Biology Faculty Background and Research
Dr. Ben Dube
I began my scientific career as a Plant Protection Research Officer in Nematology in Zimbabwe. This was followed by a teaching and research career in Nematology, Parasitology and Invertebrate Zoology at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ). For five years during this period, I was Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition, I was also a UZ team leader for the joint UZ/Nihon University of Japan research grant for the advancement of molecular technology in vegetable production for the small scale farmers of Zimbabwe, UZ coordinator of a collaborative UZ/IUP exchange link agreement and a fish parasite research collaborator with the UZ/Belgian Flemish Universities Fisheries project.
Prior to my joining Eastern University in Fall of 2005, I spent three and half years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a Visiting Professor and later as a temporary faculty in the Dept of Biology. Inspired by the plight of small holder farmers in Zimbabwe in their quest to increase vegetable food production and by my overall desire to be a practical, environmentally conscious scientist in the fight to alleviate hunger among the less privileged, my research interest has remained focused on an ecologically sustainable integrated nematode control strategy.Plant-parasitic nematodes particularly rook - knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.,) are a severe constraint on agricultural vegetable production. My current research involves the integrative use of bacteria (Pasteuria penetrans), fungi (Paecilomyces lilacinus), soil solarization and organic amendments in managing root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) on vegetable crops. As Christians, we have been commissioned to use our creative capacities to glorify God in service to others and in the management of His creation.
Scholarly Accomplishments (Publications):
Dube, B and G C Smart, 1987. Biological control of Meloidogyne incognita by Paecilomyces lilacinus and Pasteuria penetrans. Journal of Nematology 19: 222-227
Dube, B and E. Mwenje, 1989. Survey of nematophagous fungi in some selected areas of Zimbabwe. Local Mycological Series 13: 120 –122
Dube, B. 1992. The potential of soil solarisation for control of plant-parasitic nematodes by smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. Pest Management Series 10: 23-26.
Dube, B.1993. Integrated application of Paecilomyces lilacinus, Verticillium chlamydosporium, VAM, Pasteuria penetrans and cattle manure for control of Meloidogyne javanica. Pest Management Series 23: 13-56.
Dube, B. 1994. The use of organic amendments for control of plant - parasitic nematodes in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Agricultural Journal (Abstract) :142
Dube, B. and N A G Moyo 1998: Water resources. A chapter contribution to the STATE OF ENVIRONMENT IN ZIMBABWE BOOK, a project sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Watanabe, K., Inoue H., Chang, P. K., Sabeta, C., and Dube, B. 1999. Comparison of Chlorophyll and Carotenoids Pigments Contents between Japanese and Zimbabwe Cultivars of Kale and Swiss Chard. Journal of Bioresourse Sciences 2: 29 – 33.
Dube, B. 1999. Population dynamics of nematode antagonistic fungi and bacteria after addition of organic amendments. Zimbabwe Agricultural Journal 89: 67 –70.
Watanabe, K., Inoue H., Chang, P. K., Sabeta, C., and Dube, B. 2000. HPLC Determination of Capsaicinoids from Fruits of Pepper Cultivars Collected in Zimbabwe. Japanese Journal of Tropical Agriculture 44: 186 – 191.
Dube, B. 2009. Biological control of Meloidogyne javanica using a bean crop residue and municipal organic waste on tomato, okra and sweet pepper. (manuscript currently under peer review, after which it will be submitted to Journal of Nematology for review).
Invited National/International Presentations (Title of paper in brackets):
Attended Joint Phytopathological and Nematology Annual Meeting. June 26 - 30, 1983 Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA (Paecilomyces lilacinus for control of nematodes)
Attended First International Congress of Nematology. August 5 - 10, 1984 University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada (Biological control of plant-parasitic nematodes using Paecilomyces lilacinus and Pasteuria penetrans)
Attended Society of Nematologists Annual Meeting. August 17 - 22, 1986 Orlando, Florida, USA (Integrated nematode control)
Attended XVIIIth International Symposium for the European Society of Nematologists. September 7 - 12, 1986. Antibes, France (Control of Meloidogyne spp. using manure and a fungus.
