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University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Department of Botany

David G. Williams, Department Head
114 Aven Nelson Building
Phone: (307) 766-2380, FAX: (307) 766-2851


GREGORY K. BROWN, B.S. Colorado State University 1973; M.S. Arizona State University 1978; Ph.D. 1980; Professor of Botany 1997, 1985.
INGRID C. BURKE, B.S. Middlebury College 1980; Ph.D. University of Wyoming 1987; Professor of Botany 2008; Director, Haub School for Environment and Natural Resources and Ruckelshaus Institute for Environment and Natural Resources.
BRENT E. EWERS, B.S. Colorado State University 1995; M.S. Duke University 1997; Ph.D. 1999; Professor of Botany 2014, 2002.
RONALD L. HARTMAN, B.S. Western Illinois University 1967; M.S. University of Wyoming 1971; Ph.D. University of Texas 1976; Professor of Botany 1988, 1977.
WILLIAM LAUENROTH, B.S. Humboldt State University 1968; M.S. North Dakota State University 1970; Ph.D. Colorado State University 1973; Professor of Botany 2008.
STEVEN L. MILLER, B.S. University of Wyoming 1979; M.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1982; Ph.D. 1985; Professor of Botany 2002, 1990.
CYNTHIA WEINIG, B.A. (Hons.) Brown University 1991; Ph.D. Indiana University; Professor of Botany and Molecular Biology 2013, 2007.
DAVID WILLIAMS, B.A. The University of Texas, Austin 1985; M.S. Texas A&M University 1988; Ph.D. Washington State University 1992; Professor of Botany 2009, 2003.

Associate Professors

ALEX BUERKLE, B.A. (Hons.) University of Missouri 1990; Ph.D. Indiana University 1997; Associate Professor of Botany 2010, 2004.
DANIEL B. TINKER, B.S. Ft. Lewis College 1993; M.S. University of Wyoming 1996; Ph.D. 1999; Associate Professor of Botany 2010, 2005.
NAOMI WARD, B.Sc. (Hons.) University of Queensland 1993; Ph.D. University of Warwick 1997; Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Botany 2013, 2007.

Assistant Professors

ELLEN D. CURRANO, B.Sc. (Hons.) University of Chicago 2003; Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University 2008; Assistant Professor of Botany 2014.
B.A. (Hons.) Whitman College 2004; Ph.D. Cornell University 2011; Assistant Professor of Botany 2015.

Senior Lecturers

KENNETH L. DRIESE, B.S. University of Virginia 1981; M.S. University of Wyoming 1992; Ph.D. 2004; Senior Lecturer in Botany 2011, 2002.
MARK E. LYFORD, B.A. St. Olaf College 1993; M.S. University of Wyoming 1995; Ph.D. 2001; Senior Lecturer of Botany 2014, 2005; Director of Life Sciences Program.

Assistant Lecturers

CHRISTOPHER NORTH, B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 2002; M.S. Eastern Illinois University 2005; Assistant Lecturer in Botany 2014.
B.S. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 2005; M.S. University of Wyoming 2007; Assistant Lecturer in Botany 2012, 2010.

Senior Research Scientist

RAMESH SIVANPILLAI, B.Sc. Bharathiar University 1987; M.Sc. Cochin University of Science and Technology 1990; M.Phil. Bharathiar University 1992; M.S. University of Wisconsin, Green Bay 1995; Ph.D. Texas A&M University 2002; Senior Research Scientist 2012.

Associate Research Scientist

BURRELL E. NELSON, B.A. Andrews University 1971; M.A. University of Wyoming 1974.

Professors Emeriti

Martha Christensen, Dennis H. Knight, Stephen T. Jackson, William A. Reiners


Botany is the study of plants and their rela- tionship to human affairs. The science is fundamental to food, fiber and pharmaceutical production; to the management of landscapes for beauty, recreation, forest products and for- age; and to the protection of landscapes against pollution and other abuses. The botanist is concerned with the diversity and classification of plants and fungi, their structure at both the macroscopic and microscopic levels, and their physiology, ecology and genetics and evolutionary relationships.

Courses in botany have been developed to meet the needs of the following groups of students: those who desire a general knowledge of the subject for its cultural value; those spe- cializing in areas which require a background in plant biology; and those selecting botany or biology as a major.

Undergraduate Degrees


The Biology major is designed for students interested in obtaining a broad education in biological sciences. It enables students to combine courses in biology, botany, zoology, physiology, and other biological sciences to meet the requirements of the major. On completion of the core requirements for the major, specific courses selected to complete the major may vary according to students’ interests and are worked out by consultations between student and adviser. The requirements for a bachelor’s degree are MATH 1400, 1405 (or 1450), 2200; STAT 2050 or 2070; CHEM 1000 or 1020, CHEM 2300; COSC 1010; MOLB 3610; PHYS 1110, 1120; LIFE 1010, 2022, 2023; MOLB/MICR 2021; LIFE 3050, 3400, 3500, 3600.

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Students majoring in botany may pursue a B.S. degree and are required to take the fol- lowing: BOT 3000, 4640, or 4680, 4700, 4730, and 3 additional credits in BOT (excluding BOT 4100 and 4550); LIFE 1010, 2022, 2023, 3400, 3410, 3050, 3600; MICR/MOLB 2021; or the equivalents of these courses. In addition, majors must take CHEM 1020, 1030, and 2300 or 2320; MATH 2200 or STAT 2050 or 2070; PHYS 1110 or 1310, and 1120 or 1320.

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The department offers an undergraduate environment and natural resources (ENR) concentration which provides botany students both academic and practical experience interacting with students from other ENR-related disciplines. See the School of Environment and Natural Resources section in this Catalog for more information.

Undergraduate Minor

A minor is offered by the Department of Botany. Further information may be obtained by contacting the department, or at

Teacher Education

Botany collaborates with the College of Education in offering the Natural Sciences Program, which provides training in science and mathematics for prospective K-12 teachers.

Graduate Study

The Department of Botany offers graduate programs leading to the master of science and the doctor of philosophy degrees in botany and the master of science degree in botany/water resources.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

The program requires a composite minimum score on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE of: 900 (M.S.) and 1000 (Ph.D.).

A minimum GPA of 3.0 on previous coursework is also required.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Regardless of field of specialization, all candidates will be held responsible for basic information in the following areas: genetics, physiology, morphology, and evolutionary and environmental botany. A knowledge of chemistry (including organic and elementary biochemistry), physics, calculus, and statistics may be required.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained. Any course in which a C (or below) or U is obtained cannot be counted toward the degree requirement.

Participation in seminars will be required of all candidates during their residence at the University of Wyoming.

Master's Program

Requirements for this degree are 26 semester hours of courses approved by the student's committee plus four hours of BOT 5960, Thesis Research.

Doctoral Program

In addition to the minimum requirements set forth in this Catalog, the Department of Botany may require that a student demonstrate skills in two peripheral areas. This decision is made for individual cases by the major professor and graduate committee. These could include foreign languages, statistics, or computer science. In some cases, additional skills may be required.

Botany (BOT) Courses

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