Classes: BIOL 216, BIOL 222L
Dr. Petersen joined The Department of Biology as a full-time Instructor in 2023. He received a Ph.D. in plant and soil science from West Virginia University with a dissertation focusing on microbial water quality in a mixed-land use watershed. After receiving his PhD Dr. Petersen was involved in research combining microbiology, ecology and microplastics while working as a post doctorial research associate at Loyola University in Chicago. During this period Dr. Petersen’s research focused on changes in riverine microplastic concentrations during storm events. Additionally, Dr. Petersen headed research efforts aiming to quantify the impacts of polymer type on the growth and microbial diversity of biofilms growing on plastic fibers. Dr. Petersen has also taught numerous courses in the general fields of biology, microbiology, ecology, and environmental science. While teaching Dr. Petersen places an emphasis students’ exposure to the multitude of presentation media, information sources, and laboratory techniques available to them in their scientific pursuits. Courses taught by Dr. Petersen will often include an emphasis on the interactive nature of contemporary research by including group work and class dialogue, while strongly promoting independent, critical and “out of the box” thinking. Dr. Petersen currently teaches BIOL 216L: Development and Physiology laboratory, a core course for Biology majors, and BIOL 222L: Introductory Cure Lab in Biology, a course focused on Bacteriophage Isolation and purification.