David Duvernell named chair of biological sciences at Missouri S&T

Dr. David Duvernell

Dr. David Duvernell

Dr. David Duvernell, chair and professor of biological sciences at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has been named chair of biological sciences at Missouri University of Science and Technology. His appointment begins Aug. 1.

Duvernell takes over from Dr. David J. Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences, who has served as interim chair since Sept. 1, 2016. Prior to Westenberg’s appointment, Dr. Yue-wern Huang, professor of biological sciences, served as interim chair following the July 2015 retirement of former chair Dr. Robert Aronstam.

Duvernell is a population geneticist with interests in genetics and speciation, as well as genome evolution. He has several active collaborations involving killifish genetics, and has also studied retrotransposable element evolution in vertebrate genomes, as well as population genetics in fruit flies.

“Dr. Duvernell’s expertise in genetics is an excellent fit with our current faculty expertise, and his experience in leading a growing academic department will help Missouri S&T’s biological science program continue to progress,” says Dr. Stephen Roberts, vice provost and dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business at Missouri S&T. “I look forward to working with him.”

Duvernell joined the SIUE faculty as assistant professor of biological sciences in 2000. He was promoted to associate professor in 2006 and to full professor in 2012. He has served as department chair since 2013. He teaches courses in genetics, evolutionary biology, population genetics, molecular evolution and evolutionary medicine.

During his tenure at SIUE, Duvernell brought in nearly $1 million in sponsored research. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed publications and more than 100 presentations and published abstracts.

Duvernell is a member of the Illinois State Academy of Sciences Board and chaired the group’s Zoology Division. He has reviewed manuscripts for numerous professional academic journals and has served as an NSF panelist and reviewer and a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the Austrian Science Fund, among others.

“I am both pleased and honored to have been selected as chair of biological sciences at Missouri S&T,” Duvernell says. “I am excited to face new challenges, and I thank Dean Roberts for the opportunity.”