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Jeffrey Kavanaugh

Principal Lecturer; Vivarium Director

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Biology


Email: Jeffrey Kavanaugh
Phone: 937-229-4521
SC 223G


  • Ph.D., Biology, Virginia Tech, 1998


Dr. Kavanaugh is a Lecturer in the Department of Biology and is the Director of the Vivarium for the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining UD, he taught and conducted research for seven years at the University of West Florida (UWF) in Pensacola, Florida. At UWF, Dr. Kavanaugh taught both graduate courses (Limnology and lab, Wetland Ecology and lab, Estuarine Studies, Aquatic Toxicology and lab) and undergraduate courses (General Biology and lab, General Zoology and lab, and Animal Behavior). While with UWF, Dr. Kavanaugh received over $100K in outside grants to conduct research in the areas of biological monitoring and ecological restoration. Dr. Kavanaugh has also served as a Study Director at a toxicology laboratory and has worked as a consultant performing ecological and human health risk assessments for Superfund sites across the country.

Faculty Perspective

Since graduate school I have worked not only in academia but in private industry as well. My "real world" experience includes working as a manager in a toxicology contract laboratory and as a risk assessor in an environmental consulting firm. Whenever possible, I try to integrate these experiences into the classroom where I find that students are very interested to hear about the practical application of biology outside the academic world.In addition to teaching, I am involved with other faculty to improve the educational experience for UD students. In one current grant-supported project, we are developing innovative inquiry-based curricula for future science teachers (education majors). Among our goals is to design classroom activities that are interdisciplinary, promote critical thinking, and will reinforce criteria for the State of Ohio Math and Science Standards.

Courses Taught

  • Science 230 Organisms, Evolution and the Environment
  • Biology 101 General Biology
  • Biology 151 Concepts of Biology I
  • Biology 152 Concepts of Biology II
  • Biology 309 Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
  • Biology 309L Laboratory for Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
  • Biology 430 Ecology
  • Biology 430L Laboratory for Ecology

Research Interests

  • Biological Monitoring
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Stream and Wetland Ecology

Selected Publications

Lepo, J.E.; C.R. Cripe, J.L. Kavanaugh, S. Zhang, G.P. Norton. 2003. "The effect of amount of crude oil on extent of its biodegradation in open water-and sandy beach: Laboratory simulations." Environmental Technology 24(10), pp. 1291-1302.

Kavanaugh, J.L., R.W. Bouchard, and L.C. Ferrington Jr. 2003. "Efficacy of collections of surface-floating pupal exuviae for estimating emergence frequencies of abundant species." Poster at XV International Symposium on Chironomidae, August 12-14, 2003, The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Kavanaugh, J.L., C.R. Cripe, C.B. Daniels, W. Gilliam, R. Araujo, and J.E. Lepo. 1996. "The environmental safety of commercial oil spill bioremediation agents." In M. Levin, C. Grim, and J.S. Angle eds., Biotechnology Risk Assessment. Published by the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, pp. 391-407.

Ferrington, L.C., F.J. Schmidt, J.L. Kavanaugh. 1995. "Habitat separation among Chironomidae (Diptera) in Big Springs." In L.C. Ferrington, ed., Biodiversity of Aquatic Insects and Other Invertebrates in Springs. Published by the Kansas Entomological Society, Lawrence, KS, pp. 152-165.

Kavanaugh, J.L., C.R. Cripe, C.B. Daniels, R. Araujo, J.E. Lepo. 1995. "Evaluating the environmental safety of commercial oil spill bioremediation agent use." Symposium on Bioremediation of Hazardous Wastes: Research, Development, and Field Evaluations. EPA/600/R-95/076, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Selected Presentations

"Some Recent Methodology for Predicting Invasive Species. Presentation made at Biology 601." Brown Bag Seminar on the Genetics of Invasive Species. University of Dayton, Department of Biology, March 12, 2004.

"Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates. A Course for Biology Majors and Preprofessionals at the University of Dayton." Exhibit presented at Miami Valley TechFest 2004 in Dayton, OH, February 21-22, 2004.

"Watershed Health: Science and Policy." Panel member for a faculty roundtable discussion of water quality issues. Sponsored by the University of Dayton as part of the PGEI and VTS series of seminars on water resource issues. February 24, 2004.

"A genetic basis for life history differences among populations of the midge, Chironomus riparius." Invited speaker at the University of Dayton Biology Department Seminar Series. October, 2001.