Attended Integrated Pest Management in tropical and subtropical cropping systems. February 8 - 15, 1989 Bad Durkhein, Germany. (Integrated control of nematodes)
Attended 28th Annual Meeting of Society of Nematologists August 13 - 17, 1989 University of California, Davis (Cattle manure and Pasteuria penetrans for control of Meloidogyne javanica in Zimbabwe)
Attended 2nd International Congress of Nematology August 11 - 17, 1990 Veldhoven, The Netherlands (Integrated control of Meloidogyne javanica using Paecilomyces lilacinus, Pasteuria penetrans, and cattle manure).
Attended Sixth (6th ) International Congress of Plant Pathology July 28 - August 6, 1993, Montreal, Canada. (Integrated application of Paecilomyces lilacinus, Pasteuria penetrans and cattle manure for control of Meloidogyne javanica)
Attended Thirty-third (33rd) Annual meeting of the Society of Nematologists 14 -18 August 1994, San Antonio, U.S.A. (Non chemical control of plant-parasitic nematodes).
Attended Joint Meeting of Society of Nematologists/American Phytopathological Society Mycological Society of America, 25 - 29 August 2001, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from. (Integrated control of Plant - parasitic nematodes in Zimbabwe)
Attended 10th International Conference of the European Association of Fish Pathologists, 9 - 14 September 2001, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. (Nematode parasites of some fresh water fish in Zimbabwe)
Attended academic advisory council of AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies held at Pacific Rim, Whidbey Island, Washington State from 6 – 9 October 2005.
Attended a nematology workshop on field application of biological control agents held at University of Florida from July 29 – August 2, 2006.
Attended and delivered a lecture on (integrated biological control of plant- parasitic nematodes Meloidogyne sp) at the ECHO's thirteenth annual agricultural conference held in North Fort Myers, Florida from November 7 – 10, 2006.
Attended and presented a research poster at the joint annual Society of Nematologists/American Phytopathological Society meeting held in San Diego, CA from 29 July – August 1, 2007. (Biological control of Meloidogyne javanica using organic amendments).
Attended and presented a lecture on (Field signs and symptoms of crop nematode damage) at the ECHO’s fifteenth annual agricultural conference held in North Fort Myers, Florida from December 9 – 11, 2008.
Attended and co chaired a discussion session on “Sustainable agriculture in developing countries” at the 2009 American Institute of Biological Sciences Annual Meeting at Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel, Arlington, VA from May 18 – 19, 2009.
Attended the 64th annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation Association (ASA) held at Baylor University Waco, TX from July 31–August 3, 2009. The meeting focused on “Exploring God’s World of Endless Wonder”.
Attended and presented a lecture on (Agronomic practices for nematode management) at the ECHO’s sixteenth (16th) annual agricultural conference held in North Fort Myers, Florida from December 7 – 10, 2009.
Attended and co chaired a discussion session on “Science Education in a Christian College” at the 65th annual conference of American Scientific Affiliation at Catholic University of America, Washington DC. From July 30 – August 2, 2010.
Attended and presented a lecture on (Use of compost manures) at the ECHO’s seventeenth (17th) annual agricultural conference held in North Fort Myers, Florida from December 7 – 9, 2010.
Attended and presented a research paper on (low technology management of nematode pests as an integral part of food production for the poor developing nations) at the 66th annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA), at North Central College, Naperville, Illinois (July 29–August 1), 2011.
Attended and presented a discussion session paper on (practical and integrated management of plant - parasitic nematodes for rural small scale farmers in developing countries) at the 18th annual ECHO Agricultural conference held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fort Myers Florida from 6h to 8th December 2011.
Attended and presented a Nematology research poster at the Society of Nematologists 51st Annual Meeting held in Savannah, Georgia from 12th to 15th August 2012. The research poster was jointly authored by Meaghan Bennett (undergraduate Biology major student in 2010) and entitled (The effect of varying infestation levels of Meloidogyne javanica and Meloidogyne incognita on tomato under greenhouse conditions).
