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Emily Schmitt Lavin, Ph.D.

Emily Schmitt Lavin
Department Chair and Professor
Dept. of Biological Sciences
(954) 262-8349


  • Ph.D., Biology: December 1997, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. Thesis: "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."
  • B.S. Biology: May 1993, summa cum laude, Towson University, Towson, MD. Undergraduate Research: "Implementation of rapid amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technology in the genetic analysis of yellow perch populations in the Chesapeake Bay."

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

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