R. Given Harper, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of Biology
Ph.D., Illinois State University; M.S., Western Illinois University; B.S., Transylvania University
R. Given Harper is Professor and Chair of the Biology Department and serves as Associate Chair of the Environmental Studies Program. He is the advisor for the Ecology Concentration within the ES major and teaches a number of environmental science courses, including Introductory Ecology, Advanced Ecology, Ecology and the Environment, Conservation Biology, and Tropical Ecology (May Term travel course to Costa Rica). His research projects focus on quantifying organochlorine (OC) pesticide levels in birds and other wildlife and involve students and other faculty members. Three current such projects include documenting OC contamination in resident North American birds, dickcissel (a small, sparrow-like bird) eggs and nestlings, and wolves, white-tailed deer and vegetation collected in Minnesota. In addition, he collaborates with U.S. and Canadian Fish and Wildlife Service on a project documenting OC contamination in North American gray wolves, Mexican gray wolves and red wolves. Dr. Harper is also conducting research to determine strontium-90 levels in white-tailed deer in relation to nuclear power plants in Illinois and Minnesota. On campus, he has served as co-chairperson of the University's GREENetwork, which works to improve campus sustainability.