James Langeland

Upjohn Professor of Life Sciences,
Professor of Biology

PhD University of Wisconsin; BA Kalamazoo College

Tel: 269-337-7010; Office: Dow 310
Email: jlange@kzoo.edu


  • 2009-present   Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College, MI
  • 2003-2009   Associate Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College, MI
  • 1997-2003   Assistant Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College, MI

Research Interests
My research lies at the interface of molecular genetics, developmental biology, and evolution. In broad terms, I am interested in genetic and developmental events that underlie the evolution of animal form. I use organisms that occupy key phylogenetic positions in the chordate lineage: amphioxus, a cephalochordate that is the closest living relative to vertebrates; lampreys, the simplest living vertebrates; and sharks, the simplest vertebrates that have jaws and limbs. By cloning and characterizing developmentally important genes from these organisms, my lab is able to correlate gene duplications and the acquisition of novel gene expression domains with morphological innovations that occurred during early vertebrate evolution.

BIOL 112 Evolution and Genetics with Lab
BIOL 436 Advanced Genetics with Lab
BIOL 432 Developmental Biology with Lab
BIOL 466 Advanced Molecular Biology with Lab

Grants and Awards
WM Keck Foundation. $380,000 for the integration of teaching and research.
National Science Foundation Grant #0110540; $320,000; 7/01-6/05
National Institutes of Health Grant # 1R15GM57803-01; $100,000; 7/98-6/01

Selected Publications (* denotes undergraduate coauthor)

Campo-Paysaa, F., Jandzik, D., Takio-Ogawa, Y., Cattell, M.V., *Neef, H.C., Langeland, J.A., Kuratani, S., Medeiros, D.M., Mazan, S., Kuraku, S., Laudet, V., and Schubert, M. (2015).  Evolution of retinoic acid receptors in chordates: insights from three lamprey species, Lampetra fluviatilis, Petromyzon marinus and Lethenteron japonicumEvoDevo 6:18.

Moore, D.B., *Gillentine, M.A., *Botezatu, N.M., *Wilson, K.A., *Benson A.E. and Langeland J.A. 2014. Asynchronous evolutionary origins of Aβ and BACE1.  Molecular Biology and Evolution. 31(3): 696-702.  doi:10.1093/molbev/mst262

Smith, J.J, (several others), Langeland, J.A., (several others), Li, Weiming.  2013. The lamprey genome: illuminating vertebrate origins.  Nature Genetics.  45: 415–421.

Tank, E.M.*, Dekker, R.G.*, Beauchamp, K.*, Wilson, K.A.*, Boehmke, A.E*., and Langeland, J.A. 2009. Patterns and consequences of vertebrate Emx gene duplications.  Evolution and Development11(4): 343-353.

Furge, L.L., Stevens-Truss, R., Moore, D.B. Langeland, J.A. (2009) Vertical and horizonal integration of bioinformatics education: a modular, interdisciplinary approach.  Biochem. Mol. Biol. Ed. 1: 26-26

Rahimi R.A.*, Allmond J.*, Wagner H*., McCauley D.W. and Langeland J.A. 2008. Lamprey snail highlights conserved and novel patterning roles in vertebrate embryos.  Development Genes and Evolution219(1): 31-36.

Langeland J.A., Holland L.Z., Chastain R.A. and Holland N.D. 2006. An amphioxus LIM-homeobox gene, AmphiLim1/5, expressed early in the invaginating organizer region and later in differentiating cells of the kidney and central nervous system. Int J Biol Sci 2: 40-46.

Neidert, A.H*., Virupannavar, V.*, Hooker, G.W.* and Langeland, J.A. 2001. Lamprey Dlx genes and Early Vertebrate Evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98: 1665-1670.

Neidert, A.H.* Panopoulou, G., and Langeland, J.A. 2000. Amphioxus goosecoid and the Evolution of the Head Organizer and Prechordal Plate. Evolution and Development 2(6): 303-310.

Jackman, W. R., Jr.,Langeland, J.A. and Kimmel, C.B. 2000. islet reveals segmentation in the amphioxus hindbrain homolog. Developmental Biology 220: 16-26.

Tomsa, J.M.* and Langeland, J.A. 1999. Otx expression during lamprey embryogenesis provides insights into the evolution of the vertebrate head and jaw. Developmental Biology. 207:26-37.

