised continually to insure their relevance to the needs of today and tomorrow.

Courses are offered that introduce the general student to the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics, and offer subject matter concentrations for students preparing for careers in science. The division also prepares students to teach science at the elementary and secondary levels, and provides the preprofessional foundation for medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and other health-related professional programs.

The Division offers the following degree programs: Bachelor of Science with major in Biology, Chemistry, or Environmental Science, Master of Science in Natural Sciences, and Master of Applied Science in Geospatial Information Technologies. Within the Bachelor of Science programs, students may pursue concentrations such as general biology, general chemistry, ACS certified chemistry, pre-medical science, science education, and wildlife management. The Division also offers pre-professional preparation for various health related programs, such as medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, pharmacy, and others. More details on all programs…

The science complex includes Caylor-White Hall, Walters Hall, The Roy and Clara Belle Wiley Planetarium, the Center for Science and Environmental Education (CSEE) facility in Merigold, MS., and the Delta State University Herbrium.

Delta State University is an affiliate of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Courses in the marine sciences are offered during the summer and may be taken for credit through Delta State University

The Elliott Program of Excellence

Drs. Robert and Mary Elliott, both former Delta State students, have developed this program for the benefit of DSU science students. It includes the annual Elliott-Nowell-White Science Symposium, a research fellowship program, and scholarships.

Scientific Societies and Student Organizations

Faculty and students participate in local, state, and national organizations including:

Alpha Epsilon Delta

Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) is the world’s largest Honor Society exclusively serving premedical education, with a membership exceeding 124,000. The mission of AED is to stimulate excellence in premedical education, to promote communication between students and educators, and to benefit health organizations, charities and the community. AED is both an Honor Society and a service organization. Membership in AED is offered to students recognized to have superior scholastic achievement who have completed at least three semesters of premedical work in college. Activities include regular meetings, where topics of interest are presented by students, faculty members, and health professionals. AED publishes and newsletter and a journal, The Scalpel. For further information, visit the AED web page, contact the Division office, or talk to a current AED officer.

American Chemical Society

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is the primary national association for chemists. Delta State University maintains a local student affiliate of the society. For further information, visit the ACS web page, contact the Division office, or talk to a current ACS officer.

Beta Beta Beta

Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta) is an honor society for students of the biological sciences. Since its founding in 1922, more than 175,000 persons have been accepted into lifetime membership, and more than 430 chapters have been established. Membership in Tri-Beta is offered to students who have completed at least three semesters of college coursework including at least three courses in biology with average grades of B or above. The society publishes a journal, BIOS, with articles of interest to biologists and society news. Delta State University maintains a local chapter of the society. For further information, visit the Tri-Beta web page, contact the Division office, or talk to a current Tri-Beta officer.

Water Environmental Federation

The Water Environmental Federation (WEF) is a national organization, established in 1928, whose vision “to preserve and enhance the global water environment” serves as the main theme for all its programs and activities. Delta State has established the first local student chapter in Mississippi. This organization provides students with networking activities in key water issues including water quality protection, wastewater treatment, hazardous waste, and groundwater treatment. For further information, contact the Division office, talk to a current WEF officer, or visit the national WEF web site.

The Wildlife Society

The Wildlife Society, founded in 1937, is an international organization serving wildlife professionals in all areas of wildlife conservation and resource management. Its goal is to promote excellence in wildlife stewardship through science and education. Dr. Ali Reza, advisor for the Environmental Science Wildlife Management Concentration, and students in our Environmental Science/Wildlife major have worked to establish a student chapter of the society. The DSU student chapter of the Wildlife Society was approved on April 26, 2013 by the Southeastern Section of The Wildlife Society. For further information, contact the Division office, talk to a current Wildlife Society officer, or contact Dr. Reza.

National Wildlife Society web site.

Wildlife management program at Delta State

Mississippi Academy of Sciences

Mississippi Academy of Sciences is the state academy for all branches of science. DSU faculty are serving or have served as officers in MAS. Students are encouraged to attend MAS annual meetings with faculty. They have the opportunity to present scientific papers, meet the state’s top researchers, and learn about the activities of other scientists.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Ellen Green, Chair of Biological Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
Box 3262
Delta State University
Cleveland, MS 38733
FAX: 662-846-4798


Dr. Joe Bentley, Chair of Physical Sciences
Department of Physical Sciences
Box 3262
Delta State University
Cleveland, MS 38733
FAX: 662-846-4798

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Delta State University >Arts and Sciences >DSU Sciences

Department of Biological Sciences
Delta State University, Cleveland, MS 38733

This page is maintained by
John Tiftickjian
and was last modified October 6, 2014