Dr. Maria E. Fichera
I was always fascinated by the way in which God intricately designed all living creatures from head to toe (and beyond). As an undergraduate biology major, I became interested in research and spent a summer at SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine investigating agents that affect insulin secretion under a fellowship from the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. At the University of Pennsylvania where I received my Ph.D., I studied the molecular mechanisms of drug action against the intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii.
My current research explores herbicide action and resistance in Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite, which can infect all vertebrate animal hosts including humans, is a close relative of the parasite that causes malaria. Toxoplasma infection is quite common and goes unnoticed in a large portion of the adult population where a healthy immune system keeps the parasite at bay. However, this parasite can cause disastrous consequences for those with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients or the unborn. Infection is controlled through extensive drug treatment protocols, which often yield allergic side effects for the patient. Therefore, alternative treatments to kill Toxoplasma without harming the host are currently being investigated.
In an effort to search for novel chemotherapeutic agents, my research examines herbicide resistance in Toxoplasma gondii. Dinitroaniline herbicides, commercially utilized weed-killers since the 1960’s, have been shown to kill Toxoplasma and other related parasites while exhibiting very low toxicity in mammalian cells. These agents are thought to affect tubulin proteins – cellular building blocks that are necessary to construct microtubules. Microtubules play a role in essential cell activities such as cell division, movement, and intracellular transport. Studies on herbicide action in plants and green algae identified specific mutations in tubulin DNA that correlated with dinitroaniline resistance. To assess the nature of herbicide resistance in Toxoplasma, dinitroaniline-resistant mutants were generated in the laboratory through chemical mutagenesis, and the tubulin genes from mutant parasites were isolated and sequenced.
Parasites resistant to the dinitroaniline herbicide benfluralin exhibited a point mutation in nucleotide position 1801 of α-tubulin (guanine to adenine substitution) which, when translated, revealed a substitution of valine with methionine at amino acid 252. Likewise, parasites resistant to the dinitroaniline herbicide trifluralin exhibited a point mutation in nucleotide position 1850 of α-tubulin resulting in a thymine to cytosine substitution. Translation of this mutated sequence revealed a substitution of methionine with threonine at amino acid 268. These mutations are similar to known mutations that confer resistance to oryzalin (another dinitroaniline) in Toxoplasma or goosegrass.
Electron crystallography data of bovine tubulin dimers was employed to display the mutations on the tubulin protein structure. The amino acid substitutions for the benfluralin and trifluralin mutants are in close proximity of each other in the core of α-tubulin.
To confirm that the identified mutations in the tubulin DNA are responsible for the parasites’ resistance to dinitroaniline herbicides, the mutant tubulin DNA gene will be placed into wild type, non-resistant parasites through transformation, and their conversion into dinitroaniline-resistant parasites will be studied. This aspect of the project is already in progress.
Provost Fellowship from Eastern University ($3,000), May 2007
Academic Research Enhancement Award from NIH, 1 R15 AI49962-01 “Dinitroaniline herbicide resistance in Toxoplasma gondii” $107,500 (7/15/01-6/30/04)
Presentations and Other Activities
Ackley, L., Brown, E.*, Oberholtzer, A.*, Yetter, C* and M.E. Fichera. Action of dinitroaniline herbicides in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. 21st Annual Saint Joseph’s University Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, 23 April, 2010. Abstract and poster presentation.
Dr. Fichera also wrote a first draft of a manuscript of the same title and will continue work on that this year.
“Witnessing God’s creation under the microscope – science as a gift and call to stewardship” – delivered on Jan. 17, 2009 to leaders of First Presbyterian Church of Pottstown on their annual retreat. Invited to speak by Pastor Carter Lester.
Caldwell, K., Davis, C., Heino, A.E., Judkins, M., Story, E. and M.E. Fichera. Action of dinitroaniline herbicides in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. 19th Annual Saint Joseph’s University Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, 18 April 2008. Abstract and poster presentation.