Amores, A., Force, A., Yan, Y-L. Joly, L., Amemiya, C., Fritz, A., Ho, R.K., Langeland, J.A., Prince, V., Wang, Y-L, Westerfield, M., Ekker, M. and Postlethwait, J.H. 1998. Zebrafish hox Clusters and Vertebrate Genome Evolution. Science. 282:1711-1714.

Langeland, J.A. Tomsa, J.M., William R. Jackman, W. R., Jr. and Kimmel, C.B. 1998. An amphioxus snail gene: Expression in paraxial mesoderm and neural plate suggests a conserved role in patterning the chordate embryo. Development, Genes, and Evolution. 208: 569-577.

Langeland, J.A. 1998. Imaging immunolabelled Drosophila embryos by confocal microscopy. In: Methods in Molecular Biology, Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.

Langeland, J. A. and Kimmel, C. B. 1997. Fishes. In: Embryology: Constructing the Embryo. Sinauer Associates.

Carroll, S.B., Weatherbee, S. and Langeland, J.A. 1995. Homeotic genes and the regulation and evolution of insect wing number. Nature. 375: 58-61.

E. Binney Girdler

Professor of Biology; Co-Director of Environmental Studies Program

PhD Princeton University; MES Yale University; BA University of Virginia

Tel: 269-337-5977; Office: Dow 307
Email: girdler@kzoo.edu


  • 2017-present   Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College, MI
  • 2008-2017   Associate Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College, MI
  • 2007   Robert F. and Harriet G. Varney Assistant Professor of Biology (3 year endowed professorship)
  • 2001-2008   Assistant Professor of Biology, Kalamazoo College, MI
  • 1999-2001   NSF Post-doctoral Teaching Fellow and Visiting Scholar, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT

Research Interests
My research involves studying the structure and dynamics of terrestrial plant communities. Specifically I ask questions about the origin an maintenance of diversity in shoreline communities, grasslands, and forests. I also have an interest in applied conservation biology, and develop relationships with area natural resource agencies and non-profit conservation groups in order to match my expertise (and access to motivated students) with their research needs. I encourage students to contact me if they are interested in ecological research, during the academic year or during the summer.

Current Courses
BIOL 115 Environmental Science
BIOL 224 Ecology & Conservation with Lab
BIOL 232 Plant Biology with Lab
BIOL 312 Population and Community Ecology with Lab
ENVS 490 Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (for concentrators)

Grants and Awards
National Science Foundation RUI Award (2009, $135,000) in support of a project to study the interaction of scale, habitat, and dispersal limitation in Great Lakes shoreline plant communities.

Kalamazoo Community Foundation Environment Now (2007, $14,500), shared with Joan Esson, Chemistry Department, to support research on effects of a subdivision development on a local wetland ecosystem

Hanes Foundation (2004, $2500) in support of prairie restoration research in cooperation with the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy

National Science Foundation (2002, $43,000) in support of a project entitled: “Incorporating real-world experience in diverse science curricula through community building partnerships”

Selected Publications
(* denotes undergraduate coauthor)

Girdler, E. B. and B. T. Connor Barrie*. 2008. The scale-dependent importance of habitat factors and dispersal limitation in structuring of a Great Lakes shoreline plant community. Plant Ecology. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-008-9396-z

Siccama, T. G., T. J. Fahey, C. E. Johnson, T. W. Sherry, E. G. Denny, E. B. Girdler, G. E. Likens, and P. A. Schwarz. 2007.  Population and Biomass Dynamics of Trees in a Northern Hardwood Forest at Hubbard Brook.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37:737-749. (pdf)

Girdler, E. B. and T. Radtke*. 2006 Individual scale spatial pattern reveals density dependence and nonrandom herbivory in the threatened dune thistle, Cirsium pitcheri. American Midland Naturalist 156:213-228. (pdf)

Girdler, E. B., S.C. Trombulak, and A. Ruesink. 2002. Guidelines for partnerships in applied ecology and education. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 83 (2): 123-124. (pdf)

Other interests
Most of my spare time is spent with my two kids. I store their cute pictures for online consumption at my Picasa Web Album. They both could read before they were three, using the methods in a book called Native Reading.