M. Christopher Barnhart
I'm interested in the ecology and physiology of animals,
particularly freshwater invertebrates. Some areas of current research are
The larvae of unionoid mussels are briefly
parasitic on fish, and much of our research is directed at understanding the fish host
relationships of endangered mussels as well as the environmental requirements of the
juveniles. Mussels have amazing strategies for attracting host fish- have a look at the
Scaleshell, Leptodea leptodon
AMPHIBIAN EGGS: Frogs and salamanders reproduce in small ponds where oxygen levels fluctuate dramatically. In some species development is slowed and hatching is delayed by low oxygen, while in others hatching is accelerated, and the embryos emerge from the eggs at a very early stage of development.
An especially remarkable adaptation is the symbiosis between the eggs of spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and a green alga which lives within the egg and elevates the oxygen concentration through photosynthesis.
Egg mass of Ambystoma maculatum
A Publication list is available.
Biology 121, General Biology I
Biology 121 is the first half of a two-semester biology sequence. It is the first course in the required "core curriculum" for biology majors and is intended for students who plan to take further coursework in the life sciences, including biology majors and minors, wildlife majors, premedical students and others. Biology 121 introduces molecular and cellular biology, genetics, and evolution. The second course in the sequence (Biology 122) covers biological diversity, physiology and ecology. Students desiring a one-semester introductory Biology course for general education purposes should consider Biology 102, Survey of Biology.
Biology 370: Invertebrate Zoology
The main theme of Bio 370 is animal biodiversity. We consider the anatomy, physiology, behavior, and life history of most of the animal and protist phyla and review the principles of evolutionary biology, phylogeny, and the history of life on earth. Comparative biology is another important theme- we compare the various groups for rules of similarity and general principles in biology. Who should take this course? People who are truly interested in organisms and who have a strong background in Biology, including genetics, cell biology, and ecology. If you plan to go into teaching, Biology 370 is a useful course. If you are thinking about graduate school and want more breadth to help you find your interests- this is a good course. Bio 370 is also relevant to those interested in medicine, because invertebrate parasites of man and domestic animals have tremendous medical, economic & social significance.
Biology 628: The Fire of Life: Respiration Physiology
Fire of Life is a graduate level course in the physiology of respiration and gas exchange. We explore why and how organisms exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with their environment, and how these processes shape the anatomy, behavior, and ecology of organisms. The first 2/3 of the course consists of lectures and demonstrations. The rest of the course meetings are devoted to student-led discussions of selected topics from the primary literature.
About the Biology Department at Missouri State
The Biology Department at Missouri State consists of 20 faculty, about 50 graduate students, and 450 undergraduate majors. Several of the faculty, including myself, are particularly interested in aquatic biology. Our physical location in the Ozarks provides access to a variety of habitats, including many excellent streams, rivers, and lakes. We are currently developing a field station for teaching and research at Bull Shoals Lake. Inquiries from prospective students (BS, MS) are welcome!
Last update: 09/06/05.