Fichera, M.E. Action of dinitroaniline herbicides in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Annual meeting of the International Society of Protistologists - Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island, 4-9 August 2007. Abstract and oral presentation.
Mensch C, Fichera M, and Lawton JA. “Heterologous Expression and Functional Characterization of Secretion and Nuclear Localization Signals in OrfM, a Potential Virulence-Associated Protein from the Plant Pathogen Erwinia amylovora.” 18th Annual Saint Joseph’s University Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, 20 April 2007. Poster presentation.
Fichera, M.E., Ayana, M., and Heino, A.E. 2005. Action of dinitroaniline herbicides in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Abstract published in Abstract and Index Issue of the Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, vol. 78, March 2005. Oral presentation.
Fichera, M.E., Oh, J., Lilley, P., Brown, E. and Roos, D.S. 2003. Dinitroaniline herbicide resistance in Toxoplasma gondii. Abstract published in Abstract Issue: Seventh International Congress on Toxoplasmosis. Oral presentation.
Fichera, M.E. and D. S. Roos. 1997. The apicoplast: a novel drug target in protozoan parasites. Nature 390: 407-409.
Tilley, M., M. E. Fichera, M. E. Jerome, D. S. Roos, and M. W. White. 1997. Toxoplasma gondii sporozoites form a transient parasitophorous vacuole that is impermeable and contains only a subset of dense-granule proteins. Infection and Immunity 65: 4598-4605.
Fichera, M. E., M. K. Bhopale, and D. S. Roos. 1995. In vitro assays elucidate peculiar kinetics of clindamycin action against Toxoplasma gondii. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 39(7): 1530-1537.
Dr. Rebecca Hays
I have always loved nature and wanted to understand how the world around us works, how the plants, animals, water, and soil interact to create such a beautiful world. I majored in Ecology and Marine Biology at Millersville University, where I focused my studies on nutrient chemistry, wetlands, and estuaries. I took field courses at the Marine Science Consortium at Wallops Island, VA and enjoyed learning more about the field aspect of ecological research. I earned my Master’s in Marine Science at the University of Delaware, where my research focused on nutrient and water cycling through the beachface at Cape Henlopen, DE. I stayed at the University of Delaware for my Ph.D. work in Oceanography and returned to research that was more biological in nature – salt marshes! I used aerial photography, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), and GIS to examine the relationship between vegetation and ground elevation in a salt marsh. I also developed a model for determining the role of salt marshes in altering the nutrient loads that flow through them. As a postdoc, I explored paleoceanography using diatoms and bulk sediments from the Southern Ocean.
I am very excited to be a professor at Eastern University and look forward to teaching biology courses, especially environmental courses. My research will continue to focus on nutrient chemistry in wetland and aquatic systems, using remote sensing and GIS to examine vegetation patterns, and examining the relationships between organisms and their hydrological and geochemical environments. I am also interested in studying the impacts of humans on their environment, perhaps through eutrophication studies or examining vegetation change overtime due to human expansion. If you are interested in field research opportunities, please let me know.
I am also excited to be at Eastern University as it will be my first time being part of a Christian academic community. The ability to combine my faith with my passion for science is wonderful, as it will allow me to further understand God. To me, scientific study and research is another way to get to know God, to understand how He thinks, and to worship.
Dr. Meg Laakso
Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the world of living things, their physical characteristics, and how they can be manipulated by changing the physical environment around them. My earliest scientific tour de force was the discovery that garden lettuce and tomatoes do not grow well in sandy soil beneath leafy Maple trees, but thrive in a sunny plot with plenty of composted horse manure. In high school, I became interested in microorganisms, and in college merged my two interests (plants and microorganisms) by studying Plant Pathology – microorganisms that infect plants!
After college, I focused on viruses, microorganisms that infect almost every species on earth. Viruses are obligate parasites, and require a living cell in which to replicate. How these small microorganisms are able to reprogram a much larger organism (like a plant, or a human) to cause disease is a subject of intense research in labs around the world.
