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Given Harper

George C. and Ella Beach Lewis Endowed Professor of Biology


Office Number:
Given Harper


B.S. Biology, Transylvania University
M.S. Zoology, Western Illinois University
Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Illinois State University



Each May, Illinois Wesleyan offers several travel courses, led by faculty and lasting 3-4 weeks. Here Professor Given Harper discusses his biannual Tropical Ecology course in Costa Rica. This course fulfills requirements for either the Biology major or the Environmental Studies major.


Undergraduate Research: Jason Murphy, biology major, compares eggshell structure of different bird species. Along with fellow student Mark Swanson, Jason was lead author of a paper describing the research technique they developed in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, one of the top ornithological journals in the world. The technique may help shed light on avian evolutionary history. Full story



Dr. Harper is an ecologist with diverse research interests. He is currently supervising students who are investigating the distribution and habitat preferences of American Badgers (Taxidea taxus) and Plains Pocket Gophers (Geomys bursarius) in McLean County, Illinois. In addition, he is supervising students who are determining the species of breeding birds and their habitat preferences within the city limits of Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.

Dr. Harper's Personal Web Page


Dr. Harper teaches

  • General Biology (BIOL 102)
  • Ecology and Environmental Problems (BIOL 120)
  • Field Ornithology (BIOL 318)
  • Ecology (BIOL 324)
  • Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology (BIOL 321)