Emily Schmitt Lavin, Ph.D.

Emily Schmitt Lavin

Department Chair and Professor
Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
(954) 262-8349
eschmitt@nova.edu

Education

Biographical Sketch

Emily Schmitt Lavin earned her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Miami in 1997 and joined the faculty at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in 2001. She holds the rank of Professor and serves as the Department Chair for the Department of Biological Sciences in the Halmos College of Natural Science and Oceanography. She teaches and guides students throughout their careers at NSU. Her areas of research include gene expression in yeast exposed to toxins, innovations in science education, genetics and genealogy, fish identification, ecology and behavior, and coral reef ecology and conservation. Emily is recognized for her extensive research mentorship and support which connects her students with national and international research communities and with the advanced research skills necessary for success in graduate and professional schools and their careers. Since fall of 2009 she has been partnering with schools in Broward County, FL and NSU to connect the college community with local schools to bring hands-on science education and learning opportunities to school age children through a program called, Science Alive!. Beginning in June 2013 she has been raising awareness for children with rare diseases such as Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) via the A-T Cure Team and other genetically-based disease charity groups where she participates in various running events including half-marathons.

Areas of Academic Focus

Gene expression in yeast exposed to toxins

Innovations in science education

Genetics and genealogy

Fish identification

Ecology and behavior

Coral reef ecology and conservation

Courses Taught at NSU

BIOL 1500 – Introduction to Biology I

BIOL 1510 – Introduction to Biology II

BIOL 4340 – Cellular and Molecular Biology

BIOL 4900 – Independent Study in Biology

BIOL 4950 – Internship in Biology

HONR 1000N – Honors Seminar: Genetics and Genealogy

HONR 1500 – Honors Reading Seminar

HONR 4990 – Independent Study: Honors Thesis Research

Modeling our Molecular World Workshop. Center for BioMolecular Modeling. Milwaukee, WI (July 5-9, 2015).

Prokaryotic Annotation Workshop (Human Microbiome Project). J. Craig Venter Institute. Rockville Maryland (July 9-12, 2012).

International Human Cadaver Prosection Program, Suturing Workshop, and Prosthetics and Orthotics Workshop, Indiana University School of Medicine, Northwest Campus, Gary, Indiana (August 2011).

National Science Foundation: Microarray Workshops for Application in Undergraduate Education and Research. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (July 2004).

Arnold Melnick Child Advocacy Award, NSU College of Medicine, Pediatrics Club, October 2014.

Broward County Public Schools, Community Involvement Awards, Nomination for Community Partner of the Year (April 2013 and 2014).

President’s Excellence in Community Service Awards (2012-2013). Faculty Award Nomination. Nova Southeastern University.

NSU’s Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence Award: “Teacher of the Year” (March 2006).

Finalist for NSU “Stuey” Student Life Achievement Awards. Professor of the Year (2005 and 2010).

Merit Award for Outstanding Faculty: Nova Southeastern University (since 2004).

Donovan, K. and E. Schmitt. Service learning in science education: A valuable and useful endeavor for biology majors. Bios: Journal of the National Biology Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta: 85(3):167-177. September 2014.

Schmitt, E. (October 2013).  Exploring life and death at the cellular level: An examination of how our cells can live without us.  Quadrivium. Issue 5. Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences. Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E. and J. Doan. April 2011. Exploring identity through genetic and genealogical research: development of a collaborative course between humanities and biology.  Quadrivium. Issue 3. Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences. Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E. F., R. D. Sluka, and K.M. Sullivan-Sealey. 2002. Evaluating the use of roving diver and transect surveys to assess the coral reef fish assemblage off southeastern Hispaniola. Coral Reefs 21:216-233.

Schmitt, E.F. and K.M. Sullivan. 1996. Analysis of a volunteer method for collecting fish presence and abundance data in the Florida Keys. Bulletin of Marine Science 59(2):404-416.

Sluka, R. M. Chiappone, K.M. Sullivan, T.A. Potts, J.M. Levy, E.F. Schmitt, and G. Meester. 1998. Density, species, and size distribution of groupers (Serranidae) in three habitats at Elbow Reef, Florida Keys. Bulletin of Marine Science 62 (1):235-244.

