Monmouth College Department of Biology
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Facilities in the Haldeman-Thiessen Science Center
"Common sense is a collection of prejudices which one has acquired by one's eighteenth birthday." -- Albert Einstein


Haldeman-Thiessen Science CenterA large, comfortable lecture hall seating up to 65 students. The room includes an LCD projector for viewing virtually any visual format including computer simulations, films, microscope slides, 2x2 slides, digitally captured video, etc.

A smaller classroom, seating 15-20, is used for instruction in upper-level courses such as genetics, ecology, and physiology.

A small room set up for seminar or discussion-format classes is equipped with computers for general use by biology students. 

Two rooms are also reserved for use as faculty/student research space.


Laboratories include an introductory lab for zoology and botany, a multipurpose lab for ecology, comparative anatomy and other advanced electives, a physiology lab with computer work stations, a cell/genetics lab, and a molecular lab.

An additional lab is reserved exclusively for students working on research projects. Students working on research are given their own keys to labs so they can use them at any time.

Additionally, the department has a greenhouse, herbarium, animal lab, and aquatics lab, all of which are designed to maintain living organisms that can be used in courses or in research projects.

Off-Campus Field Research Areas


LeSuer  Nature Preserve (online photos)
A recently acquired 16.5 acre plot of land within an easy 10-minute walk from campus provides new opportunities for field classes and research. Rolling hills bisected by a large stream offer upland grassland, forest, riparian, and aquatic habitats for study. Restoration of the entire area to pre-settlement conditions (including 5 acres of native tall grass prairie) provides abundant opportunities for student research. Water quality monitoring and aquatic ecology studies are also possible in the stream.

Spring Grove Cemetery Prairie
Members of the biology faculty are trustees of this remnant prairie, giving students access to one of the finest virgin prairie plots in Illinois. The one-acre prairie, an Illinois State Nature Preserve, offers unique opportunities for research on prairie plants, soils, and the fauna that inhabit them.

Hamilton Pond
This healthy, 1.5 acre freshwater pond was deeded to Monmouth College for use by the biology department as a teaching resource. Just one block from campus (north of the football field), Hamilton Pond is a rich source of aquatic plants and invertebrates for use in laboratories. Aquatic vertebrates such as turtles, frogs, and toads, also offer opportunities for research within a 5-minute walk of campus.


The Biology department at Monmouth has all of the fundamental equipment one would expect in a modern biology laboratory in addition to special equipment listed below. One of the great advantages of learning at a small liberal arts college like Monmouth is that students have the opportunity to work hands on with these instruments.

Basic equipment includes growth chambers, water baths, several incubators, spectrophotometers, balances, and of course dozens of mono- and binocular microscopes and stereomicroscopes. A microtome including a freezing chamber for taking frozen sections is available for histological work. 

The department has recently acquired substantial equipment to enhance the cell and molecular biology labs, with an emphasis in molecular genetics.

High-speed and refrigerated centrifuges, electrophoresis chambers, a Nano-Pure water system, and a thermal cycler for PCR enable students to explore and experiment in molecular biology. A CO2 incubator for culturing eukaryotic cells and a laminar flow hood facilitate experiments in molecular biology and genetics.  

The physiology lab is equipped with several mechanical physiographs as well as computer work stations for monitoring a variety of physiological processes. The lab has several two-channel computer interfaces with software for MacOS or Windows. Bio amplifiers and transducers for recording ECG, EEG, EMG, and galvanic skin response work with this system. Additional transducers are available for a variety of measurements in human, animal, and psychophysiology such as spirometers, grip force sensors, pulse plethysmographs, event markers, nerve bath chambers, an intracellular probe, respiration monitor, blood pressure cuff and transducer, and a skin temperature sensor.

Equipment for ecology labs includes field sampling gear such as Sherman live traps for small mammals, a variety of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate sampling equipment, seines, flow-meter, Kemmerer samplers, and a Hach water quality analysis spectrophotometer.  The greatest resource for students interested in ecology is our four field research areas.


 Copyright 2008 Monmouth College Department of Biology