M. Christopher Barnhart
Department of Biology
Link to Barnhart's curriculum vita (pdf file)
Link to Publications at Research Gate
interested in the ecology and physiology of animals,
particularly freshwater invertebrates. Some areas of
current research are outlined below.
Mussels are important indicators of water quality. The allowable levels of toxic pollutants are based upon the most sensitive organisms. Recent research shows that mussels are extremely sensitive to some pollutants, such as ammonia, copper, and some pesticides. This information will eventually lead to more stringent regulations and cleaner, safer water.
The larvae of mussels are briefly parasitic on fish, and research is directed at understanding the fish host relationships of endangered species as well as the environmental requirements of the juveniles. Mussels have amazing strategies for attracting host fish- have a look at the Unio Gallery. Here is a video that describes some of our work.
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
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 539/639 Biogeography
Biogeography is the science of the spatial patterns of biodiversity. Simply stated, it attempts to describe and explain which organisms live where, and why. Biogeography is both one of the oldest areas of science and one of the youngest. This is a 2-hour lecture course intended for both graduate and upper-division undergraduate students.
Biology 574/674 Aquatic Entomology
Aquatic insects are fascinating, diverse and ecologically indispensible members of aquatic ecosystems. Knowledge of freshwater insects is one of the most valuable skills for aquatic ecologists, because the aquatic insect community is a widely used measure of the biological integrity or condition of freshwater habitats. What we’ll do: ·Lecture (basic biology of aquatic insects, use in biotic inventories) ·Class presentations on the Orders and Families ·Field collecting trips ·Preparation of student collections ·Learn to identify aquatic insects
Roston Butterfly House
The Roston Native Butterfly House (RBH) is located in the
Springfield Botanical Center in Close Memorial Park.
RBH is an educational
resource, free of charge to visitors, and operated by
As curator, .
About the Biology Department at Missouri State
The Biology Department at Missouri State consists of 20 faculty, about 50 graduate students, and 600 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. Our field station at Bull Shoals Lake on the White River provides unique opportunities for teaching and research. Inquiries from prospective students (BS, Masters) are welcome!
Last update: 10/17/14.