In my lab, we are interested in two very different groups of viruses: human retroviruses, specifically human immunodeficiency virus; and a group of plant viruses called begomoviruses. These viruses all cause disease in their respective hosts, and the central question we ask (and try to answer!) is: how do the viruses get into the host cells? Of course, with HIV we also want to answer the related question, what can stop the virus from entering the host cell?
Cyclic peptides to block HIV entry
A great deal is known about how human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) enters a host cell to begin the infection process. HIV entry is a multi-step process that requires both a viral protein and at least 2 cellular proteins on the host cell. This information is essential, because it helps researchers understand what types of drugs could be effective in blocking virus entry. Many of these new drugs have yet to be made and tested, however, and there are many creative ideas that are still in development.
As part of an ongoing project with Dr. Jon Rudick, a protein chemist at Stony Brook University, we are designing and testing novel cyclic peptides to block HIV entry. A panel of cyclic peptides has been synthesized and the first round of testing is completed. We are now using biochemical assays to determine why some cyclic peptides modestly block HIV entry, while others have no effect.
Begomoviruses and their whitefly vectors
Plant viruses that infect food and fiber crops are primarily an economic problem in developed countries, but may have a broad impact on community welfare in developing countries. This is the case with begomoviruses, which infect tomatoes, squash, peppers, cotton, and many other important crops. The viruses are spread from plant to plant by Bemisia whiteflies, which feed on infected plants, taking up the viruses in plant sap and transmitting them to uninfected plants. Bemisia whiteflies are endogenous to tropical and semi-tropical climates, but have now spread to six continents. We are interested in identifying proteins in the whitefly that allow virus acquisition and transmission, and are in the beginning stages of cloning viruses with GFP-tagged proteins in order to follow them as they transit through the insect. Future experiments will require isolation of specific whitefly cell types and gene knockdown experiments.
Both projects share significant similarities in that they require creative experimental design, knowledge of viral life cycles, and lots of molecular biology.
Publications and Abstracts:
Agrawal, C.A., Lee, F.H., Haggarty, B., Lee, B., Hoxie, J.A., Doms, R.W., and Laakso, M.M. 2009. Adaptive mutations in a human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope protein with a truncated V3 loop restore function by improving interactions with CD4. J. Virol. 83:11005-15.
Laakso, M.M., Lee, F.H, Haggarty, B. et al. 2007. V3 loop truncations in HIV-1 envelope impart resistance to coreceptor inhibitors and enhanced sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies. PLoS Pathog. 24;3(8):e117.
Laakso, M.M. and Doms, R.W. 2006. The molecular basis of HIV entry and its inhibition. Journal of Viral Entry 2:4-12. (invited review, non-refereed)
Laakso, M.M. and Sutton, R.E. 2006. Replicative fidelity of lentiviral vectors produced by transient transfection. Virology 348:406-417.
Heaton, L.A., and Laakso, M.M. 1995. Several symptom-modulating mutations in the coat protein of turnip crinkle carmovirus result in particles with aberrant conformational properties. Journal of General Virology 76:225-230.
Laakso, M.M., and Heaton, L.A. 1993. Asp~Asn substitutions in the putative calcium-binding site of the turnip crinkle virus coat protein affect virus movement in plants. Virology 197:774-777.
Laakso, M.M., and Heaton, L.A. 1992. Turnip crinkle virus coat protein is translated in vitro from swollen virions. (Abstr.) Phytopathology 82:1177.
Laakso, M., and Moyer, J.W. 1989. A virus disease complex of sweetpotato from Puerto Rico. (Abstr.) Phytopathology 79:1189.
Dr. Wayne Lutz
I received my B.A. degree from Muhlenberg College, and later graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic (Davenport, Iowa), magna cum laude, in 1979, where I received my Doctor of Chiropractic degree. After receiving Diplomate status from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, passing exams of the Michigan and Pennsylvania Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners and receiving licenses to practice within these states – I associated in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey in 1984, and had a private practice in Ocean City, N.J., until retiring in summer 2006.
