- Carthage College
Professor Deanna Byrnes received her B.S. in biology from Cornell University with an emphasis in ecology, evolution and systematics. After working at Abbott Laboratories for six years, she returned to her interests in mammal evolution and tropical ecology and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2005.
Her dissertation reconstructs the evolutionary relationships among the species of bare-backed fruit bats using molecular data, and maps the pattern of morphological and ecological differences among the species to try to understand the processes of natural selection responsible for the radiation of these unique bats across the islands of Indonesia and Melanesia.
Her research continues to employ both field and laboratory methods to study the ecology and evolution of bats — both local and tropical. Most recently she has begun a local long-term project in which students gather and share data with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as part of a citizen monitoring program to help define the ecological needs of Wisconsin’s bat species.
Her work has taken her Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Belize, and remote regions of Sulawesi and Papua New Guinea. She enjoys mentoring students through scientific inquiry and exploration of the outdoor natural environment. She is a rural Wisconsin native, and joined the Carthage faculty in fall 2007, after teaching and researching as a Lawrence University Postdoctoral Fellow in Appleton, Wis.
Professor Byrnes teaches courses in biodiversity, evolution, and ecology. She regularly involves Carthage students in her research on the ecology and evolution of bats, both local and tropical.
Dean for the Division of Natural and Social Sciences, Associate Professor of Biology
- Ph.D. — University of Wisconsin-Madison
- B.S. — Biology, Cornell University
- BIO 1050 Phage Hunters I
- BIO 1051 Phage Hunters II
- BIO 1100 Biodiversity and Evolution
BIO 2200 Introductory Ecology
- BIO 4200 Advanced Ecology
- BIO 4120 Senior Seminar
Biology at Carthage
What students say
“My favorite professor? I would have to say Dr. Byrnes. She’s very laid-back, she’s very fun. She’s quirky and makes class interesting. Doing research with her over the summer, I got to know her on a personal level. She’s led a very cool life. She’s one of those people you definitely look up to.”