• Title:
    Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Department:

Michelle Beck, Ph.D.



Dr. Michelle Beck’s teaching experience includes courses on the Principles of Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Introductory Biology, Ornithology, and Animal Behavior. Dr. Beck trained students and teachers to monitor reproductive behavior and nesting phenology of Eastern bluebirds and tree swallows to enable them to establish a long-term study population to examine the influence of global climate change on this population. She developed a Facebook page to further share information related to this project.

She was invited by the Moscow, Idaho, Chapter of the National Audubon Society to present “Plumage coloration as a signal of quality in female Prothonotary” and has also presented “Prothonotary warblers and life in the swamp” to the Jackson, Mississippi Chapter of the National Audubon Society. Dr. Beck is a member of the Tri-Beta Phi Honors Society and Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society.


  • Ph.D., Washington State University
  • M.S., Auburn University
  • B.S., Appalachian State University


  • Physiological and Behavioral Ecology
  • Avian Physiology and Behavior

Courses Taught

  • BIO104 General Biology II
  • BIO105 Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIO106 Anatomy & Physiology II
  • BIO112 Stewards of the Living
  • BIO301 Animal Physiology
  • BIO305 Animal Behavior

Recent Publications and Proceedings

  1. Beck, M. L., Thompson, M. & Hopkins, W. A. 2017. Repeatability and sources of variation in the bacteria-killing assay in the common snapping turtle. Journal of Experimental Zoology. Special Issue Ecoimmunology: An integrative approach.
  2. Campbell, S. A., Beck, M. L., Sewall, K. B. 2017. Hatching asynchrony impacts cognition in male zebra finches. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A DOI: 10.1002/jez.2074.
  3. Beck, M. L., Davies, S., Moore, I. T., Schoenle, L. A., Kerman, K., Vernasco, B. J., Sewall, K. B. 2016. Beeswax corticosterone implants produce long-term elevation of plasma corticosterone and influence condition. General and Comparative Endocrinology 223:109-114.
  4. Gaschnig, R. Rudnick, R. L., McDonough, W., Kaufman, A. J., Valley, J., Hu, Z., Gao, S., Beck, M. L. 2016. Compositional evolution of the upper continental crust through time, as constrained by ancient glacial diamictites. Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta 186:316-343.
  5. Hopkins, W. A., Fallon, J. Beck, M. L., Coe, B. H., Jachowski, C.M B., Andrew, D. 2016. Hematological and immunological characteristics of eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) infected and co-infected with endo- and ecto-parasites. Conservation Physiology 4: doi:10.1093/conphys/cow002.
  6. Beck, M. L., Hopkins, W. A., & Hawley, D. M. 2015. Plumage coloration, blood selenium concentrations, and immune responses of adult and nestling tree swallows. Journal of Experimental Biology. 218:3415-3424.
  7. Beck, M. L., Hopkins, W. A., Jackson, B. P. & Hawley, D. M. 2015. The effects of element exposure and weather conditions on reproductive success and offspring development in tree swallows following remediation of a fly ash spill. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187, DOI 10.1007/s10661-015-4333-9.
  8. Hopkins, B. C., Beck, M. L., Chin, S. Y., Jachowski, C. M. B. & Hopkins, W. A. 2015. Local variation in weather conditions influences incubation behavior and temperature in a passerine bird. Journal of Avian Biology. DOI:10.1111/jav.00581.
  9. Beck, M. L., Hopkins, W. A. & Jackson, B. P. 2014. Variation in riparian consumer diet composition and differential bioaccumulation by prey influence the risk of exposure to elements from a recently remediated fly ash spill. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 33:2595-2608.
  10. Beck, M. L., Hopkins, W. A., Hallagan, J. J., Jackson, B. P. & Hawley, D. M. 2014. Exposure to residual concentrations of elements from a remediated coal fly ash spill does not adversely influence stress and immune responses of nestling tree swallows. Conservation Physiology 2 (1): cou018, doi: 10.1093/conphys/cou018.