My continuing education has been ongoing since graduation, and has included over 800 hours of coursework encompassing Physical Therapy, Orthopedics, Sports Injury, Biomechanics, Nutrition, Pain Control, Diagnostics, and Radiology.
During my years in Ocean City, my practice was a family- oriented, treating patients of all ages. In addition to treating the subjective complaints of my patients, I was fortunate to be able to integrate my Christian faith into my professional private practice by making my practice a place where one could receive more than just the NJ state mandated/recognized standards for chiropractic care and treatment. I also used it as a place to “plant seeds” and witness.
Dr. Wendy Mercier
From the time I was young, I wanted to be a nurse. This I accomplished when I received my BSN from Penn State, and worked in critical care for 15 years. By then, my other passion, physical fitness, became a new professional pursuit for me. I became increasingly interested in the role of exercise in the health of the human body.
Exercise is not merely a recreational pursuit, but a first-line therapeutic treatment for many of the diseases, such as those I encountered as a nurse. Furthermore, if implemented with regularity, exercise can help prevent the diseases that kill the majority of people in developed countries.
This led me to graduate school at Temple University where I received my Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology. My passion became studying the human body; in disease, in health, and in response to physical activity.
I am interested in all aspects of exercise and health. My research at Temple involved regulation of body temperature in men and women during exercise in hot and humid conditions. I also studied thermoregulation of exercising women at different points in their menstrual cycle. I assisted others on studies that looked at nutrient use of obese women during exercise, and insulin sensitivity in exercising rats. I have become convinced that the human body was exquisitely designed and intended by our Creator to do and adapt to physical work. Furthermore, the lack of physical activity leads to less than optimal physical and mental health. I am delighted to teach anatomy, physiology, and health-related courses here at Eastern University. I especially enjoy teaching students about the miracle that is the human body, and how to best care for the temple of the Holy Spirit.
John Munro - Bio
I have worked in ecological consulting since 1973, with extensive experience in applied ecology (Environmental Impact Statements, mitigation plans, regulatory consulting, etc.). In recent years, my professional design and consulting work has focused on the restoration of degraded or destroyed natural ecological systems, especially wetland habitats. I have taught 16 courses, mostly for professionals, and developed and teach the Environmental Regulation & Policy course (Bio. 420) at Eastern University every spring of odd-numbered years.
Dr. Dave Unander
I began my scientific career as a plant breeder, studying both genetics and agronomy/agricultural ecology. After several years at the University of Puerto Rico, researching disease resistance and harvest quality in vegetables and dry beans, I worked at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, studying tropical plants with potential antiviral effects as part of a five year grant. I came to Eastern in 1992, where I teach Ecology and related courses. Two of my most popular electives are 'Medical Botany', and 'Tropical Biology'. Since 2003, I have taught 'Tropical Agriculture and Missions' through the Au Sable Institute and ECHO, based in south Florida.
Much of my focus outside teaching is currently in service related to sustainable agriculture. I serve as a trustee on the boards of Christian missions that focus on sustainable community development. For these organizations, as well as with mission teams from Eastern, I often travel to Latin American countries. ECHO (www.echonet.org) is a Christian service mission providing training and agricultural extension in poorer countries globally, Floresta (www.floresta.org) promotes reforestation, especially in the Caribbean basin and Hope Seeds (www.hopeseeds.org) aids many relief and development programs of other organizations with appropriate, high quality seeds.
I also teach a course (BIO 180- Science in Society), built around a case study of genetics and the concept of "race". Partly out of my own personal experience growing up in Chicago and later living and traveling in Latin America, partly out of my training in genetics, and always rooted in the Bible, addressing the damage done by the concept of race is a priority for me. Shattering the myth of race: genetic realities and Biblical truths developed out of this class, and is available from Judson Press (www.judsonpress.com).
