Life Beyond the Hilltop

Recent graduates from the School of Natural Sciences have gone on to accept full-time jobs as researchers with Proctor & Gamble, software engineers at Samsung and project managers at Freescale; and pursue graduate and PhD studies in neuroscience, water management and hydrological science, mathematics, and social engineering. 

Science Backed by a Liberal Arts Education

Thanks to small classes, individual attention from his mentors and his well-rounded education, Taylor Gabriel ’13 grounds his scientific knowledge in historical and ethical context. 


Named a Top Forensic Chemistry Program in U.S.

“Students gaining a BS in Forensic Chemistry from St. Edward's have some of the best research and internship opportunities in the nation, and access to the Welch Foundation research scholarship, which pays for 6 weeks of forensic-chemistry related research.”

School of Natural Sciences

The School of Natural Sciences at St. Edward's University encompasses traditional natural sciences (biology, chemistry, biochemistry), computational sciences (mathematics and computer science), clinical laboratory science and bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary research area at the intersection of biology, mathematics and computer science.

Each program provides sound preparation for graduate and professional schools and a variety of careers — among today's most high-demand fields. While each discipline has its own faculty, space and resources, all create an environment for excellence and share a common approach that draws upon these advantages:

  1. Small classes, taught by teachers who take an active role in preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of a global workplace.
  2. Approachable faculty members, whose top priority is ensuring you benefit from a personalized learning experience.
  3. Student-faculty research — conducted in on-campus science and computer labs and in the field — challenges you to create and present original work alongside mentor faculty.
  4. Cross training that shows you how to synthesize information and articulate arguments across the sciences, humanities and arts — valuable, well-rounded skills for scientific collaboration in graduate school or the workplace.

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Dean's Message

Dear Future Natural Sciences Students:

Scientists today must filter an almost infinite influx of data, discerning what is credible and what is unconvincing. As a student within the School of Natural Sciences, you’ll learn how to design experiments to test hypotheses and evaluate claims that come from myriad sources. We foster students who are self-starters, independent thinkers and at ease working in diverse settings, and who possess the capacity to use and interpret data to determine outcomes.

St. Edward’s University provides a nurturing environment that is committed to helping all students attain the full potential of their intellectual, personal and career goals. In addition, when you enter the School of Natural Sciences, you become part of a learning community built upon the Holy Cross heritage, so you’ll graduate with the skills and commitment to build a more just and humane world.

Employers seek students who have learning experience beyond the normal classroom setting and have participated in projects that require original thought, independent learning, group collaboration and the generation of data leading to “real-life” results. A degree from the School of Natural Sciences at St. Edward’s prepares you for careers in a wide range of areas, including industry, medicine, research and academia.

Students cite working with a faculty member on research or an independent project as one of the most important components of a successful undergraduate career. The culminating experience for a student within the School of Natural Sciences is the Senior Seminar in which you’ll present your own research to faculty, students and guests. You will also have the opportunity to present the results of your research project on campus at the Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE), and at regional and national conferences.

I invite you to meet our faculty, tour the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center and view the “see through science” design in our state-of-the art facility. We look forward to providing you with excellent teaching and the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research alongside faculty members, and to supporting your academic and personal growth.


 Patricia J. Baynham, PhD


Patricia J. Baynham, PhD
Interim Dean, School of Natural Sciences


Patricia J. Baynham, PhD Interim Dean, School of Natural Sciences; Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Phone: 512-233-1675

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Cynthia Naples, PhD Associate Dean, School of Natural Sciences; Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-448-8676

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Henry G. Altmiller, PhD Professor of Chemistry Phone: 512-448-8447

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Laura J. Baker, PhD Professor of Computer Science Phone: 512-448-8675

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Joel J. Bergh, PhD Instructor and Biology Lab Coordinator Phone: 512-428-1379
Teresa Bilinski Assistant Professor of Biology Phone: 512-637-1995
David Bryan Assistant Professor of Computer Sciences Phone: 512-428-1256
Jason Callahan, PhD Assistant Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-492-3136

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Monica Cicciarelli Lab Director Phone: 512-233-1420

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Paula Raelynn Deaton, PhD Assistant Professor of Biology Phone: 512-416-5841

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Edward Early, PhD Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-637-5639

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Mary Eberlein Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science Phone: 512-233-1639
Carol G. Gee, PhD Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-637-5638

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Lisa Goering, PhD Associate Professor of Biology Phone: 512-492-3156

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Charles Hauser, PhD Associate Professor of Bioinformatics Phone: 512-233-1671

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Eamonn F. Healy, PhD Professor of Chemistry Phone: 512-448-8467
David R. Johnson, PhD Visiting Assistant Professor Phone: 512-464-8834

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Michael Kart, PhD Assistant Professor of Computer Science Phone: 512-428-1329

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Peter King, PhD Associate Professor of Biology Phone: 512-233-1415
Richard L. Kopec, PhD Professor of Computer Science and Chemistry Phone: 512-448-8464

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Mary A. Kopecki-Fjetland, PhD Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biology Phone: 512-464-8881
He Liu, PhD Postdoctoral Teaching Associate in Biology Phone: 512-416-5831
Sandra Loudwig Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry Phone: 512-233-1698
James W. McGuffee, PhD Associate Professor of Computer Science Phone: 512-448-8465

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David Naples Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-448-8547

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Fidelma O'Leary, PhD Associate Professor of Biology Phone: 512-448-8460
Jeff Potratz, PhD Post-Doctoral Associate Phone: 512-637-5614
William J. Quinn, PhD Professor of Biology and Computer Science Phone: 512-448-8457

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Donelle Robinson Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology Phone: 512-637-1952
Michael P. Saclolo, PhD Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-233-1672

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Mike Scioli Instructor of Science Phone: 512-637-1984

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Casey L. Sherman, PhD Assistant Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-637-1907

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Clifford J. Spinac Instructor of Computer Science Phone: 512-448-8440

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Paul Walter, PhD Assistant Professor of Science Phone: 512-637-5636

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Donald Wharry, PhD Postdoctoral Associate and Lab Coordinator Phone: 512-695-8498

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David P. Wright, PhD Associate Professor of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science Phone: 512-448-8462


John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center


A great science building inspires innovation, discovery and exploration — and creates outstanding opportunities for student-faculty research. The atmosphere within this groundbreaking natural sciences facility reflects the longstanding reputation of St. Edward's for attracting stellar faculty and producing ambitious, accomplished graduates.

As a result, more and more students are choosing St. Edward’s to pursue their dreams and shape their future in the natural sciences — many in pre-med, pre-dental and pre-engineering programs.

South Building

Opened: 2013

Key Features
  • Four computer science classrooms
  • Multi-use auditorium and exposition galleries for research presentations
  • Technology-rich classrooms, cozy study lounges and a tutoring lab
  • High-powered computing laboratories for projects in disciplines as diverse as robotics, environmental science, bioinformatics and medicine
  • 30 faculty offices and Dean’s office
North Building

Opened: 2006

Key Features
  • Interior glass walls allow allowing open viewing of lab activities
  • Large, integrated research space encourages interaction between students in different research groups
  • Modern laboratory instrumentation, courtesy of equipment grants from the National Science Foundation and W.M. Keck Foundation
  • Gallery space for presentations and symposia
  • State-of-the-art greenhouse
  • Many lounges and nooks for small group learning

Native landscaping between the North and South buildings provides an outdoor classroom for studying many species of plant life.

Students also benefit from the interdisciplinary research laboratory and hands-on learning at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve — a multi-faceted ecosystem in Austin.

Learn more about Wild Basin »



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