Chiappone, M., R. Sluka, K.M. Sullivan, E. Schmitt, G. Bustamante, J. Kelly, M. Vega, E. Pugibet, F.X. Torres, and R.E. Torres. 1998. Comparison of grouper assemblages in northern areas of the wider Caribbean: A preliminary assessment. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 50.

Bustamante, G., M. Chiappone, F.X. Geraldes, E. Pugibet, E. Schmitt, R. Sluka, K.M. Sullivan-Sealey, R.E. Torres, M. Vega, Y. Rodriguez, J. Alarcon, and Y. Lichtensztajn. 1998. Reef fish assemblages and fisheries in Parque Nacional del Este, Dominican Republic. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 50.

Keith, Edward O., Charles G. Messing, E. Schmitt., and J. Feingold. 2012. Laboratory Exercises in Biology, third edition. Kendall Hunt publishing company. Dubuque, IA 52004. 284 pp.

Donovan, K. and E. Schmitt. 2012. Science Alive! Hands-on science program demonstration catalog of activities. 50 pp.

Schmitt, E.F., D.W. Feeley, and K.M. Sullivan-Sealey. 1998. Surveying Reef Fishes: A manual for data collection, processing, and interpretation of fish survey information for the tropical northwest Atlantic. Media Publishing.Nassau, Bahamas. 84 pp.

Schmitt, E.F. 1997. The influence of herbivorous fishes on coral reef communities with low sea urchin abundance: A study among reef community types and seasons in the Florida Keys. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. 221 pp.

Schmitt, E.F. 1996. Status of reef fishes in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Regional project summary. The Nature Conservancy, Florida and Caribbean Marine Conservation Science Center, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. 117 pp.

Sullivan, K.M., M. Chiappone, G. Delgado, and E. Schmitt. 1994. Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) Methodologies for Marine Ecosystems in the Tropical Western Atlantic. The Nature Conservancy, Marine Conservation Science Center, Coral Gables, Florida. 153 pp.

Schmitt, E. Incorporating a fitness goal into the fabric of your life. Wellness Made Simple Magazine, February 2014. Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E. The Grilled Cheese Principle. Personal Belief Essay as part of a public dialog about belief. http://thisibelieve.org/essay/121218/ Entered on June 8, 2012. Featured on the website March 30, 2015.

Schmitt Lavin, Emily. 2011. Breaking through the spiral ceiling: An American woman becomes a DNA scientist by Laura L. Mays Hoopes. Bios 82(4):122-123.

Schmitt, E.F. 1993. Letter concerning adaptive bleaching in corals. BioScience 43(9):596.

Schmitt Lavin, E., K. Donovan, C. Hughes, and D. Boruch. April 3, 2014. Invited Session Presenter. “Second-Grade Science Collaborations: Exploring States of Matter, Forces, Motion, and Energy.” National Science Teachers Association. Boston National Conference.

Schmitt, E. June 20, 2013. Invited Workshop Presenter, “Academic Instruction for Students with ASD: Teaching and adapting core academic content in science and math”.  UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Workshop for Miami-Dade Teachers. Coral Gables High School, Coral Gables, FL. 

Schmitt, E. April 2013. Presentation of a special Two-Part Seminar Series: Examining genomics and your health. Part 1: Your genome and your health. Part 2: Genomics of your microbiome and your health. Life Long Learning Institute, Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E., March 22, 2013. TEDxNSU: “Lighting the Bulb: Sharing Your Profession and Passion with the Community”. Viewable online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgtj3Ue3uDY

Schmitt, E.  April 8, 2013. “Service Learning in Biology I and II: Effects on College Student Engagement and Accomplishment”. Faculty Symposium, Nova Southeastern University, College of Arts and Sciences.

Schmitt, E. April 13, 2012. Reflections on Research. Keynote Address for the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Nova Southeastern University.

Jaffe, M., E. Schmitt, and T.A. Silver. April 9. 2012. FCAS Pilot Program: Beyond the classroom with three approaches incorporating service learning into undergraduate courses.  Faculty Symposium, Nova Southeastern University.  College of Arts and Sciences.