Unander, Dave. 2000. Shattering the myth of race: genetic realities and Biblical truths, Judson Press, King of Prussia, PA.
Presentations and Other Activities
Dr. David Unander also attended the ECHO conference and presented a seminar called “Introduction to tropical ecosystems.” While at ECHO, Dr. Unander also served as a Spanish translator, and represented the AuSable Institute. Given his expertise in the field, he also developed and offered a new course in our department called “Plant Taxonomy” which was well received.
Numerous scientific seminars on themes related to sustainable agriculture, at ECHO Agricultural Conferences, and other technical venues inside and outside the U.S., in English or Spanish.
Seminar on book, Shattering the Myth of Race, Universidad Nacional Evangélica de la República Dominicana, Dominican Republic, 2005 (in Spanish); at the International Meeting of Christians for Biblical Equality, in 2005 and in 2003; at Westmont College in 2002; at Eastern Mennonite University and at North Park University in 2003, and at a number of churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Dominican Republic.
“Science Aiding Agriculture: What Approach Works?” International Meeting of ASA and Christians in Science, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2007.
I have a series of publications from the 1980s and 1990s related to anti-viral activity in Phyllanthus, and various plant breeding-related research in vegetables and legumes. For more details, contact, me.
Dr. David L. Wilcox
My education is in medicine and population biology, and my specific scientific research interests center on theoretical models of fitness, the nature of genomic blueprint hierarchies, selective models for punctuated change, and human origins. I have written and published a number of integrative studies in the faith / science area, including a book length manuscript Supernatural Selection in review for publication. My presuppositions for science (and life) begin with the conviction that we live in an open and providentially governed universe which the Lord Jesus Christ creates, maintains (holds together), and governs by the Word of His power. That activity, I maintain, we usually call natural law, and science is possible because He is faithful in that governance. I also assume the (limited) rationality of the human mind (made in God's image) which can therefore hope to understand God's universe.
Further, I consider scientific investigation to be a particular sort of response to the Creation Mandate given to humanity. Thus, the business of a particular science (like biology) is to investigate a specific aspect of that "word" as it manifests itself in the world around us.
Wilcox, D. L. 2005 God and Evolution: A Faith-based Understanding. Judson Press, King of Prussia, PA.
Wilcox, D. L. 2003. Finding Adam: The Genetics of Human Origins? in Perspectives on an Evolving Creation. Ed. Keith Miller, W. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, pp. 234-253.
Wilcox, D. L. 2004. Establishing Adam: Recent Evidences for a Late-Date Adam (AMH at 100,000 BP), Perspectives in Faith and Science - V.56 No.1: 49-54.
Wilcox, D. L. 2006. The Original Adam and the Reality of Sin, Perspectives in Faith and Science Spring.
Presentations and Other Activites
Dr. David Wilcox presented a seminar to the Eastern community entitled “He Said, She Said: An Origin Tale.” He is currently writing a manuscript with the same title and also a book on human origins called 15 Theses on Theology’s Door: The Matter of Adam - A Confluence of Evidence from Genes, Bones and Tools.
“Fine-Tuning the Universe,” National Conference of ASA, Golden, Colorado, July 2003.
“Explaining Theistic Evolution,” Regional meeting of ASA, Eastern University. Nov 2003.
“Explaining Theistic Evolution,” Perspectives, Eastern University SGA, Mar 2004.
“Looking over God’s Shoulder: The Nature and Meaning of Design,” National Conference of ASA, Messiah College, PA, Aug. 2005.
“Human Origins: Biogenetic and Theological Issues,” Suter Science Seminar, Eastern Mennonite University, Nov. 11, 2005.
Paper on “Intelligent Design” to national meeting of High School student governments in August 2006.
Seminar on “Human Origins” given at Eastern’s Perspectives series, April 2007.
Workshop on “Presenting difficult ideas” at Eastern’s faculty workshop, May 2007.
Workshop on “Creating humans: A Confluence of Evidence – A New Model” at Eastern’s faculty workshop, May 2008.