School Department News

Biological Sciences

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 3:33pm
Dr. Julie May, an associate professor of biological sciences at William Carey University and a food blogger, recently published a cookbook, Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom, through Indigo River Publishing.
The full-color cookbook, published in October, is 342 pages in length and contains 152 recipes. The recipes are family favorites that prove to be quick and easy to follow. The book offers unique, interactive features, with each recipe having its own QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone or tablet. The code redirects readers to Dr. May’s blog, also known as Menu Musings, where they can see complete step-by-step photos and video.
Dr. May’s recipes have been featured in the online edition of Glamour, Taste of Home’s Simple & Delicious and will appear in the December/January edition of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI. Her food blog has an international following with around eight million views and is known for its detailed recipes and step-by-step photographs. It is also known because of Dr. May’s penchant for getting the entire family involved in the cooking process, especially children.
Additionally, her recipes have appeared in the Blossman Gas Blue Notes Newsletter, which is distributed to 60,000 households in a 12-state area. Dr. May has also appeared in cooking commercials for Ingles Markets, a grocery store chain in the Southeast with over 200 locations covering six states.
Dr. May said she authored the cookbook because of the tremendous success of her blog, a demand from her readers and her desire to get families to cook together.
“I grew up with my mother reading cookbooks at night,” said Dr. May. “So, for me, a cookbook needed to be more than just a listing of ingredients and a method…there needed to be stories of how the recipes got there, where the food came from and little tidbits of information for people to savor and enjoy.”
Dr. May has been on the WCU faculty since 2005. She earned her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy at the Louisiana State University Medical Center in 1995 and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004 with a concentration in cellular and molecular neuroscience, focusing on the molecular aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, oxidative stress and aging. She worked for a year in postdoctoral research at Pennington Biomedical Research in Baton Rouge, La., focusing on human clinical research and studying physiological changes due to obesity before joining the WCU faculty.
She resides in Hattiesburg with her husband, Gregg. She has four children and two stepsons.
The book may be purchased via, via Dr. May’s blog at, or through 
Monday, April 7, 2014 - 10:41am

Hattiesburg, Miss., April 7, 2014 - Pictured are William Carey University’s (left to right) Dr. Tyler Hodges, assistant professor of biological sciences, and Dr. Michael McNatt, assistant professor of chemistry and physics, who will present lectures at WCU’s Common Ground coffee shop for the NASA DEVELOP program Science Café on April 15 at 6 p.m. Dr. Hodges will present a lecture titled, “Marine Bacteria as a Source of New Pharmaceuticals,” and Dr. McNatt will present a lecture titled, “Finding Glomalin, Sequestering Carbon in Healthy Agricultural Soils and the Environment.” The NASA DEVELOP program is an interdisciplinary research program where applied science research projects are conducted under the guidance of NASA and partner science advisors. Students and the public are invited to attend.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 4:58pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., February 13, 2014 - The Pascagoula River Audubon Center will hold a clinic at William Carey University on Saturday, February 15, In Green Science Hall Room 105 at 10 a.m. Dr. Thomas Rauch, Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, will host the group as a presentation is given about the Great Backyard Bird Count and other Audubon Society projects. Basic bird feeding concepts to help attract more birds to backyards will be presented also.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend. The public is also invited to the free presentation. For more information contact Dr. Thomas Rauch at 601-318-6119.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 4:12pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., October 15, 2013 - William Carey University’s Dr. Kelly Caffery, instructor of biology and psychology, will be holding an Enrichment Day at the Hattiesburg Zoo for her animal behavior class on October 19 at 11a.m. They will be making and presenting enrichment items to several different animals at the zoo including the jaguar, tiger, servals, lemurs, and other primates.

“One of the activities includes making a deer out of cardboard and stuffing it with meat to present to the tiger,” Dr. Caffery said. “Last time I did this activity with my animal behavior students the tiger was especially interesting to watch!”

The public is invited to attend and observe. Admission to the zoo is $5 for adults, $4 for military/seniors, $3 for children 2-12, and free for children under 2. They are open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

“I think this will be a fun activity for my students, beneficial to the animals, and interesting for the public as well,” Dr. Caffery said. “I think anyone with children will especially enjoy watching the animals interact with the enrichment we make for them.”

For more information about the Animal Behavior Enrichment day, contact Dr. Caffery at (601) 318-6780 or For more information about the Hattiesburg Zoo, call (601) 545-4576 or

Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 11:27am

Hattiesburg, Miss., October 3, 2013 - William Carey University hosted a Molecular Biology Training Workshop for area high school teachers on September 21 in Green Science Hall on the Hattiesburg campus. This free workshop, which used resources from the Princeton University Satellite Learning Center, was made possible through the generous support of the Princeton University Department of Molecular Biology and organized by Dr. Tyler Hodges, assistant professor of biological sciences at WCU.

Kathy McKone, biology teacher at Enterprise Attendance Center and a trainee for the Princeton Satellite Systems program, led the workshop. She was named the National Association of Biology Teachers' 2013 Outstanding Biology Teacher for Mississippi, and for the Princeton Satellite Systems program. She trains high school teachers around the state and goes to individual schools  to conduct experiments with students.

For this workshop, the experiments included, “Transform Bacteria – Way to Glow! Transforming Bacteria with a Jellyfish Fluorescent Gene,” “Crime Scene DNA – Using Restriction Enzymes to Catch a Criminal,” and “PCR – The Wolbachia Rodeo – Identifying Insects Infected with the Bacteria Wolbachia by Roping with Primers.” Upon completion of this workshop, participants earned the right to borrow Princeton Satellite Program equipment and to order one commercial kit per year free of charge to perform an experiment in their classroom.

This workshop was the second in a series that allowed educators to earn professional development hours. The first was held at Enterprise Attendance Center on September 14. Participants came from Gulfport High School in Gulfport, Loyd Star Attendance Center in Brookhaven, Madison Central High School in Madison, Ocean Springs High School in Ocean Springs, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Ridgeland. Some WCU biology students took part in the workshop as well.