Schmitt, E. July 2011. Biomedical Thrillers: Fiction based in fact, or just fiction? Life Long Learning Institute, Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E. April 2011. Why are you a biologist?: Role of societies (Tri-Beta) in professional development, Annual Tri-Beta Rho Rho Chapter Induction Ceremony Address, Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E. May 25, 2010. Faculty presenter at the NSU Lifelong Learning Institute, “Documenting lineages from my ‘littlest ancestor’ to my deep ancestral roots”.

Schmitt, E. and Jim Doan. November 2010. Three-Part Seminar/Workshop Series: Using genetics and genealogy tools to create your own family history project. Life Long Learning Institute, Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E. December 2010. Highlights of research in genetics and genealogy. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants, John Alden Colony. Ft.  Lauderdale Yacht Club.

Schmitt, E. June 2008 and 2009. Genomics Research at NSU. College Summit Program at Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E. May 20, 2008. Deep Indexing: A New Approach to Searching Scholarly Literature. Webcast (Approx. 300 registrants) sponsored by Library Journal and Proquest.  Presented “High level undergraduate research in the biological sciences”.

Schmitt, E. September 2008.  Diaper Science. Presentation to pre-school children at the Mailman-Segal Institute, Nova Southeastern University. Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Schmitt, E. June 2007. International Biodiversity Conference. “Investigating subspecies identity for Sasha, a panther living at San Martin Zoological Gardens in Baños, Ecuador”.

Schmitt, E. October 2007. “Documenting lineages from my littlest descendant to my deep ancestral roots" given to the Genealogical Society of Broward County.

Schmitt, E. September 2006. Finding your identity. Convocation Address. Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E.F. 1996. Reef Fish Survey Project. for the South Florida Ecosystem Monitoring Integration Project Workshop I: held at Historic Pigeon Key, Marathon, Florida.

Schmitt, E.F. 1994. The roving diver technique - REEF survey method. The Nature Conservancy Home Office, in Arlington, Virginia.

Schmitt, E. November 14, 2013. “Personal Genomics: Good, Evil, or Both?” Faculty Lecture Series. Nova Southeastern University. Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.

Schmitt, E. April 4, 2013. “Cellular life Beyond an Individual’s Death”. Faculty Lecture Series, Nova Southeastern University, Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.

Schmitt, E. and  J. Doan. December 2, 2010. "Exploring Identity through Genetic and Genealogical Research". Faculty Lecture Series, Nova Southeastern University, Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.

Farrell, M. and E. Schmitt. 2005. Investigating effects of aluminum on Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A model for laboratory-based investigative teaching. Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Total Microarray Data Analysis Conference. August 24-26, 2005. Washington, D.C.

Kozarov, E., M. Farrell, E. Schmitt P.H. Rodrigues, and A. Progulske-Fox. Summer 2006. Invasion associated P. gingivalis polymorphisms. International Association for Dental Research and American Association for Dental Research. Paper #82992.

Schmitt, E.F. February 6, 2003. Bioinformatics course development: DNA microarrays in undergraduate research programs. Bioinformatics Interest Group. Nova Southeastern University.

Schmitt, E.F. 2002. Herbivorous fishes in the Florida Keys: A study among reef community types and seasons. Poster presentation. 132nd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. Baltimore, Maryland.

Schmitt, E.F. 1999. Applications of the REEF Fish Survey Project for Monitoring Fishes in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. International Conference on Scientific Aspects of Coral Reef Assessment, Monitoring, and Restoration. Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Schmitt, E.F. 1998. The Influence of Herbivores on Coral Reef Communities. The Annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Boston, Massachusetts. January 3-7, 1998. Abstract appears in: American Zoologist 37(5):44.

Schmitt, E.F. February 1996. Poster presentation, “Fish Survey Project” at The Nature Conservancy Stewardship Conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Schmitt, E.F. February 1994. Research applications of volunteer generated coral reef fish surveys. The 46th Annual meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Schmitt, E.F. March 24-26, 1994. Community structure of fishes at two reef sites in John Pennekamp State Park. The 58th Annual Meeting of the Florida Academy of Sciences. Tallahassee, Florida.

Schmitt, E.F. 1993. Implementation of rapid amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technology in the genetic analysis of yellow perch populations in the Chesapeake Bay. The annual meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists, Norfolk, Virginia.

