Faculty Research Interests in Science

At Roanoke College, the Sciences include the following departments:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Studies
  • Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics

Faculty research interests are listed by department, then alphabetical by faculty member.


Dr. Rachel J. Collins
Associate Professor, rcollins@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Forest and community ecology
Research interests:
• Plant and animal diversity in forest systems
• Invasive species
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Christopher Lassiter
Associate Professor, lassiter@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Developmental Biology
Research interests:
• Estrogenic effects on heart and face development
• Environmental endocrine disruptor pollution
• Transgenic zebrafish for biological studies
Works with students on research: yes
Publications with students:
Smolinsky AN, Doughman JM, Kratzke L-T, Lassiter CS. 2010. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) androgen receptor: cDNA, genomic structure, and up-regulation by the fungicide vinclozolin. Comp Biochem Physiol C: Toxicol Pharmacol 151:161-166. (three undergraduate authors)

Dr. DorothyBelle Poli
Associate Professor, poli@roanoke.edu
Research interests:
• Evolutionary physiology
• Paleobotany
• Hormone evolution
Works with students on research: yes
Publications with students:
Vogel, S. I., Piatkowski, B. T., Dooley, A. C., and Poli, DB. (2011) The Effects of Fire on Lycopodium digitatum strobili. Jeffersoniana 27: 1-9.
Poli, DB., Berenotto, C., Blankenship, S., Piatkowski, B., Bader, G. A., and Poore, M. (accepted for February 2012 issue) Bringing Evolution to a Technological Generation: A Case Study with SPORE. American Biology Teacher.

Dr. Steven L. Powers
Associate Professor, powers@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Ichthyology
Research interests:
• Evolution and ecology of stream fishes
• Endangered species conservation
• Systematics and Biogeography
Works with students on research: yes


Dr. William "Skip" E. Brenzovich, Jr.
Assistant Professor, brenzovich@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Research interests:
• Investigating new chemical reactions using transition metals
• Design of new metal-detecting dye modules
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Gary Hollis
Professor (Chair), hollis@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Research interests:
• Organic Synthesis
• Highly Flourinated Compounds
Works with students on research: Yes
List of publications with students:
Robin E. Southward*, W. Gary Hollis, Jr., and David W. Thompson, "Precipitation of a Murder: A Creative Use of Strychnine Chemistry in Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles", Journal of Chemical Education 1992, 69, 536. 
W. Gary Hollis, Jr., William C. Lappenbusch*, Christopher M. Woleben*, and Kathryn A. Everberg*, "The Use of Alkenylboronate Esters in [2+2] Enone-Olefin Photocycloadditions", Tetrahedron Letters 1993, 34, 7517.
Carl B. Hollandsworth*, W. Gary Hollis, Jr., Carla Slebodnick, and Paul A. Deck, "Metallocene Complexes of Iron and Cobalt Derived from the 4,4'-Bis(5 cyclopentadienyl)octafluorobiphenyl Ligand", Organometallics 1999, 18, 3610-3614.
Caleb Kroll*, Paul A. Deck, W. Gary Hollis, Jr., and Frank R. Fronczek, "Arene Stacking and Conformational Biases in Ferrocenes Containing Pentafluorophenyl and t-Butyl Substituents", Journal of Organometallic Chemistry 2001, 637-639, 107-115.
W. Gary Hollis, Jr., Troy F. Bonsall*, Valerie L. Cuba*, Paul A. Deck, and Frank R. Fronczek, "Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Electrochemical Analysis of 1,4-Diferrocenyltetrafluorobenzene. Effects of Linker Perfluorination on Intermetallic Electronic Communication," Transition Metal Chemistry 2006, 31(2), 246-249.
W. Gary Hollis, Jr., Matthew Poferl, Mike Wolter, Paul A. Deck, and Carla Slebodnik, "Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Solubility Studies of Highly Fluorinated Alkoxy Substituted Derivatives of 1,1'-Bispentafluoroferrocene and 1,1'-Bistetrafluoropyridylferrocene," Journal of Fluorine Chemistry 2008, 129(2), 119-124.

Mathematics, Computer Science, & Physics

Dr. Durell Bouchard
Assistant Professor, bouchard@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Motion Capture
Research interests:
• animation and motion
• human-computer interaction
• virtual environments
Works with students on research: yes
Publications with students:
Nunnally, S. and D. Bouchard. An Indirect Measure of the Implicit Level of Presence in Virtual Environments. In Virtual and Mixed Reality-New Trends, pages 345--353, 2011.

Dr. Matthew C. Fleenor
Associate Professor, fleenor@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Extragalactic Astrophysics (Galaxy Superclusters)
Research interests:
• Galaxy Environments and Evolution
• Physics and Astronomy Education
• Introductory Physics for Life Sciences
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Chris Lee
Associate Professor, clee@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Mathematics
Research interests:
• Genetic algorithms
• Swarm optimization
• Technology in the classroom
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Roland B. Minton
Capp-Whitehead Professor, minton@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Mathematics
Research interests:
• Mathematics of golf
• Sports ranking system
• Chaos theory and fractals
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Hannah Robbins
Assistant Professor, robbins@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Mathematics
Research interests:
• commutative algebra
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Karin R. Saoub
Associate Professor, saoub@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Mathematics (Graph Theory)
Research interests:
• Interval and Tolerance Graphs
• Coloring Algorithms
• Social Networks
Works with students on research: yes

Dr. Anil M. Shende
Professor, shende@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Computer Science
Research interests:
• Theory of computing
• algorithms
• parallel computing and wireless computing
Works with students on research:
Publications with students:
Robert L. Wells, II, ``An object oriented design for a lattice computer simulator,'' The Journal of Computing in Small Colleges, 110--116, Vol. 12, No. 3, January 1997. (Refereed)
Brian Rickabaugh, ``Using PVM to hunt maximal snakes in hypercubes'', The Journal of Computing in Small Colleges, 14(2), 76--84, January 1999. (Refereed)
Shashanka MVS and Amrita Pati, ``A characterisation of optimal channel assignments for wireless networks modelled as cellular and square grids,'' International Workshop on Wireless, Mobile and Ad Hoc Networks, Nice, France. April 2003. (Refereed) (Also appears in Mobile Networks and Applications, vol. 10, 2005.)
Vishakha Gupta and Gaurav Mathur, ``Lattice formation in Wireless Adhoc Lattice computers (WAdL),'' International Workshop on Algorithms for Wireless and Mobile Networks, 2004. (Refereed) (Also appears in the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing 66(4), 531--541, 2006.)

Dr. David G. Taylor
Associate Professor, taylor@roanoke.edu
Specialty: Mathematics
Research interests:
• Representation theory and algebraic combinatorics
• Series and series identities
• Recreational mathematics
Works with students on research: yes

Patrick Dowling accepted into Fulbright Summer Institute

Patrick Dowling accepted into Fulbright Summer Institute

Rising sophomore Patrick Dowling is studying at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom as part of a Fulbright Summer Institute.

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