June 7, 2012. Dr. Susan L. Edwards has been appointed chair of the Department of Biology at Appalachian State University effective July 1. Edwards replaces Dr. Steven W. Seagle, who had served as department chair since 2004.
Seagle will be on an off-campus scholarly assignment conducting research in Brazil for part of the next academic year before returning to teach at Appalachian.
Edwards joined the faculty at Appalachian as an assistant professor in 2007. She was named assistant chair of the biology department in 2009 and was promoted to associate professor and granted tenure in 2010. Previously, she was an associate professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. She also was a visiting professor at Georgia Southern University.
Edwards has a Ph.D. from Deakin University in Australia, and a Master of Science degree from The University of Melbourne in Australia. Her Bachelor of Science degree also is from Deakin University.
Her research interests include the evolution of genes responsible for waste elimination in hagfish, for which she received a two-year, $347,808 National Science Foundation grant in 2011. The research may provide insight into how similar genes evolved and work in humans.
Edwards’ research has been published in the American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Experimental Biology and the Journal of Experimental Zoology. She is on the editorial board of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology.
She is a member of the American Fisheries Society, The Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, the American Physiological Society and the Canadian Society of Zoology.