Schmitt, E.F. and J. Leslie. 1993. A comparison of video versus visual sampling techniques to assess the abundance of snapper (Family: Lutjanidae) and grouper (Family: Serranidae) on shallow water reefs. The annual meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists, Norfolk, Virginia.

Advisor to Amal Bhullar and Ashley Chang-Story who were awarded a Tri-Beta (National Biology Honor Society) research grant for the proposal entitled, “The effects of various concentrations of dietary additives (caffeine, energy drinks, ethanol, and alcoholic drinks) on gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s Yeast)” (Grant awarded October, 2014). Presented at the Association of Southeastern Biologists meeting in Chattanooga, TN (April 2015).

Advisor to Natalie Negron who was awarded a Tri-Beta (National Biology Honor Society) research grant for her proposal entitled, “Investigating African ancestry in Puerto Rican individuals via testing of mitochondrial and autosomal DNA to generate a personal phylogenetic family tree” (Grant awarded October, 2013). Presented at the Tribeta National Convention in Erie, PA (June 2014).

Advisor for C. Rubio’s Undergraduate Honors Research Thesis, “The Effect of thimerosol on Gene Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Brewer’s yeast).” Funded by the NSU Honors Program and Tri- Beta National Biology Honor Society. Defended 3/11. Presented at the Tribeta National Convention in Durango, CO (June 2010).

Advisor to Beric Berlioz who was awarded a Tri-Beta (National Biology Honor Society) research grant for his proposal entitled, “The effects of various concentrations of sugar and sugar substitutes (sucralose, stevia, and aspartame) on gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s Yeast)” (Grant awarded October, 2011). Presented at the Tribeta National Convention in Puerto Rico (June 2012)

Co-Advisor for L. Douma’s Undergraduate Honors Research Thesis, “Using genealogical records and Genetic markers of the Y-chromosome, X-chromosome, and mitochondrial DNA to create a personal family history narrative.”  Funded by the NSU Honors Program and Tri-Beta National Biology Society. Defended 3/10. Presented at the Tribeta National Convention in Durango, CO (June 2010).

Advisor to Hannah Bromberg who submitted and was awarded a Tri-Beta research grant for her proposal entitled, “The effects of sugar substitutes on gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae” (Grant awarded October 18, 2010).

Advisor for Q. Hayat’s Undergraduate Honors Research Thesis, “The Effects of Zinc on Gene Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Brewer’s yeast).” Funded by Beta Beta Beta, National Biology Honor Society and NSU Honors Program.  Thesis Successfully Defended 3/08. Presented at the Tribeta National Convention in Northern Kentucky (June 2008).

Advisor for M. Farrell’s Undergraduate Honors Research Thesis, “The Effects of Aluminum on Gene Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.” Funded by Beta Beta Beta, National Biology Honor Society and NSU Honors Program.  Thesis Successfully Defended 5/06. Presented at the Tribeta National Convention in Melbourne, FL (June 2006).

Advisor for over 40 literature and over 30 laboratory based research projects presented at NSU’s Annual Student Research Symposium.  Over twelve of these projects resulted in competitive awards for the students (since 1/02).

Masters Degree thesis committee member for six students; major faculty member for one student in the field of marine biology research: Catherine Hamilton, 2014, Patricia Waikel, 2010, Elizabeth Lacey, 2006, Corinne Annuziata, 2004, Audrey Germane, Chair, 2005, and Erik Neugaard, 2003.

Poster Judge for the National Biological Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta’s National Conference (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014).

Reviewer for the Farquhar Student Journal, which publishes undergraduate student research in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, Nova Southeastern University (2008-2012).

Member of Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society (since 2015); https://www.sigmaxi.org/  

Member of the National Association of Science Teachers (since 2011) https://www.nsta.org/ 

Member of the American Association of University Women (since 2011) http://www.aauw.org/  

Scientific Advisor to the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (since 1993) http://wwww.reef.org/  

Member of Beta Beta Beta, National Biological Honor Society (since 1992) http://www.tri-beta.org/

Member of Omicron Delta Kappa, National Leadership Honor Society (since 1992) http://odk.org/