Biology Department

Biology is more than just a science, it is a body of knowledge and a way of connecting with the world around us.

Whether you plan to be an epidemiologist or a microbiologist, treat children or cats, explore the innovations in scientific computing, or seek to understand and conserve the environment, the Biology Department strives to provide you with hands-on proficiency in laboratory and field procedures, and experience in diverse ecological environments that are relevant to your major and your goals.

Hands-on Experiences

The biology program strives to provide students with hands-on experiences in laboratory and field procedures. Most courses offered within the department's majors have laboratory sessions that actively engage students in the scientific method and current laboratory and field techniques.

Biology Pre-professional Programs

Graduates in biology are prepared to pursue careers in health-related fields, such as cytotechnology, dentistry, echocardiography, medical laboratory science, medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, radiography, veterinary medicine, and environmental biology and conservation.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

You will actively engage in undergraduate research experiences that culminates in a senior thesis. By the time you complete a biology major, you will have over 400 hours of laboratory and/or field experience. The department also sponsors one of the nation's longest-running annual undergraduate research symposiums.

Extracurricular Experiences

You can be involved in a variety of activities outside of the classroom. These might include the Biology Department seminar series, Biology Club, Pre-Health Professions Club, and the Saint Mary’s chapter of the national biological honor society, Beta Beta Beta.

Cross-discipline Learning

The Biology Department encourages students to engage in cross-discipline learning. Within the global business environment, students that are prepared and capable to effectively interact between disciplines are in great demand.

Non-biology Majors

If you are not a science major, the Biology Department meets your needs with a selection of general education courses that expose you to the assumptions and methodologies of the scientific process and provide you with an awareness of contemporary biological problems.

Goals for Our Students

  • To provide adequate academic and professional preparation for post-baccalaureate endeavors
  • To provide proficiency in the use of laboratory and/or field equipment and techniques
  • To provide students with the ability to conduct original biological research and the skills necessary to write a scientific thesis containing an explanation of the problem, the methods employed, an analysis of data, and the conclusions
  • To offer a selection of specifically designed general education courses that meet the needs of non-science majors

Connect With Us

Laurie Robertson

Administrative Assistant

Natural Sciences

Aquinas Hall, AH 323

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-1544

Laurie Robertson


Moni Berg-Binder, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Associate Dean for Sciences

Aquinas Hall, AH 337B

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-6989

Areas of Expertise: Invasive plant species and native plants; ecology and animal-plant interactions

Meet Moni Berg-Binder
Jennifer Biederman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Aquinas Hall, AH 335D

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-6912

Jennifer Biederman Ph.D.
Megan Girtman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Aquinas Hall, AH 335A

Campus Box: #10

(507) 457-1540

Megan Girtman Ph.D.
Randy Krainock, Ph.D.


GeoSpatial Services

Aquinas Hall, AH 322

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-8703

Randy Krainock Ph.D.
Debra Martin, Ph.D.



Aquinas Hall, AH 324

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-1628

Areas of Expertise: Developmental Biology, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry

Meet Debra Martin
Jeanne Minnerath, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Aquinas Hall, AH 335B

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-1770

Jeanne Minnerath Ph.D.
Benjamin Pauli, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Aquinas Hall, AH 337A

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-6681

Benjamin Pauli Ph.D.
Matthew Rowley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Aquinas Hall, AH 335C

Campus Box: # 10

(507) 457-1543

Matthew Rowley Ph.D.