Associate Professor of Biology & Biology Education Program Coordinator
"Biology is a part of our everyday life; we are biology.”
Students Participate in Relevant Activities
In Dr. Zachary Felix’s class, you won’t just do X-Y-Z and follow steps one through three in the book. He has his students participate in relevant activities that bring home the message of "biology is a part of our everyday life."
“I want students to get hands-on with biology,” said Felix. “Students will not be constantly behind a book; I want them experiencing things outside or doing experiments in the lab or conducting independent research.” Students in Felix’s classes have completed independent research projects on topics such as salamander microhabitats, bird behavior, and hemlock woolly adelgids. Completing these projects help students improve important skills like writing, literature research, and oral communication. Each year his General Zoology students participate in a bioblitz, during which they help to document the considerable diversity of animals in and around Waleska, Georgia.
Bringing Expertise and Excitement Into the Classroom
As a researcher in the field of zoology, Felix has conducted research all over the world—from China to Aruba to Japan to Alabama. He brings that expertise and excitement into the classroom, and he hopes to give students the knowledge to take into their chosen careers.
“Biology is so exciting to me,” Felix said. “I am going to have students who may one day be businessmen and women, educators, lawyers, doctors, and in occupations other than biology. I don’t have any allusion that they are going to use the knowledge from the classroom every day, but if they are aware that biology is interesting and worthwhile, then that’s a big part of it for me.”
Driven by Curiosity
Dr. Felix continues to satisfy his sense of curiosity through an active research program. Currently he is involved with a collaborative investigation of the evolution of a group of lungless salamanders using morphometric and molecular techniques. He is completing a systematic survey of land snails on RU’s campus and, along with the help of an RU student, is compiling a systematic list of land snails for the state of Georgia. He has plans to begin an ecological study of a local population of northern pine snakes (Pituophis m. melanoleucus) during the summer of 2012.
A.A.S., State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill; B.S., State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry; M.S., Marshall University; Ph.D., Alabama A & M University